Calgon Ahh ... Spa Asia collection.

Coty Beauty's Calgon brand wants to travel the world, with plans to hit a slew of breathtaking locales along the way.

NEW YORK — Coty Beauty’s Calgon brand wants to travel the world, with plans to hit a slew of breathtaking locales along the way.

Leaning on its ubiquitous tag line “Take Me Away,” the specialty bath line will venture into territories that play on destination and escape, explained Roslyn Griner, vice president of bath and body for Coty Beauty. “We have a category that’s declining so we have to take more risks,” she declared.

Calgon’s more adventuresome spirit is geared at grabbing a younger consumer, one born after the brand’s heyday in the Seventies (women 16 to 24 years of age).

The first stop on Calgon’s world tour is Asia. Called Ahh … Spa Asia, the collection is the latest addition to the brand’s Ahh … Spa line, which the company introduced in May 2003 to tap into the growing spa market.

The collection is intended to move Calgon in a more sophisticated direction, noted Paul Seplowitz, vice president of product development for Coty Beauty. Each of the four products is formulated with Skin Radiance Complex, an ingredient blend based on vitamins C and E, antioxidants and Asian botanicals, such as ginger and ginseng. For instance, the Creamy Moisturizing Oil body lotion is formulated with sesame seed oil. The remaining products include Foaming Body Wash with ginseng, Detoxifying Bath Soak with rice extract and Energizing Body Mist with ginger.

Coty is giving the line a fine fragrance treatment, working with Takasago International to develop the products’ crisp, fresh scent. The fragrance is described as a citrus accord of mandarin, bergamot, wrapped with ginger flower, jasmine, orange blossom and freesia, with a dry down of Asian amber and patchouli leaf.

The line — an intended departure from Calgon’s typical fruity-floral scents — seeks to tap into the mystique of Asia’s ancient beauty secrets, noted Sherryl Zucker, group marketing director global fragrances, Coty Beauty. That positioning is magnified in the collection’s advertising visuals. Print ads, slated to break in September beauty books, include the tag line, “Skin as smooth as silk.” Products featured in the ad are grouped alongside a woman demurely showing off radiant skin. Zucker commented, “Everybody sees themselves in beautiful skin.”

This story first appeared in the June 3, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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Next up on Calgon’s tour is an escape to the beach. Calgon will expand its traditional scent collections with the introduction of Perfect Bliss, described as a clean scent of fresh citrus and sheer floral. Coty worked with Symrise to develop the fragrance that has top notes of juicy tamarin, ruby red grapefruit and sparkling orange; a heart of velvety jasmine, elegant rose and delicate muguet, and bottom notes of sheer musk, warm vanilla and sandalwood.

The collection includes Instant Refreshment Body Mist, 24-Hour Moisture Body Lotion, Moisturizing Body Wash and Powder Milk Bath. In keeping with its destination and escape theme, the packaging image is a photo of a white Adirondack-style chair set on a nondescript beach. Ads will break in September beauty books and appear on a rotating basis with Ah…Spa Asia ads until December.

The two collections — which bow in August — arrive on the heels of Calgon’s packaging revamp in February, which sought to simplify packaging, leverage the brand’s tag line “Take Me Away,” and tout product benefits, such as 24-hour moisture. Calgon is scouting out new destinations by asking visitors to its Web site,, to choose their dream destination from a list of far-off regions.

Griner promised more dramatic changes next year, but refers to the current initiatives as “an evolution, not a revolution.” She commented that the success of Jessica Simpson’s Dessert Treats, the mass-market version of Dessert Beauty, may have succeeded in showing retailers that making room for an entire collection can bolster category sales. Several drugstores promoted the Dessert Treats, which bowed this spring, in front windows and merchandised all products together — including ancillary items such as lip gloss — in one cohesive display.

Griner explained that by cherry-picking items, retailers have fragmented the category, and that brand equity of specialty bath lines has suffered as a result. Thus far, Coty has chosen not to leverage its stable of celebrities in the specialty bath arena. Griner acknowledged that the company is looking at the concept, but added that the big takeaway from Simpson’s entry is that nontraditional items may help liven up the soggy category. Excluding Wal-Mart, specialty bath sales (which includes bath fragrance and bubble bath) slipped 7.4 percent to $88.8 million for the 52 weeks ended April 17, according to Information Resources Inc. Calgon sales dipped 7.8 percent, without Wal-Mart, to $34 million. While Griner would not comment on overall sales, she reported Calgon sales at Wal-Mart are up 12 percent year-to-date. Industry sources forecast that the addition of Ah…Spa Asia and Perfect Bliss will generate $15 million in first-year retail sales.

Tapping into Coty’s fragrance heritage, Calgon moved into the fragrance business with an eau de parfum spray based on Calgon’s Tahitian Orchid scent, which was introduced in May 2004. The fragrance, called Tahitian Orchid Intense Eau de Parfum Spray, bowed in February alongside Calgon products in the specialty bath category. The Perfect Bliss collection will include an eau de parfum for the holidays.

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