PARIS — Lancôme is banking on its new fragrance, Attraction, to draw women to the fragrance bar this fall.

The scent, due to start rolling out here in October, comes at a pivotal time for the L’Oréal-owned brand. “Our key challenge today is fragrance,” explained Guillaume de Lesquen, deputy managing director at Lancôme. “We have experienced very [substantial] growth in makeup and skin care, and now we must strongly develop Lancôme’s fragrance business in Europe and the U.S.”

Today, of Lancôme’s total business, fragrance sales comprise about 18 percent, with skin care and makeup ringing up about 40 percent each. The ultimate goal, said de Lesquen, is for fragrance to generate 25 percent of Lancôme’s sales within the next two years.

The launch of Attraction is also meant to confirm Lancôme as an “expert perfumer,” he added.

While company executives refused to discuss estimates for Attraction, industry sources believe the fragrance could generate $56.7 million (50 million euros) in retail sales during its first 12 months.

Attraction is meant to bring a sensual component to Lancôme’s women’s fragrance lineup, which also includes Trésor — with a more romantic and tender positioning — and Miracle — which has a more spiritual bent, explained Guillaume Gellusseau, Lancôme’s international marketing director.

Attraction is described by de Lesquen as “more carnal.” “That makes it different [from other Lancôme scents] in terms of positioning and target,” he said.

When it comes to publicity for Attraction, Lancôme decided to feature a man with a woman — the first time a male’s so apparent in the brand’s advertising for a feminine scent.

“We decided to tell the story of a couple and the vibrancy and desire at the heart of a loving encounter,” said Gellusseau.

In another first, Lancôme is using model Reka Ebergenyi as a face for the single- and double-page Attraction print ads, which were shot by Alistair Taylor Young and produced by Air. Ebergenyi is pictured with Rory Marshall sharing an attraction-filled encounter. There is also a film for the fragrance, which will be aired on TV in 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-second takes.The ads will break at launch, which is October for Europe and European travel retail. Other global markets, including the U.S., are slated to get the scent in the first quarter of 2004.

Attraction’s juice also is described as an encounter — of iris and patchouli — by its perfumer, Givaudan’s Daniela Andrier. Additional notes in the fragrance include white flowers, vanilla, cedar and light amber.

Attraction’s round bottle, created by designer and architect Christian Biecher, is meant to reflect the curves of a woman’s body. Concentric circles are engraved into the glass around its neck, and the flacon is topped by a rounded gold cap.

The bottle comes in a white and gold outer carton with a hologram finish.

The eau de parfum will come in 100-ml., 50-ml. and 30-ml. spray bottles, which will be priced at $96, $68 and $44 (85 euros, 60 euros and 39 euros), respectively. There also will be a 200-ml. body milk for $42 (37 euros) at launch, plus additional ancillaries that will bow six months later.

Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange rates and are for France.

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