MAT; IS AT IT AGAIN

Byline: Matthew W. Evans

NEW YORK — Doubling the fun could be a boon for mat; — the limited-distribution fragrance from Japanese fashion designer Masaki Matsushima.
The brand, which bowed as a New York exclusive at Jeffrey in April, quickly proceeded to the specialty boutique’s top-selling fragrance spot. Now, mat; is introducing two new scents, called mat; Blue and mat; Pink. Billed as limited-edition stand-alones, the fragrances are set to bow for Valentine’s Day.
“This is the next step,” Alec Batis, head of marketing for mat; at distributor Quadrant Cosmetics, said of the new initiative. Still, he said, the focus is to “keep [the brand] limited and put emphasis on it.” Currently, industry sources put wholesale sales volume for the total brand at $3 million. That number is seen increasing by two-thirds next year.
“Since we’ve had it,” David Rubenstein, vice president and general merchandise manager of Jeffrey, said of the original scent, “it’s been our number one selling fragrance every month. In Manhattan, which is such a large fragrance market, to have something special that someone can only buy at Jeffrey is an important selling point.”
Jeffrey is still the only place New Yorkers — and Atlantans for that matter — can buy the fragrance. And, since most of the fragrances Jeffrey New York carries reflect designers also found in the boutique, Rubenstein noted that mat; is in good company with scents from Michael Kors, Helmut Lang and Jil Sander.
Mat; also launched simultaneously in 26 Nordstrom doors in April. Now, Nordstrom carries the scent in 70 doors. Also, Dillard’s decided to stock the scent in 90 doors, mainly in Texas.
The new juices, created by Takasago’s Jean Jacques, are based on the original. However, the crystal musk at the base of mat; has been magnified for Blue. For Pink, the opposite was done with mat;’s mango top note; it was pulled entirely. Pink also features notes of red rose.
Both Pink and Blue are priced at $60 for a 1.35-oz. bottle. Between Jan. 30, when they hit counters, and Mother’s Day, seen as the end of their selling period, Pink and Blue could combine to generate sales of $250,000 at retail.

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