Byline: Laura Klepacki / Faye Brookman
NEW YORK — Call it the men’s fragrance movement.
With mass market sales up, manufacturers have been approaching the category with fervor. Over the past several months, at least two companies have launched body spray collections for men. Several established brands have been extended with new scents or beefed-up promotional programs. And two unisex fragrances are tipping marketing efforts toward men.
According to Information Resources Inc., sales of mens shaving lotion, cologne and talc rose 5.4 percent to $469.5 million for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 30. Men’s gift sets were particularly strong, climbing 17.3 percent to $106 million for the same period.
“Pierre Cardin is doing fabulously. Our sell-through for Christmas was 90 percent,” remarked Michelle Wasic, vice president of sales at Aladdin Fragrances, which has marketed for the brand for the past 18 months. Sales of ancillary items, including the Pierre Cardin stick deodorant which retails for about $8.50, have also been “unbelievable” said Wasic.
Picking up on its success, she said, “We are making it a promotional year for the brand.” One effort will include cross-marketing the deodorant stick with the cologne.
“Retailers are showing more interest in men’s brands now,” said Wasic. “There were gaps[in the selection] and there was nothing new and exciting.”
Aladdin also hopes to breathe new life into the 200-year-old 4711 brand, which it has marketed since early last year. It just launched in Sears in February, and while considered unisex, it is merchandised with men’s fragrances, noted Wasic. The brand also has a strong Hispanic following, which Aladdin intends to build on. “We are trying to expand our distribution,” said Wasic.
Additionally, for both Cardin and 4711, Aladdin is bulking up holiday programs this year, including stocking stuffers.
Meanwhile, hoping to replicate what body mists did for the women’s market, both Coty, under its Jovan brand, and Parfums de Coeur introduced light sprays for young men.
Jovan Bodytonics rolled out last spring with the slogan, “They’re like sports drinks for your skin.” The collection offers three versions, each with a specific purpose, such as energizing. All items are under $7 each.
Parfums de Coeur has begun to roll Bod, the male counterpart to its Body Fantasies for women. A 8.45-oz. spray bottle is $7.95. Rather than sporty, Bod conveys a spicier, sexual image. Mark Laracy, president of Parfums de Coeur, said while the line is for men, most fragrance purchasing is done by women, so the ads will reflect that.
Coty also introduced Adidas Moves last summer to lure young men to the mass fragrance counter. And later this month, it is expanding its Aspen brand with Aspen Discovery. The original Aspen is about “thrill seeking,” said Rita Herzmansky, senior marketing director at Coty Beauty. “Discovery is about a personal journey and finding your own path.” Prices range from $10 for a 1-oz. aftershave to $19.95 for a 1.87-oz. cologne spray. Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble, expanded the venerable Old Spice franchise with Whitewater last fall. Available as a cologne or aftershave splash, it is a blend of citrus, oriental and spicy herbal notes. The company said it is a scent made exclusively for men. Women will love it, but not want to borrow it, according to P&G. A 3.4-oz. cologne spray is $8.99; the same size aftershave is $6.99.
Even a Nebraska college student believes there is opportunity waiting in the men’s fragrance market. This spring, 20-year-old Michael Malcom will formally launch Loquetion, a citrus-based unisex scent, with a decidedly masculine leaning. Like Laracy, Malcom is creating an ad campaign to appeal to women. A 2-oz. spray is $15.
Even Mary Kay is delving more deeply into the men’s business with the launch of it’s first men’s fragrance in 10 years. Domain, described as a fresh aromatic scent infused with herbs, is available as a cologne at $34 for 2.5 oz.
“We just have as a company really realized the strong potential the men’s market has,” said Lisa Cohorn, director of product marketing at Mary Kay. “We are ready to focus on the men’s market.”