By  on December 1, 2006

GENEVA — P&G Prestige Products is hoping to map new territory for its Valentino fragrance portfolio with the launch of Rock 'n Rose.

Rock 'n Rose marks a shift in course for the portfolio of Valentino fragrances: P&G Prestige Products aimed to tap a new market — younger women who aspire to a luxurious lifestyle.

"To get ready for the next stage of growth we needed to get more younger consumers into the franchise," said Markus Strobel, vice president of P&G Prestige Products. "With Rock 'n Rose, we wanted it to be young and prestigious but also unexpected; we wanted people to look at it and say ‘Wow, can that be Valentino?'" During a recent interview at P&G offices here, Strobel said that after two successful launches with Valentino V and Valentino Absolu, P&G and the fashion house were ready to attract a new customer.

Rock 'n Rose was feted at a party in New York last month at the space at 7 World Trade Center, with Valentino playing host.

P&G declined to break out first-year sales, but industry sources expect Rock 'n Rose to generate at least $50 million globally at retail.

Strobel noted that he has high hopes for the U.S. and Russian markets, as well as the U.K. "We think it will do well in markets we have not cracked like the U.K., which is responding to new launches much stronger and quicker," said Strobel.

Since P&G Prestige Products acquired the license nearly three years ago, revenues for fragrance sales have increased sixfold, said Matteo Marzotto, chairman of Valentino SpA, in a phone interview this week. "We would like to do a lot more with the license — there will be more fragrance launches in 2008 and 2009 and we will launch some skin and body care products," said Marzotto. Asked if Valentino's signature red would make for a beautiful lipstick, Marzotto replied, "Not now, but there are plans to do color cosmetics eventually — we need to establish the fragrances more first."

Rock 'n Rose will be launched in 37 Neiman Marcus doors before Christmas and start rolling out to 1,100 doors in the U.S. in January. Other markets will also be added from January next year and will total fewer than 20,000 doors worldwide.

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