A MAGIC POTION FROM PRESCRIPTIVES

Byline: Kerry Diamond

NEW YORK — The Magic franchise continues to grow at Prescriptives.
The skin-enhancing makeup collection has been such a hit for the company that executives have decided to follow it with a Magic-inspired fragrance this fall. Called Prescriptives Potion, it will hit stores in November.
According to industry sources, Potion is expected to do more than $8 million at retail in the first year.
“We were very captivated by the momentum and energy of Magic,” said Anne Carullo, senior vice president of marketing and product development worldwide of Prescriptives.
Magic, a collection of six optical effect products that was launched last November, was an immediate hit with customers. Retailers loved Magic as well and credited the collection with breathing new life into the Prescriptives brand. In May, Prescriptives launched 17 additional Magic stockkeeping units.
The demand for Magic has been so great that industry sources doubled the original retail sales projection for 2000 from $20 million to $40 million.
The idea and feeling of Magic seemed to lend itself to a fragrance, so the Prescriptives team decided it would launch a new scent — its first since 1997’s Flirt — for the fall.
“We wanted a fragrance that would be very spirited and optimistic, something that would be a joy to wear,” said Carullo.
The result is what Carullo called “an illuminating floral.” Created by Firmenich, Potion has notes of watermelon, mandarin, dewy apple, water hyacinth, lotus flower, watercress, lily of the valley, water freesia, water lily and creamy white dianthus.
“It’s more accessible than Calyx and it’s meant to be that way,” said Robert A. Nielsen, group president for Prescriptives, Aramis, Donna Karan, La Mer, Tommy Hilfiger, Jo Malone and Kate Spade. Prescriptives Calyx, which launched in 1986, is a dramatic fruity-floral. “We’ve attracted a new customer with Magic, and we wanted something she could wear.”
“It’s more inner-directed,” added Jeanne Chinard, senior vice president and creative director of worldwide Prescriptives.
The Prescriptives Potion line will consist of four sku’s: a 1.7-oz. spray for $45; a 6.7-oz. tube of Sparkling Body Moisture for $32; a 5-oz. pump bottle of Sparkling Body Oil for $30; and a transparent blue candle, available only during the holiday season, for $32.
The fragrance bottle appears to materialize out of thin air, as the bottom part is frosted, and a slim metal tube — meant to resemble a magic wand — is positioned in the center. The body oil looks clear but turns opaque after a few shakes, thanks to sheen-enhancing pearlescent beads. “We tried to keep a magical effect with the products and the packaging,” said Chinard.
In August, a pre-sampling effort will begin at counters, and sales associates — or “analysts” as Prescriptives calls them — will distribute trial size bottles of Potion.
The advertising campaign is similar to the original ad for Magic, as both were shot by Joyce Tenneson and feature the same model, a young Eurasian woman named Noot. The ad, which will run in the December issue of Elle, features a scent strip and is printed on a special silvery stock.
Nielsen acknowledged that the Potion launch is a quiet one, especially compared to the multimillion-dollar campaigns planned for some of the fall’s major new scents. But the idea, he explained, is for Potion to have some longevity, like Calyx, which has been around for nearly 15 years. “These blockbuster new fragrances do so much business so quickly,” he said. “The lifespan has been shortened to 18 months.”
The Magic will continue at Prescriptives with additional Magic makeup collections in the fall and the spring. Another fragrance launch is planned for 2001.
“It’s just the beginning of the new Prescriptives,” promised Nielsen.

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