NEW YORK — Add another brand to the growing ranks of sport fragrances.
Baryshnikov Sport for Men, from Richard Barrie Fragrances, made its debut in early March at about 500 J.C. Penney doors for an exclusive two-week period. The fragrance rolled out to between 2,000 and 3,000 perfumery chains, drugstores and some department store doors by the end of the month.
“Sport is the magic word in fragrances now, and Baryshnikov is a great athlete, so it’s a natural tie-in,” said Richard Barrie, president of the company. The new product is following on the heels of the mammoth launches of Ralph Lauren’s Polo Sport and Polo Sport Woman, along with Tsumura’s new Royal Copenhagen Sport. “We felt it was time to expand our men’s business by targeting consumers who are looking for a lighter, fresher fragrance,” Barrie added.
Baryshnikov for Men was introduced five years ago, while its counterpart for women was launched about a year ago.
According to Barrie, the three fragrances in the Baryshnikov franchise should do a total of about $15 million at retail this year.
Although she declined to disclose specific numbers, Ann Gravseth, cosmetics merchandise manager at Penney’s, said that Baryshnikov Sport performed well in its first week.
“The brand was our number four men’s brand in its introductory week, and when you put Baryshnikov and Baryshnikov Sport together, they were the number one men’s brand for that week,” she said. “We look forward to it being strong as we go into the summer sporty season, which we think will attract new customers to the Baryshnikov franchise.”
Although the Baryshnikov men’s and women’s fragrances were originally launched in department stores, Barrie has shifted the distribution to mass outlets.
“As a smaller company, we can’t compete head-on with the major launches from companies like Procter & Gamble, L’OrAal and EstAe Lauder. We get lost in the shuffle,” he said. “To grow, we have to take the products to other stores that want department store brands and will handle the fragrances in that way, and we’ve found that niche with some of the stores that we sell to.”
Department stores that carry the Baryshnikov brands include Penney’s and select Dillard’s doors, while drug chains selling the fragrances include Walgreens, the American Stores chain and Eckerd.
Baryshnikov Sport, which was developed by Creations Aromatique, combines ginger root with grapefruit, tangerine and armoise in the top note. The heart is composed of lavender and jasmine accented with clove, black pepper and a touch of melon. The dry down consists of sandalwood, patchouli, musk and frankincense.
The collection consists of a 1.7-oz. cologne spray for $24, a 3.3-oz. cologne spray for $35 and a 7.8-oz. hair and body wash and a 1.7-oz. face fitness moisturizer, $10 each.
Barrie will commence a national advertising campaign for Baryshnikov Sport in October, although details have not been finalized. In the meantime, an introductory gift-with-purchase — which consists of a sports watch — and over one million scented cards will be used to promote the fragrance. The company is planning on offering an umbrella as a Father’s Day gwp and will introduce gift sets and other gwp’s in the second half of the year.
Baryshnikov himself, who Barrie said was involved in every stage of the scent’s development, will not be making in-store personal appearances, but he is currently dancing on tour, an event which Barrie said generates positive publicity for the fragrances.
Barrie said that the recent acquisition of his firm by Parlux Fragrances should result in increased international distribution for the Baryshnikov fragrances, which are currently distributed in North America and the Mideast.
In addition, he added that the firm is planning on introducing a women’s version of a sport fragrance, under the Baryshnikov name, with a launch tentatively scheduled for spring 1997.

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