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Vince Camuto Debuting Men’s Scent

Produced by licensee Parlux Fragrances, the new scent is due to land on counter about Aug. 15.

Vince Camuto, founder and chief executive officer of his own rapidly expanding fashion franchise, is following up the launch of his successful women’s scent last year with his debut, in mid-August, on the men’s side of the fragrance aisle.

Like the women’s scent, the companion men’s product simply bears Camuto’s name and family crest, with a masculine touch of the bottle’s surface tightly wrapped in black leather. Produced by licensee Parlux Fragrances, the new scent is due to land on counter about Aug. 15, with a department store distribution of approximately 1,300 doors.

The formula, developed by Harry Fremont of Firmenich, is billed as a boldly fresh, woodsy blend. It opens with the freshness of Italian bergamot and sparkling mandarin anchored by black pepper. The energy of lavender is merged with the spice of nutmeg and sensuality of leather. Precious woods, vetiver and patchouli combine with the masculinity of musk.

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Like the women’s product, the men’s scent was developed with the collaboration of the Camuto Group’s creative director, Louise Camuto.

The fragrance will be priced at $57 for a 1.7-oz. eau de toilette spray and $70 for the 3.4-oz. size, as well as a 2.75-oz. deodorant stick for $17.

Both Camuto and Parlux ceo Frederick Purches seem confident that the new men’s product will match the stronger-than-expected performance of the women’s scent last year. While neither executive would discuss figures, the women’s launch generated $15 million at retail from its introduction last August to the end of Parlux’s fiscal year on March 31. “The men’s could outsell the women’s,” said Purches, whose company was acquired by Perfumania earlier this year.

Camuto appears as an enthusiastic brand builder, and Purches went out of his way to praise him as “a wonderful partner.” Referring to last year’s women’s launch, Purches continued, “Vince invested all of his royalties (reportedly $350,000) for that period in scented strips.”

Similarly, the fashion and fragrance companies are teaming up once again to get behind the men’s launch.

According to industry sources, about $1 million has been earmarked for advertising and promotion. Ads will appear in magazines like GQ, Maxim, Esquire, Details, InStyle, Cosmopolitan and People. The fragrance also will be promoted in store catalogues during the holidays. Blow-ins will be used with Dillard’s. The men’s fragrance launch will also be supported with liberal use of gift-with-purchase promotions, featuring a duffel bag at launch and a smaller bag for Valentine’s Day.

The fragrances will also be cross-merchandised with the backbone of Camuto’s fashion franchise, the shoe business. Dual men’s and women’s scented strips will be inserted into one million boxes of women’s shoes — because, as Louise Camuto pointed out, women still control 60 percent of purchases.