By  on June 23, 2006

NEW YORK — Procter & Gamble Prestige Products plans to give women a little inspiration at the fragrance counters this fall.

That's when the beauty giant will launch Lacoste Inspiration, a scent targeted at women who "live life to the fullest," according to Markus Strobel, general manager for P&G Prestige Products. "This scent is about flirting with life," he said. "The woman who wears this fragrance will be multifaceted, as the fragrance is."

Moreover, the scent is intended to be a female companion to Lacoste Essential, the men's fragrance launched this past spring in the U.S., noted Donald Loftus, president and chief executive officer of P&G Prestige Products Inc. "Lacoste as a fashion house has been rejuvenated," said Loftus. "It's become very hot. Essential is ranking in the top five men's scents in the U.S., according to NPD, and we're hoping for similar results for Inspiration."

Essential and Inspiration are also the first fragrances to be launched by P&G Prestige Products, which regained the license from Clarins on Jan.1.

The Inspiration juice, concocted by Quest International in cooperation with P&G Prestige Beauty, has top notes of pomegranate, plum and mandarin; a heart of peony, jasmine and tuberose, and a drydown of vanilla and sandalwood.

Eaux de parfum in two sizes — 1.6 oz. for $52 and 2.5 oz. for $65 — will be offered, as will two ancillaries, a 5-oz. shower gel for $25 and a 5-oz. body lotion for $35. The fragrance bottle is a heavy glass orb with the signature Lacoste crocodile and the fragrance's name in graceful cursive writing. The juice is tinted a pale blue. The outer box is pale blue and textured.

As with many of its fragrances, P&G is planning a two-tiered rollout for this scent. Inspiration will be launched in about 350 specialty stores, including Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sephora, in September. "We chose to launch where the fashion brand is strongest," explained Loftus. The door count will be boosted in October, when the fragrance launches to department stores. In total, Inspiration is slated for a full distribution of 1,800 doors by yearend.While P&G executives wouldn't comment on projected sales or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that Inspiration could do $20 million to $25 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter, and that about $5 million to $7 million will be spent on advertising and promotion.

National print advertising will begin appearing in September fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, said Loftus. The image, shot by Ellen von Unwerth, shows a model playing in the rain. A TV campaign has also been shot, although it has not yet been decided whether it will run on U.S. TV; however, co-op TV with Macy's for Christmas is likely, said Loftus. A sampling campaign is aimed at getting 25 million scented strips and one million minis in vial sprays into the hands of consumers, said Loftus.

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