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Tiffany & Co., Coty Refocus on Fragrance

The brand will revive its fragrance business through a license with Coty.

Tiffany & Co. and Coty Inc. are hoping fragrance shoppers believe all good things take time.

The two companies have teamed to introduce the iconic jeweler’s first fragrance in 15 years — and its first in partnership with Coty, which now holds the Tiffany license. The company’s scents previously were done in conjunction with Chanel.

The lag since the last introduction of a Tiffany scent is a literal lifetime in the fragrance world, putting pressure on both the jewelry retailer – which this week named a new chief executive officer, Alessandro Bogliolo — and Coty to ensure its success.

“Not only is it the only jewelry brand in our portfolio, but it’s such an emotionally loaded brand. Tiffany, for me, is really the brand that incorporates all emotional moments in everyone’s life from engagements to marriage to [having a] first child,” said Edgar Huber, president of Coty Luxury at Coty Inc.

On Aug. 1, Tiffany’s eau de parfum will bow at Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street in New York and key Tiffany & Co. flagships in the U.S., with a worldwide rollout starting Oct. 1.

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Huber revealed that Coty is taking a different approach with this fragrance than it has with other designer licensees.

Rather than gunning for a spot on the top ten list of bestselling fragrances worldwide, Huber wants the Tiffany eau de parfum to be the “absolute reference for holiday gifts this year.” He declined to give sales projections, maintaining that Coty “is not focusing on financial results of this launch,” but on establishing Tiffany as a player in beauty.

“It’s so much about emotion. It’s about New York. It’s about an iconic American brand…which is extremely well-known in America, in Asia, but also in parts of Europe. It’s synonymous with quality and emotion,” Huber continued.

To evoke this emotion, every aspect of the fragrance embodies the Tiffany brand. A faceted glass bottle and juice that has a hint of blue are a nod to the 180-year-old brand’s heritage, but it’s the box — identical to the iconic Tiffany Blue box that all jewelry and gifts are packaged in — that’s likely to resonate most with consumers. Daniela Andrier, a master perfumer at Givaudan, likened iris — the hero ingredient of the eau de parfum — to a gemstone because it has so many facets. Retail prices for 30-ml., 50-ml. and 75-ml. bottles are $75, $105 and $132, respectively, with shower gel, body lotion and body cream ranging from $45 to $100.

Global distribution will remain limited, according to Huber. The scent will be sold at only 7,000 doors worldwide, including the jewelry house’s network of stores, with an emphasis on the U.S. and Asia. Core markets include the U.S., Asia, the U.K., Italy, Germany and travel retail, he said. This distribution is about a third of the other brands in Coty Luxury’s fragrance portfolio, from Calvin Klein to Marc Jacobs to Gucci.

“The key focus will be travel retail because of this highly emotional component in Tiffany’s,” Huber said. His goal is for the scent to become the number one gifting item this year for the holidays.

This also marks the first time a Tiffany fragrance will see a large-scale, global launch with retail partners. To date, the jewelry brand’s small stable of scents — now discontinued — were sold only at Tiffany boutiques. While projected sales are unknown, the venture with Coty could prove to be a new channel of revenue for the jeweler, which has been struggling in this area as of late.

While Caroline Naggiar, senior vice president, chief brand officer of Tiffany, said the company will “first and foremost always be a premier jeweler,” she does view fragrance as a way to invite a sizable amount of customers to the brand – both existing and new.

“It’s going to be a nice contribution in terms of sales, but [it also will serve as] a really wonderful introduction to a new larger group of customers,” Naggiar said, adding that the company plans to build a fragrance portfolio over time. “We’ll perhaps do a men’s fragrance…But this is the core scent, we want it to be a classic, we want it to last for a very long time. It’s the most emblematic of the heart and soul of the brand.”

Simona Cattaneo, chief marketing officer of Coty Luxury, agreed. For her, the “magic moment” of a consumer seeing that blue box brings forth a host of emotions, from optimism to love.

“At the end of the day, it’s really the symbol of love. Not only love… but all of the loving moments that you celebrate in your life – an engagement or just a gift you give to yourself. It’s a pretty amazing territory for a fragrance,” Cattaneo said.

And not only that. The brand also has multigenerational appeal, Cattaneo added. There is no target demographic, she explained, as the product resonates with men and women from birth to adulthood.

“We really want to position the first signature fragrance as an iconic gifting choice. We want to be the gifting fragrance,” she said, noting that a marketing strategy includes print, digital and in-store activations.

The ad campaign, which will hit September and October books depending on the region, was shot by Steven Meisel and highlights the “pulse points of the body” (the neck, wrists and behind the ears), Tiffany Blue, and naturally, diamonds. A digital teaser campaign will roll out online Aug. 1 and in-store efforts will be driven by creative services that illustrate “the art of gifting.”