Disruptions to traditional distribution methods have not stopped International Cosmetics & Perfumes Inc., which is launching three brands in the U.S.
ICP, which has U.S. distribution rights for the House of Creed, has taken on three family-run brands — Domaine Privé, Akro and Mizensir — at various price points. “The reasoning behind taking on these brands is it doesn’t impact Creed. We want brands at different price points and cater to a different clientele, also to experience different types of distribution channels,” said Thomas Saujet, president of ICP.
The business, which has grown between 14 and 16 percent for five years, has three criteria when curating its portfolio, said Emmanuel Saujet, chief executive officer of ICP. “We have three pillars in our business that drive our growth: craftsmanship, quality and heritage. All these three have been playing major positioning in how we’ve driven our business,” he said.
To that end, each brand is founded by an industry veteran with familial ties in its business: nose Olivier Cresp founded Akro with his daughter; master perfumer Alberto Morillas started Mizensir with his wife and daughter, and Claude Saujet, ICP parent company chairman (and father of Emmanuel and Thomas Saujet) founded Domaine Privé.
Given the seismic shifts in distribution over the past year, ICP is learning from the growth of Creed, which saw a 50 percent lift in its e-commerce business. “The big thing is how we’ll feed even more e-commerce business. How do we engage with people directly in their homes and do it virtually in these Zooms? That’s the big focus, but brick-and-mortar isn’t going away, and it’s going to take a lot of traction in stores to create brand awareness,” Thomas Saujet said.
For Akro, founded by Cresp, daughter Anaïs Cresp and partner Jack Miskelly, will enter the U.S. market with a focus on e-commerce. The name comes from the French slang word for addiction, and the brand is launching with six scents centered around various vices — namely sex, cigarettes, cannabis, alcohol, chocolate and caffeine — called Night, Smoke, Haze, Malt, Dark and Awake, respectively. Each bottle will retail for $160 per 100 ml.
“It’ll have a really strong play in the social and digital world we’re living in today,” Thomas Saujet said. It is also available in Lucky Scent and online retailer Scent Beauty; industry sources estimate the brand to reach $2 million in retail sales by 2023.
Cresp is also optimistic given Akro’s specific brand story. “Between the six fragrances, we have fun positioning and feel our fragrances will do well on the American market,” Cresp said. “The number-one platform to build our brand is for sure North America, and then China, which is also a growing market.“
Mizensir, whose name comes from the French phrase mise-en-scène, focused on home fragrance until a pivot to fine fragrance in 2015. The brand has six candle scents (called Bois de Tibet, Fleur d’Oranger, Pivoine du Matin, Palissandre des Indes, Verveine Menthe and Sapin de Noël), each available for $85, and 10 personal scents (Ideal Oud, Perfect Oud, For Your Love, Mythique Vetyver, Cologne de Figuier, Eau de Gingembre, Très Chère, Rose Exaltante and Luxury), each available for $260 per 100 ml.
Mizensir is focusing on niche retailers, such as partners Aedes, Joe Brand and Lucky Scent; however, Thomas Saujet mentioned plans to expand into two national retailers in the spring. Industry sources estimate the brand could reach $4 million in retail sales in the U.S by 2023.
“The U.S. is an important market for me because of the perfumes I’ve created there,” Morillas said, having created CK One by Calvin Klein, and Acqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani. “Now, it’s my own brand, and my own story.”
Domaine Privé was also founded on professional experience — founder Saujet sees the brand as the culmination of his career. “My professional experience is in two sectors: perfumes and jewelry,” he said. “Now, I’m trying to meld both.”
The brand has six personal scents — called Cedrat, Chevrefeuille, Lavande, Rhubarbe, Vanille and Rose — priced at $115 for 100 ml. Industry sources estimate it could reach $1 million in retail sales by 2023.
“Our father is very focused on luxury,” said Emmanuel Saujet of the brand. “We got that from him, and we always wanted to make sure ICP’s portfolio was very selective. Now is the first time we’ve had so many brands in our portfolio.”
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