Byline: Julie Naughton

NEW YORK — With its new fragrance, Givenchy is out to separate the men from the boys.
“This isn’t a scent for a 16-year-old,” said Michael Feuling, senior vice president of marketing and advertising for Parfums Givenchy, of the fresh, classic men’s scent that the firm will launch in April. Feuling added that he expects the core user to be in his 30s. Givenchy Pour Homme is intended to build on the male base of customers the company built with Pi, which was rolled out to wide distribution in the spring of 2000, and to lay the foundation for a masterbrand for the firm, said Feuling, who added that a women’s counterpart to Givenchy Pour Homme is planned for 2003.
“Pi gave us a credibility in the men’s arena and a platform from which to launch more men’s scents,” said Camille McDonald, president and chief executive officer of Parfums Givenchy Inc., which includes the American Designer Fragrance group, and president and ceo of Guerlain Inc. “This is the first launch we will go full force with, with that platform in place.”
The scent is also a celebration of Givenchy’s 50th anniversary, noted McDonald.
“In this 50th year since Hubert de Givenchy founded the company, we’re reasserting our classic heritage with a modern, daring twist,” said McDonald. “We’ve always been known as the company that defines high couture and fashion. When the team in France started putting this together, they looked at a lot of ways to take advantage of our heritage and give it a modern edge without losing the classicism.”
The juice, by Alberto Morillas and Ilias Ermenidis of Firmenich, is intended to “redefine the freshness category,” said Francoise Donche, olfactory marketing manager for Givenchy, who also wanted unusual notes….”We had a priority to uphold Givenchy’s couture image,” she said.
The top note — which Donche calls the “fresh” note — is of cool grapefruit, tangerine, coriander and hedione, a jasmine molecule; the middle, or energy note includes essence of davana and vetiver, and the bottom, or seduction, note includes cedarwood, a hint of olibanum and vetiver.
The scent draws freshness from the top notes of tangerine, grapefruit and coriander, said Donche. “It is a fresh, transparent spice which brings very vivid light and an airy sensation to the rest of the signature,” she said. “And in the base note, a hint of olibanum gives a mysterious, sensuous touch to the woody accord.”
But Donche sees davana essence, the oil from a plant that bears fruit and grows in India, as perhaps the scent’s most unusual and key ingredient.
“It has not been widely used because many find its scent — like how wood smells when it’s mixed with alcohol — too direct,” she said. “We did research on it and kept only the core — like the oaky scent of wine barrels after the wine has been removed. We feel that it’s a very creative ingredient which will play an important role in the fragrance. Also, the cedarwood note mixed with the davana brings a creative identity with an essence of freshness.”
The elliptically shaped glass bottle, designed by sculptor Pablo Reinoso, is covered in a high-gloss metallic burgundy resin, with silver accents. The name is engraved on the lower third of the resin overlay.
The men’s fragrance will be on counter April 15 in Givenchy’s 1,900 North American doors — 1,800 in the U.S. and 100 in Canada — which include Macy’s, Burdine’s, Dillard’s and Marshall Field’s. It will launch in Europe in September.
The line includes a 3.3-oz. eau de toilette spray, $52; a 1.7-oz. eau de toilette spray, $42; a 3.3-oz. aftershave lotion, $42; a 3.3-oz. aftershave balm, $40; a 6.7-oz. allover shampoo, $20, and a 2.5-oz. anti-perspirant stick, $17.
While Feuling wouldn’t comment on the scent’s projected sales, industry sources estimated that it could do $30 million or more at retail in its first year on counter.
The advertising and promotional campaign will include the most scented pieces the company has ever done for a launch. More than 65 million scented pieces — including scented strips and samples — will be distributed between April 15 and June 15, said Feuling. The initial campaign is for May and June only and includes print advertising in women’s, men’s and dual-appeal magazines, including Maxim, GQ, In Style, Cosmopolitan and People.
The image focuses on “a new take on French luxury,” noted Feuling. The black-and-white photo features a shirtless man placing his white shirt over a mud puddle for a woman exiting a sportscar in the rain. The bottle is in color at the bottom left of the page.
A radio commercial in English and Spanish is also under consideration and will be tested before Father’s Day, said McDonald. While Feuling wouldn’t comment on what Givenchy would be spending for the initial advertising and promotional campaign, industry sources estimated that the brand would spend at least $6 million in its first year to promote it.