LACROIX TARGETS BROADER BASE WITH NEW SCENT

Byline: Brid Costello

PARIS — Christian Lacroix Parfums is hoping to establish its brand and broaden its consumer base with its latest fragrance, Eau Florale.
Eau Florale is the second fragrance to follow the 10-year license deal with Inter Parfums signed in 1999. The first, the designer’s signature scent, launched that same year.
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, parent of the Lacroix group, ceded the designer’s fragrance business to Inter Parfums five years after C’est La Vie, Lacroix’s first scent launched under Parfums Christian Dior, turned out to be one of the industry’s most traumatic failures.
According to Philippe Benacin, president of Inter Parfums, Eau Florale is a “little sister” to the Christian Lacroix fragrance that will widen the reach of Christian Lacroix Parfums. “The problem with the first fragrance is that it is not widely accepted, it’s elitist,” said Benacin. “(Eau Florale) is different. It targets a wider range of consumers. We wanted an easy floral to get customers using Christian Lacroix fragrances.”
Eau Florale is also intended for an audience slightly younger than that of the Christian Lacroix fragrance. According to Emmanuelle Thierry, product manager at Inter Parfums, Eau Florale targets consumers aged 30 years old and older — about five years younger than the youngest target client for the signature fragrance.
Thierry added that Eau Florale is an attempt to give the Christian Lacroix brand a firm footing in the fragrance business and to widen the reach of its fragrance portfolio. “Christian Lacroix works well in France and the U.S. but other markets are more difficult, we want to enlarge our audience,” she explained.
Eau Florale includes top notes of tangerine and violet leaves, heart notes include gardenia, tuberose and lily of the valley with notes of sandalwood, cedarwood and bio-musk in the dry-down. The juice was concocted by Nathalie Lorson and Beatrice Piquet of International Flavors and Fragrances. The eau de toilette comes in 35-ml., 75-ml. and 125-ml. sprays and will retail at $26, $40 and $54, respectively. All figures are converted into dollars at the current rate of exchange. A bath line is planned to follow in the second half of 2001 or the beginning of 2002.
The fresh floral scent comes in the same packaging and bottle as the Christian Lacroix scent — the bottle is hand-blown glass in the shape of a conch shell with a twirled plastic cap. The juice for Eau Florale is tinted peach compared to the yellow color of the Christian Lacroix juice. Thierry said that using the same packaging gives the opportunity to rediscover part of what women love about the 1999 scent.
While Eau Florale has been available exclusively in Saks Fifth Avenue since January, rollout in France will begin in March, with global distribution following between March and April. Christian Lacroix fragrances are distributed in 5,000 doors globally. Initially, Eau Florale and Christian Lacroix will be sold together, but Benacin said that if Eau Florale proves significantly more popular than the signature scent, Inter Parfums will consider scaling down production of Christian Lacroix.
Last year the Christian Lacroix scent rang up a wholesale volume of $2.5 million. According to Benacin, combined sales of Eau Florale and Christian Lacroix could represent wholesale volume of $3.47 million for the year following Eau Florale’s launch. According to Benacin, the group is setting aside an advertising and sampling budget of about $970,000. Advertising, created by the Venice advertising agency, will center on the flacon and will focus mainly on points of sale and window displays. The sampling campaign for the scent will include 5-ml. miniatures and 2-ml. mini-sprays. Single-page advertising in the trade press will support in-store animations with a concerted advertising push planned to coincide with Mother’s Day.