NEW SCENTS SCORE, BUT CLASSICS STRONG IN WEST

Byline: Teena Hammond

LOS ANGELES — Classics like Chanel No. 5 are among the most popular fragrances at several West Coast retailers, although new, fresh scents such as Davidoff’s Cool Water Woman, Barneys New York’s Route du The and Hugo Woman also are in demand.
At Gottschalks, a department store chain based in Fresno, Calif., fragrance sales for men and women have had mid-single-digit increases this year compared with last, with men’s doing slightly better than women’s, said Bob Wiser, divisional merchandise manager for cosmetics and fragrance.
Among recent launches, Cool Water Woman “has done nicely,” he said. Among men’s, Estee Lauder’s Pleasures for Men “is doing so well during its first three weeks that I expect it to be my number-one men’s fragrance for the first full year that it’s in my store.”
For upcoming fall launches, Wiser expects Happy by Clinique and Giorgio’s Hugo Woman to be big among women’s fragrances. In men’s, he’s looking for Giorgio Armani’s Acqua di Gio Pour Homme to be popular.
The overall “biggies” in women’s, Wiser said, are Calvin Klein’s Eternity and Obsession, Chanel’s Allure, Lauder’s Pleasures, Lancome’s Tresor and White Diamonds.
Among men’s, “Tommy Hilfiger has been spectacular,” and Obsession, Hugo, Polo Sport and Aramis are doing well. Cool Water “has had a major resurgence,” he said.
At Macy’s West, Gucci Envy is “doing exceptionally well” among the recent launches and “Tommy Girl is still outstanding,” said Michelle Williams, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for cosmetics and fragrance. (She has since resigned from the position.)
The most popular women’s fragrances at Macy’s West are the Calvin Klein scents and Chanel No. 5. Hugo Woman, Cool Water Woman and Givenchy’s Organza also are selling well.
In the men’s category, Pleasures for Men “has been incredible” and sales of Obsession, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo, Polo Sport and Eternity are strong, Williams said.
At Barneys, in addition to the private label Route du The, women are snatching up Floret by Antonia’s Flowers and Creed’s Spring Flowers, along with Hermes and Bulgari fragrances, according to Heidi Manheimer, divisional merchandise manager for cosmetics.
“And Yohji Yamamoto has been a nice addition to our business,” Manheimer said, adding that she is looking forward to the reintroduction of Rifat Ozbek’s signature scent this fall at Barneys.
Fred Segal Essentials is having luck with a new fragrance named Cielo. It’s made in northern California and all its ingredients are from the wine country, said Robin Coe-Hutshing, owner of the upscale boutique in Santa Monica, Calif.
Fred Segal’s fragrance sales are up 38 percent this year compared with last, she added.
Another item that’s pushing sales at the store is Perfect Gardenia, made by Creative Sensualization. “It smells like a gardenia when you pick it off a bush,” Coe-Hutshing said. Floret “is doing really well,” she added, along with fragrances from L’Artisan Parfumer.
In the Annick Goutal line, “Eau de Sud is doing really well,” Coe-Hutshing noted. “It’s a progression from Eau d’Hadrien. It’s just a little bit milder, with some citrusy elements.”
The vanilla-based Comptoir Sud Pacifique fragrances in aluminum spray cans also are still popular. Another new scent at Fred Segal’s is Balsamic Velvet, a solid fragrance with a balsam tuberose scent.
Among men’s brands, the bestseller is Jean Darm, Coe-Hutsching said.

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