By  on June 29, 2007

L'Oréal USA is hoping to add some adventure to its Ralph Lauren franchise with the launch of Polo's fifth fragrance, Explorer.

According to Signe Gammeltoft, president of Ralph Lauren Fragrances, the Polo collection experienced an increase of 16 percent globally last year. The aptly named Explorer will allow L'Oréal to explore the more adventurous side of today's modern man.

"We want to continue to build on this success by offering a new facet of the man's life," said Gammeltoft, who added that Explorer will get a simultaneous launch domestically and internationally, making it the company's biggest ever. "Explorer is for a man who's living a more rugged and adventurous life."

Christopher Stadler, vice president of U.S. marketing of Ralph Lauren Fragrances, said the Explorer fragrance is positioned to represent a man who "lives life without limits." "This is someone who wants to go out into the world and thrive on freedom, exploration and discovery," Stadler said.

According to Stadler, one of every 10 men's fragrances sold in the U.S. in the prestige category is a Polo fragrance. Executives hope Explorer takes the Polo brand to the next level, building on the success of the company's Black franchise. The L'Oréal executives did not break out figures but, according to industry sources, the Polo Black and Double Black franchises generated $47 million in U.S. retail sales last year. Stadler said the entire polo fragrance business has experienced a 20 percent increase in comparison to last year. Polo Black Franchise was the number-one selling men's fragrance brand for the week of Father's Day, up 78 percent in comparison to the previous year, he added.

The objective of Serge Jureidini, president of L'Oréal's Designer Fragrance Division, is for Polo Explorer to become one of the three top-selling brands for fall.

"We have a track record of big successes in the Polo franchise," said Jureidini.

According to figures from The NPD Group quoted by L'Oréal, the Polo Black franchise, including Black and Double Black, ranked third behind Armani's Acqua di Giò and Armani Code for the year-to-date through the end of April, while Polo Blue ranked eighth, Romance Men ranked 13 and the original Polo was 17.Explorer will make its debut in 2,500 U.S. department and specialty store doors and 34 countries in early September, with an additional rollout in 16 more countries early next year. The fragrance will be available in two sizes — $47.50 for a 2.5-oz. eau de toilette and $67.50 for a 4.2-oz. EDT. There will also be an After Shave Splash, which will retail at $45 for a 4.2-oz.

While L'Oréal does not break out sales projections or advertising budgets, industry sources estimate that Explorer will bring in $35 million in the U.S. in the fall season and $60 million in global retail sales. Sources estimate that about $10 million will be spent on advertising and promoting the new fragrance.

Gammeltoft noted that the four existing Polo fragrances each target different consumer lifestyles and feature their own unique olfactive positioning.

"The first in the franchise, Polo, is a classic and traditional fragrance, while Polo Blue is more for an outdoor guy. Polo Black reflects an urban sophistication, and Double Black is a bit more daring," said Gammeltoft.

Created by Honorine Blanc and Harry Fremont of Firmenich, Explorer is a fresh woody amber scent composed of top notes of mandarin oil and bergamot, middle notes of waterfall accord, coriander spice and rugged leather, and bottom notes of mahogany wood, sandalwood, mate and amber.

"We looked at the Polo franchise to make sure we weren't going somewhere we've already been," said Jennifer Mullarkey, vice president of fragrance development at Ralph Lauren Fragrances. "We wanted to play on the idea of rugged masculinity, comfort and ease, and create a fragrance you could wear every day no matter what you're doing."

Packaged in a metallic green flask, the fragrance has an orange safety ring, which adds a pop of color and a rubberized cap featuring an embossed polo player logo.

In the U.S., print advertising will break in the September editions of men's and women's fashion, lifestyle and beauty books, and will be complemented by television and online marketing. Shot by Bruce Weber, Explorer's ad will feature Yorkshire-born model Roy Marshall, who is meant to embody the Explorer man. According to Stadler, enough scented strips and other sampling devices will be employed to make 50 million fragrance impressions.

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