GIORGIO TO SASSY GIRLS: THIS IS SO YOU

Byline: Pete Born

NEW YORK — The Giorgio girl — that sexy, brash young thing with the brazen fragrance from the early Eighties — is about to be reincarnated.
At least, that’s the plan. Procter & Gamble, owner of the Giorgio Beverly Hills brand, and its department store distributor, the Clarins Fragrance Group, are set to launch a new Giorgio women’s fragrance, called So You. It will be be officially unveiled March 29 with an exclusive at Bloomingdale’s, one of Giorgio’s original launch stores in the early Eighties.
But more is at stake than another fragrance launch. Clarins executives are betting $1 million — that’s the estimated amount earmarked for advertising and promotion — on the notion the Giorgio gestalt can be reinterpreted and reinvigorated for the new millennium. As summed up by Joseph Horowitz, president of Clarins USA Inc., the goal is to “reshape and restage the Giorgio Beverly Hills franchise for the future.” He noted that Giorgio Beverly Hills always does well in consumer brand awareness surveys.
The positioning of the fragrance relies on a prototype target consumer that has been dubbed “the Sassy woman,” an independent young spirit aged 25 to 40, who is the contemporary equivalent of the customers who flocked to the original Giorgio scent in 1982, according to Michele de Bourbon, director of marketing. She noted that the objective is to update the free-spiritedness and sense of abandon that characterized the original marketing experience.
Clarins will sponsor a six-city book tour of Regena Thomashauer, author of the soon-to-be-released “Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts.” She is being positioned as the voice of the Sassy generation. “She is writing about what our fragrance is about,” said Brad Horowitz, vice president of marketing. “It’s not an artificial marriage.” The company plans to do sampling and orchestrate other tie-ins during Thomashauer’s appearances.
Clarins also has retained Judy Gordon, a consumer trend reporter and owner of Trendreport.com, to do a survey of the Sassy generation.
The fragrance, developed by Quest International, is classified as a rich, textured oriental. The top note contains plum and osmanthus, with a dry down featuring a floral blend of tuberose, violet, rose otto and water lily. The base consists of maple wood, tolu balsam, a vanilla infusion, musk and amber.
The bottle, designed by Serge Mansau, has an unusual crimped and dimpled shape that is adept at catching and magnifying light. The line will consist of only three stockkeeping units: a 5-oz. shower gel priced at $25, a body lotion for $30 and a 3-oz. eau de parfum priced at $65.
The company did not discuss sales projections or advertising budgets, but industry sources estimate that the new fragrance should do in excess of $2 million at retail in its launch year in Bloomingdale’s, which is a respectable amount considering the initial distribution will consist of one chain. Clarins is shooting for the top five.
The entire Giorgio fragrance franchise still reportedly does more than $30 million a year.
Brad Horowitz and Brad Mandler, vice president of sales, have mapped out a promotional campaign for Bloomingdale’s, which includes scented strips and ads in store catalogs, beginning with the current ready-to-wear edition and culminating in the 800,000-circulation Mother’s Day catalog. The fragrance will also be heavily sampled with 100,000 deluxe sprays and 100,000 other pieces ready to be handed out.

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