Men’s grooming brand Baxter of California is getting back into the fragrance game — after 35 years — with the mid-April launch of two new scents exclusively at Barneys New York.
This story first appeared in the March 13, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The fragrances, called Bravado 2 and Bravado 3, play off the name of the original scent, which was launched in the early- to mid-Seventies and called — what else? — Bravado.
“We wanted to branch out into not just grooming but lifestyle,” said Baxter president Jean Pierre Mastey. “This allowed us to leverage that claim.”
In 2001, Mastey acquired Baxter, which was founded in 1965 by Baxter Finley. “There was literally a case [of the original Bravado fragrance] left when I came on board; fast forward a couple of years, I decided to bring [cologne] back, but I didn’t want it to smell like the original,” Mastey said.
The first formula, which was blended by fragrance supplier Belmay, will be “archived,” according to Mastey, who noted that Belmay also did the new scents.
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He added that Bravado 2 has an edgy, citrus and musky accord, while Bravado 3 has more soapy, clean and softer notes.
While the 20-item Baxter grooming range (in addition, Baxter markets candles) is carried at roughly 180 independent boutiques, the exclusive distribution deal with Barneys represents the first time the brand has partnered with a major specialty store retailer.
For the April launch, Barneys locations in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and Dallas are to take on the two colognes. While the length of the exclusive with Barneys has yet to be determined, Mastey said he sees the total number of stores eventually carrying the scents branching out to about 20. This is about the same number of stores that carry Baxter’s candle series.
Bravado 2 and Bravado 3 each come in one size: a 100-ml. bottle for $80.
Based on the brand’s distribution in the U.S. and internationally, the scents could generate upward of $1 million in first-year retail sales volume globally, according to industry sources.
In addition to being carried at stores such as Freemans Sporting Club in New York and Studio Fred Segal in Los Angeles, Baxter is also found at Colette in Paris and has distribution elsewhere in France, Germany and Japan.
The packaging for the colognes, which was designed by Marc Atlan, employs ink-splattered graphics, but instead of using real ink, they are created using foil. Also, the scents’ cartons are free of glue. Each cylindrical glass bottle also has the ink-splattered effect, out of which the number 2 or 3 takes shape.
Albert Giordan photographed in-store visuals that will be used to support the scents. Also, more than 10,000 samples of the colognes will be distributed in stores.