Byline: Julie Naughton

NEW YORK — Call it DKNY’s male call. Six months after the rollout of the DKNY women’s fragrance line, Donna Karan Cosmetics is bringing that famed urban energy to men with a new fragrance line.
Producing a DKNY men’s scent was a natural decision, particularly given the fact that the DKNY men’s fashion business is “on fire” with a 50 percent jump in sales last year, said Jane Hertzmark, senior vice president and general manager of Donna Karan Cosmetics. “What more opportune time could there be to launch a men’s scent?” she asked.
In fact, the men’s and women’s scents were originally slated to launch together, added Deborah Davidson, vice president and national sales manager for Donna Karan Cosmetics. After launching in Manhattan doors last October, the women’s scent rolled out nationally to about 1,200 department store doors in February.
“However, we decided that launching the scents at different times would allow us to build them more strategically,” said Davidson.
The two scents are designed to complement each other, although they feature completely different notes. “Donna wanted to capture the essence of the city with both scents,” said Catherine Walsh, vice president of marketing and product development for Donna Karan Cosmetics. “With the women’s fragrance, we wanted to do the first urban floral. With the men’s, we wanted to bottle the energy of the city.”
The first accord for both the men’s and women’s scent is energizing. While the women’s top note is of blood oranges and chilled vodka, the men’s scent features top notes of ivy leaf and a tangerine-ginger infusion.
The refreshing — or second — accord in the men’s scent includes fresh juniper berry and cool white spice, while the third accord is what Walsh calls “the naked accord.”
“It smells snuggly, like bare skin against clean sheets,” she said. Technically speaking, the sensual third accord includes creamy sandalwood and warm red maple notes.
The men’s juice, like the women’s, was produced by International Flavors and Fragrances.
The men’s line initially will consist of 1.7-oz. and 3.4-oz. eau de toilette sprays — retailing for $35 and $50, respectively — and an aftershave balm which will retail for $35 for 3.4 ounces. Three ancillary products — a deodorant, a body wash and an energizing body lotion, retailing for $15, $16 and $18, respectively — will be added in early November.
Like the women’s fragrance, the men’s scent is packaged in a skyscraper-inspired glass bottle. The women’s bottle is of glass that is partially frosted and partially clear; the men’s bottle has the same design, but is tinted pale blue. The outer box has a hologram finish that is intended to evoke reflections from glass buildings.
While no one at Donna Karan Cosmetics would comment on projected sales figures, industry sources estimated that the DKNY men’s and women’s fragrances would generate at least $50 million in total over the next 12 months.
The men’s line will have a one-week exclusive at Macy’s Herald Square the week of Sept. 17. It will then roll out to the full distribution of 1,200 department store doors the last week of September, said Davidson.
To support the DKNY fragrance master brand, the company will do its first TV advertising this fall. The TV commercial, shot by Stephane Sedanoui, will air the first week of December. It will likely be seen on MTV and in regional buys for shows like “Dawson’s Creek” and “Sex in the City.”
“It’s an excellent opportunity to each 18- to 35-year-olds, who are among our target consumers for the new men’s and women’s fragrances,” said Hertzmark.
Hertzmark wouldn’t comment on proposed advertising and promotional spending, although industry sources estimated about $12 million would be spent on master brand advertising by yearend, with about half of that spent on print and TV advertising. Other support will include scented media — including scent bubbles and scent strips.
The print ads were shot by Mikael Jansson and feature DKNY models — and old-time married couple, by now — Esther Canadas and Mark Vanderloo. The couple, who met on a DKNY shoot nearly three years ago, were married last year. Print advertising, which will break in October, is expected to be in about 16 fashion and lifestyle magazines.

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