THE DOG STORY CONTINUES

Byline: Matthew W. Evans

NEW YORK — The dog is getting fresher.
Dog Generation, a small Paris-based beauty marketer, launched a prestige fragrance for people and their canines last year, called Oh My Dog, and now it has taken the next step — a lighter version named, naturally enough, Oh My Dog is Fresh. The follow-up, expected to help lift the company above the $10 million sales mark this year, is a “lighter-and-fresher” concentration of the original scent, executives said. It will arrive in early June in select distribution.
Etienne de Swardt, one of a trio of creators that includes Laurent Jugeau and Olivier Echaudemaison, said in a recent interview, at an Upper West Side dog park, that the move had been planned well before the success in December of Oh My Dog. “It was an idea right from the beginning, to come up with something for summer,” said de Swardt. The new fragrance will be launched as the company is widening distribution of the brand to select Nordstrom and Sephora doors.
Bowing last summer, Oh My Dog became a surprise hit during the holiday selling season at Saks Fifth Avenue, where it was exclusively launched. It reportedly placed among top-sellers, like Chanel, for the month of December.
The fragrance, developed by Bernard Ellena of Dragoco, has top notes of rosewood and orange blossom, a heart of freesia and osmanthus, and a dry-down of vanilla and sandalwood. But not merely a fragrance, the alcohol-free product has cooling properties for those “dog days” of summer. A spray mechanism diffuses an ultrafine mist, designed to refresh the dog — and humans too for that matter — on contact. Because the hiss of a spray mechanism often frightens furry friends, a specially designed, silent nozzle, operable at any angle, was employed.
Heaviest sales are expected during the summer, to the tune of 75,000 to 100,000 units. Priced at $20 for a 5-oz. can, that number of units would translate into a worldwide volume of $1.5 million to $2 million between mid-May and mid-September.
Distribution is being ramped up, primarily in the U.S., France and Japan, because “it’s our feeling that’s where the dog attitude is strongest,” de Swardt said. Globally, it’s expected to be in 2000 doors by June or July. This includes 168 in the U.S., 500 each in France and Japan, and hundreds of other doors in Europe and Asia.
As part of a $1.4 million promotional budget, ads for Fresh will break in mid-May. One-page print ads will appear in women’s and fashion magazines, and a huge version of the ad — showing a pooch and the product — will completely cover a number of buses making their rounds through Paris.
Aside from dog-lovers, the fragrance targets no particular demographic group, although everyone from Tokyo club-goers to businessmen are apparently biting. “We’re starting to recognize who our customers are,” Jugeau said. Upon seeing a woman walking two dogs, de Swardt remarked, “Hey, another client.”