NEW YORK — Lancôme is counting on the power of Attraction to vault it to a top-three position in the U.S. fragrance market in 2004.

The brand’s first major fragrance launch since Miracle — which began rolling out in the U.S. in February 2001 — Attraction will begin rolling out in the U.S. at the beginning of February. It began rolling out in Europe this month.

“We are aiming to grow our fragrance business in the U.S., and we think Attraction will be a major pillar of that strategy,” said Dalia Chammas, senior vice president and general manager of Lancôme USA. While Lancôme was founded in 1935 as a fragrance house, its range has since expanded to include skin care, color cosmetics and hair care, all categories that have of late garnered more attention, noted Chammas, who aims to change that with Attraction.

“Trésor and Miracle are already in the top 10,” said Chammas. “We believe Attraction will join them.”

Attraction’s positioning is more sensual than that of its sister fragrances, noted Edgar Huber, president of the Luxury Products Division of L’Oréal USA. “It’s an intensely sensual, passionate fragrance,” he said. By contrast, added Elana Drell-Szyfer, vice president of marketing for treatment, fragrance, sun, body and hair, Trésor has a more romantic positioning, while Miracle is marketed as an empowering, spiritual fragrance.

The difference is intentional: “We want to recruit new users to the Lancôme brand with Attraction,” said Odile Roujol, deputy general manager and senior vice president of marketing for Lancôme, adding that the scent’s core user would likely be in the 25-to-35-year-old range.

The range will include eau de parfum sprays in 1.7 oz. and 3.4 oz. sizes, retailing for $49.50 and $70, respectively. A body lotion will also be rolled out at launch and will retail for $40 for 6.7 ounces, noted William Colli, assistant vice president of marketing for fragrance, sun, body and hair for Lancôme.

Attraction’s juice, by Givaudan’s Daniela Andrier —?also the perfumer behind Gucci’s Rush and Emporio Armani Pour Femme — is a contemporary woody floral. Top notes are of gardenia, green syringa, neroli and ylang ylang; middle notes are of iris, patchouli, jasmine sambac, tuberose and Bulgarian rose, and the drydown is of vanilla, cedarwood, musk and light amber.The eau de parfum’s round bottle was created by architect Christian Biecher, whose other projects include Issey Miyake’s Tokyo headquarters and product design for Baccarat and Bernhardt Design. It is topped by a rounded gold cap. Outer packaging is a gold-and-white square with a highly reflective finish.

Attraction will be available in Lancôme’s lineup of U.S. department and specialty store doors, which currently number about 2,200.

While none of the executives would comment on projected sales or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that Attraction would do upward of $60 million at retail in its first year on counter and that about $25 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.

Print ads, featuring models Reka Ebergenyi and Rory Marshall and shot by Alistair Taylor Young, will break in February fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. In line with the fragrance’s sexy positioning, the print ads feature the tangled limbs of Ebergenyi and Marshall, with a bottle shot also on the layout. As well, TV advertising is slated for the U.S., both at launch and throughout the year, said Drell-Szyfer. “This is our single most important launch of next year and we are going to support it in a way that reflects our priorities,” she explained. Upward of 80 million scented impressions are planned, as are in-store events and outdoor advertising.

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