CLAIBORNE’S NEW SCENT: MAMBO

Byline: Julie Naughton

NEW YORK — Liz Claiborne hopes to dance all the way to the bank with the launch of its latest fragrance duo, Mambo.
“This is the first Latin-influenced fragrance masterbrand aimed at the general market,” said Neil Katz, president and chief executive officer of Liz Claiborne Cosmetics. “While nearly 14 percent of American teens are Latino, there is a tremendous affinity for the Latin culture among non-Latinos in today’s market, too.”
Mambo will begin shipping in August to about 2,200 domestic department store doors and is expected to be on counter by the end of August. It will be launched in several Latin American countries, in travel retail shops and on military bases later this fall. It will be launched in Europe next year. It is the first non-licensed masterbrand for the company since Curve in 1996.
The men’s juice, a fresh fougere herbaceous scent — with notes of bergamot, lime, verbena, sage, cinnamon leaf, sandalwood and musk — was created by Carlos Benaim at International Flavors & Fragrances. The women’s juice, created by Harry Fremont at Firmenich, is a sparkling floriental that includes mango, mandarin, ginger, orange blossom and sandalwood notes.
The scent bottles, designed by Laurent Hainaut of Raison Pure, are of multicolored, curved glass, meant to convey the fluidity of dancers, and were manufactured by Heinz Glas.
The women’s scent is available in a 1.7 oz. eau de parfum for $35, a 3.4 oz. version for $45 and a .5 oz. perfume spray for $45. The men’s cologne sprays are priced at $35 for 1.7 ounces and $45 for 3.4 ounces, respectively. A number of men’s and women’s ancillaries will also be available. They range in price from $14 for a deodorant to $35 for an aftershave.
“The market is heading more toward ‘statement’ fragrances than it has been in recent years,” said Art Spiro, vice president of marketing. “Mambo fits into that category — it has energy and sensuality.” Mambo targets men and women ages 18 to 34.
While Katz wouldn’t comment on Mambo’s projected sales, sources estimated that the brand could do $60 million or more at retail during its first year.
Mambo’s $20 million promotional war chest will include both TV and print advertising. A 30-second TV commercial — with English, Spanish and “Spanglish” versions — will begin airing in late August, featuring models Roberto Sanchez and Nadja doing a sultry Latin dance. The print advertising also features the models in a dance pose and will begin running in beauty, fashion, men’s teen, entertainment and dual audience books in September. According to Spiro, the company is considering new publications — such as Latina — for the ads, which will include scented strips.
Sue Hochman, vice president of sales, noted that Mambo’s sales associates in-store will wear deep burgundy jackets with a gold Mambo.

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