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Roger & Gallet, the pioneering French personal care brand, has a new positioning — and it’s private. Private luxury, that is: Luxury that is intimate, to be used in the privacy of the home, not a luxury brand tied to social status.

That, according to Christophe Melard, chief executive officer of Roger & Gallet, will allow the masses to access the brand, along with its new partnership with Perfumania, where Roger & Gallet items in September will be sold in the chain’s 320 outlets in the U.S. Two additional retail partnerships are expected to be announced by the end of the year, the company said, adding that YSL Beauté Holding, which is the brand’s parent, also is working on a number of direct-sales operations, beginning with a Roger & Gallet e-commerce site by next spring, as well as Roger & Gallet flagships in key markets. L’Oréal purchased YSL Beauté from PPR in the first quarter of this year.

The $150 million global personal care brand makes soap, fragrant water, cream, lotion, shower gel, exfoliants and candles in more than 200 stockkeeping units — less than half of that number is sold in the U.S. Scents fall under two categories: Fresh (Citron, Jean Marie Farina, Ginger, Green Tea) and Gentle (Vanilla and Bamboo).

The brand’s heritage dates back to France in 1806 when perfumer Jean-Marie Farina created the signature Roger & Gallet perfume. In 1862, Armand Roger and Charles Gallet bought the perfume, patented it and used the scent to create the first soap with pure fragrance in it, said Melard. By mixing the oils and perfume by hand, Roger & Gallet to this day uses a very traditional production process.

In the U.S., Roger & Gallet products are sold in 400 doors, including independent boutiques and pharmacies, salons and gift shops. New items are planned for this year and beyond. New liquid and cream hand soaps will launch in October in Perfumania. The chain also will sell selected items from the brand’s various scent ranges. There are also two new scents planned for next year: Iceland and Cherry Blossom. A new spa line, Spa Pour Soi, was cocreated with spa and treatment expert Galya Ortega and is slated to launch next year, too.

This story first appeared in the July 3, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Extensive point-of-sale sampling, will help get the brand into consumers’ hands, said Melard, who is hopeful for the brand and its expansion.

“We are very lucky to have in our hands something that is so true,” he said.

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