NEW YORK — Call it the art of scent.
With the fall launch of its first fragrance, called Sandalwood Eau de Toilette, men’s grooming marketer The Art of Shaving hopes to boost its total sales volume past $15 million this year.
“We’ve spent the first five years building the brand [by] focusing on our market position,” stated co-founder Eric Malka, referring to the company’s formation eight years ago, growth of its wholesale operations and product line extensions — from its core shaving assortment into skin care, hair care and face care. “I anticipate the size of the business will triple in the next two years,” added Malka. Expansion of the firm’s wholesale and company-owned retail operations is expected to drive growth.
As is the new fragrance, which is expected to bow in the company’s U.S. distribution network of more than 400 wholesale doors — and its five company-owned retail stores — in mid-September. Sandalwood could generate $1.2 million in first-year retail sales, according to industry estimates.
The firm had been considering a stand-alone fragrance since the late- Nineties, according to Cary Brown, vice president of marketing. “It was a matter of the company getting to the right footing in the market to launch it,” he said. Sandalwood is among the fragrances featured in the brand’s existing product assortment and executives wanted to do a fragrance as far back as the late-Nineties, he noted. Now, “we have a big customer base and we could do it in such a way that retailers would get behind us,” he added.
The firm estimates that 50,000 men visit its freestanding stores annually. The Art of Shaving products are carried in about 200 specialty and department store doors — such as Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom — venues where men’s grooming is of increasing importance, Brown contended. It’s carried in roughly the same number of apothecaries and men’s clothiers.
Malka’s wife, Myriam Zaoui Malka, blended Sandalwood. Thanks to her training in aromatherapy and Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, she devised the scent’s olfactory accords of eucalyptus, jasmine, fir, sandalwood, myrrh, patchouli and vanilla. A single, 100-ml. version will be available for $70.
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Future plans to grow The Art of Shaving’s product assortment include a bath and body care collection, which the company would like to introduce in the spring. — Matthew W. Evans