By  on May 4, 2007

Aramis and Designer Fragrances is revving up for a launch it hopes will exhibit serious horsepower.

The division of the Estée Lauder Cos. has teamed with the Ford Motor Co. to launch Mustang, a men's fragrance named for the car company's iconic model. The fragrance will also mark a return to the mass market by the Estée Lauder Cos., which has been absent from that market segment since selling Jane Cosmetics in February 2004.

"Mustang will launch a new distribution model for us," said Robin Mason, vice president of global marketing for Aramis and Designer Fragrances. The Mustang fragrance will be launched first in Sears, J.C. Penney and Kohl's Department Stores in July. In August, the fragrance will be rolled out to mass merchandisers and chain drugstores, including Wal-Mart, CVS and Target. And Mustang, believes Mason, is the right brand to make that leap. "Fragrance is a small part of mass market selling right now, but with the right fragrance it will grow into a nice slice of the pie," she said. "There are a number of synergies between Aramis and Mustang. We are both classic American brands which appeal to ‘retrosexuals' — a guy's guy, the opposite of a metrosexual. This isn't a car fragrance. It's a lifestyle brand."

Bill Murphy, senior vice president and general manager of the Fashion Group department at the Estée Lauder Cos., noted that upward of 22,000 doors in the U.S. would stock the scent when it is in its full distribution.

The scent, developed by Trudi Loren, vice president of corporate fragrance development worldwide for the Estée Lauder Cos. in cooperation with Firmenich, is characterized as a "rugged oriental." It has top notes of lavender, ginger and lemon; a heart of pipe tobacco and cedar wood, and a drydown of amber, fir balsam and patchouli.

Cologne sprays in three sizes — 1 oz. for $20, 1.7 oz. for $25 and 3.4 oz. for $32 — will be sold, as will a 3.4-oz. aftershave. More ancillaries are planned for spring 2008.

While none of the executives would comment on sales projections or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that the scent would do about $25 million at retail in its first year on counter and that about $6 million would be spent on advertising and promotion in the same time frame.A dedicated Web site,, will be operational prior to Father's Day. "We want to create a community," said Murphy, "and capitalize on the bold and legendary positioning of this brand." With its sampling campaign, the company is aiming for 10 million scented impressions, he added.

A national advertising campaign will begin running in September lifestyle and automotive magazines.

In addition to traditional fragrance promotion vehicles, the scent will also be promoted at NASCAR events and in FordWorld Magazine, which is distributed to the company's 250,000 employees, said John Nens, director of global brand licensing for the Ford Motor Company. "This fragrance is an extension of our brand, and one that we think has great potential," said Nens, adding that the Mustang name was also licensed for shirts, hats, toys, video games and jewelry. "Even if you can't drive the car, you can still live the brand."

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