With its new fragrance, Oceans, Coty Beauty is taking its Nautica brand on a new journey — in more ways than one.

This story first appeared in the November 21, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“This launch is a big turning point for us,” said Steve Mormoris, senior vice president of global marketing for Coty Beauty. “With Nautica Oceans, we are launching a water-based scent with a breakthrough technology being used for the first time in this fragrance. We are also building a green platform with this launch: Oceans is an environmentally responsible fragrance which utilizes biodegradable ingredients and packaging. These are the types of products that shape categories and give them interest.”

The patent-pending micro-emulsion technology, licensed to Coty by Michel Mane, the perfumer, allows for a concentrated oil load of up to 20 percent to be built into water-based fragrances — and as a bonus, also offers skin benefits, said Marsha Brooks, Coty’s vice president of global marketing. “Most water-based scents have 2 to 3 percent concentration of oil,” she said. “With this new procedure, we’re able to up that percentage — we are using a 10 percent oil concentration for Oceans, which means less skin dryness and irritation, especially as this juice is completely alcohol-free.”

Nautica has a two-year exclusive on the technology, added Mary John Baumann, Coty Beauty’s group director of global marketing. According to Mormoris, the technology will likely be used in other Coty launches.

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Oceans, a fresh aquatic fougere, has top notes of ocean air and lemon tonic; a heart of sea salt rose, lavender reef and geranium, and a drydown of amber crystals, sun-drenched teak and regatta accord.

The bottle design is inspired by a signal flag and is topped with a cap resembling a cleat on a sailboat. In keeping with the brand’s eco-conscious theme, the outer box is composed of 30 percent recycled material, 100 percent recyclable and produced by wind power.

The collection includes eaux de toilette in two sizes, 50 ml. for $49 and 100 ml for $65; a 100 ml. aftershave balm, $38, and a 75 g. deodorant stick, $16.

It will be launched in mid-March in about 1,900 department doors in the U.S. While none of the executives would discuss sales projections or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that Oceans would do upward of $30 million at retail globally, with about 80 percent of that figure expected to be done in the U.S. Advertising and promotional spending could top $10 million globally, said sources.

While past Nautica positionings featured a man-against-the-sea theme, Oceans is more “man at one with the sea,” said Baumann. Added Mormoris, “We’re taking a luxury fashion brand and pushing the envelope way past predictable.”

National advertising, featuring Luke Flynn (grandson of silver-screen legend Errol Flynn) will break in April magazines, with the media plan to include men’s lifestyle, dual gender and women’s magazines, said Baumann. The campaign was shot by Mikael Jasson in Sorrento, Italy, earlier this year.

Coty is aiming for 40 million scented impressions with the new scent, said Baumann, adding that all point of sale materials will be recyclable, including tester units, blotters, vials on cards and containers. As well, Nautica is developing a program with Oceana, with details to be divulged at a later date.

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