Byline: Julie Naughton

NEW YORK — Lancome hopes to prove that a Miracle can happen twice with the U.S. launch this summer of its newest men’s scent.
While the American men’s fragrance market is admittedly in a tough condition these days, Luc Nadeau, president of L’Oreal’s Luxury Products Division, believes that the company’s new Miracle for Men has what it takes to overcome market challenges.
“When you look at all of the elements of a successful fragrance launch, you realize that you need a great juice, a great bottle, a strong brand name and a terrific advertising campaign,” said Nadeau. “We think we’ve hit all of these with this launch.” The fragrance is the male counterpart to Miracle for Women, launched in Europe in fall 2000 and in the U.S. in February 2001.
In fact, the team’s immediate goal is to vault the launch to the level the women’s scent has already achieved in the U.S. market, said Dalia Chammas, senior vice president and general manager of Lancome. “Our goal when we launched the women’s version of Miracle was to move into the top five in the American fragrance market with it,” said Chammas. “We’ve achieved that, and now we want to make that happen with the men’s scent, also within its first 12 months on counter.”
The Miracle for Men fragrance collection will be available in about 2,000 department and specialty store doors on June 1, in time to catch Father’s Day traffic. “Since so much of the men’s fragrance business — as much as 80 percent — is driven by Father’s Day and Christmas, launching at this time made perfect sense,” said Chammas. Also, added Nadeau: “The momentum in the industry is picking up, and we’re past the toughest part of the year. The timing couldn’t be better.”
While none of the executives would comment on projected sales for the scent, industry sources estimated that the men’s juice would do about $35 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter.
The scent, by Quest’s Francis Kurkdjian, has top notes of maple leaves, oakmoss and red pepper, middle notes of frozen coffee, rossitol and cedarwood, and base notes of vetiver, gaiacwood and rosewood.
The bottle, by Charles Boussiquet of Areca, is a streamlined, clear glass rectangle finished with silver writing and a silver cap. Its outer box is a dark coffee shade and was designed in-house by Anke Schafer.
The juice is also intended to be appealing to women, added Maeve Coburn, senior vice president of marketing for Lancome. “Since studies show that women buy more than 50 percent of men’s fragrances, we wanted to make sure that we had a scent that would appeal to both men and women. From the testing we’ve done, we think we’ve achieved this goal.”
“The fragrance is outstanding in its own right, but it also has a compatibility with the women’s juice that we think will make it very appealing to consumers,” said Elana Drell-Szyfer, assistant vice president of fragrance marketing for Lancome. Miracle for Men’s advertisement was created by Air, the Paris advertising agency which also created Miracle for Women’s campaign, and photographed by Peter Lindbergh. It depicts French actor/director Mathieu Kassovitz, best known for his role in “Amelie,” in a cityscape looking into the distance, intended to resemble Uma Thurman’s gaze in the Miracle ad. The photograph has a flash of light to evoke a sunrise, along with a product shot and a tag line reading: “You make it happen.”
The collection includes eau de toilette sprays in 1.7 oz. and 3.4 oz. sizes, retailing for $40 and $58, respectively; a 3.4-oz. aftershave lotion for $40; a 3.4-oz. aftershave balm for $34; a 6.7-oz. hair and body shampoo for $25; a 2.6-oz. deodorant stick for $15, and a 1.7-oz. daily moisturizing lotion for $30.
National print advertising will break in June books, said Coburn. The strategy includes women’s, men’s and dual audience books, including Elle, GQ and Vanity Fair. The campaign will also include a program intended to disseminate more than 30 million scented impressions within the first six months of launch, including blow-ins and scented strips. While none of the executives would comment on the advertising and promotional budget for the scent, industry sources estimated that Lancome would spend about $10 million in the scent’s first year in the U.S. to promote it.

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