Byline: Pete Born

NEW YORK — Over at Clarins, this is the year of woman.
At least that’s the message emanating from the Clarins Fragrance Group, where a new scent, called Boss Woman, will be launched in March in step with the Hugo Boss fashion house’s entry this spring into women’s apparel.
“It gives us a crossover into women’s,” said Joseph Horowitz, president and chief executive officer of Groupe Clarins USA. “This will be the largest introduction that Groupe Clarins USA has ever done.”
The Clarins Fragrance Group was formed a year ago, when the company joined forces with Procter & Gamble, essentially becoming the department store distributor for a number of P&G prestige fragrances.
In that year — with the launch of Boss last April, the continued growth of Chrome and the ongoing appeal of Hugo — “we’ve gained respect in the men’s category,” Horowitz said. He added, however, “frankly, we have not had the same respect in women’s.”
Hence, the importance of Boss Woman. “In 2001, we have a mandate to do something important in women’s.”
The fragrance will be distributed in 1,600 doors, and while executives were silent on the subject of budgets and projections, industry sources estimate that this fragrance could do as much as $30 million at retail in the first year.
The promotional strategy dovetails that of the fashion house. Bradley J. Horowitz, vice president of marketing, noted that Boss had set up a separate women’s fashion and accessories operation headquartered in Milan to give it the proper panache.
Clarins plans to advertise the fragrance in concert with Boss while it is launching its women’s line. An extra kick will be provided by Boss opening its first Manhattan store in April. And Clarins is planning special, surprise events to attract attention to the scent, said Horowitz.
Horowitz said the company will run 12 million scented strips with ads in the April and May editions of upward of 10 magazines. There also will be 20 million billing inserts, catalog blow-ins and one million samples given away. Sources estimate the size of the war chest at $8 million total, including $4 million for media including scented strips.
The ad, featuring model Mini Anden, was photographed by Peter Lindberg and directed by Fabian Baron.
The bottle was designed by Peter Schmidt Studios in Hamburg, Germany.
The new fragrance, developed by International Flavors & Fragrances, will be positioned as a feminine, sensual lifestyle scent evoking individuality and assertiveness. The heart of the formula is built around freesia, orris and, above all, passion flower. And the passion flower, which was created with Living Flower technology, is the note key, according to IFF perfumer Sophie Labbe. “It is very sophisticated flower,” she said, “very feminine and very deep.”
A sparkling top note is provided with a combination of fruits — mandarin, mango and kumquat. White cedar and sandalwood form the base.
The line consists of four stockkeeping units. A 50.-ml. eau de parfum will be priced at $46 and 90-ml. size will retail for $62. There also will be a 150-ml. body lotion for $30 and a shower gel of the same size for $20.

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