PARIS — A French sportswear firm is bringing fashion and fragrance closer together — literally.
Comptoir des Cotonniers’ first fragrances can be toted like an accessory thanks to the wrist strap attached to each bottle’s leatherette sheath.
“They’re wearable items,” said Olivier Aron, president of Rosae, the marketing consultancy firm that developed the scents with Comptoir des Cotonniers.
Called Comptoir des Cotonniers Rose, Blanc and Noir, the fragrances will bow this month in Comptoir des Cotonniers’ 160 French stores and corners. A rollout to other selective channels in France is planned for 2005.
“Our key goal is to reach the brand’s [loyal] customers first,” said Aron, who noted the scents will be introduced in other markets in tandem with the clothing brand’s international expansion.
Aron, whose company also conducts on-the-street fragrance testing, said the Comptoir des Cotonniers scents took inspiration from niche and high-end luxury beauty brands. From niche brands, for example, came the idea of developing a range of fragrances and initially restricting distribution to the brand’s own doors, he said. From high-end brands came touches that add to the perceived quality of the products, such as heavy glass caps and gift-box-like outer packaging.
Aron declined to discuss numbers. However, industry sources estimate the Comptoir des Cotonniers fragrances could ring up $2.4 million in sales in their first year in France. According to those sources, sales could double in their second year on counter in France and reach more than $7 million in their third year.
Advertising for the scents broke mid-April in French magazines. As is traditional for the brand, the single- and double-page spreads feature a portrait of a mother with her daughters. One daughter wears a bottle of scent on her wrist.
The juices, concocted by Mane perfumers, were conceived to be easily understood by consumers who are often turned off by fragrances that don’t have easily recognizable ingredients, Aron said.
Blanc’s citrus juice was inspired by a mojito cocktail and is a combination of cedar and crushed mint notes. Noir, an Oriental, marries notes of dried fruits with bitter orange. Rose is an aromatic floral with notes of laurel and grapefruit.
While the scents target women, Aron noted that Noir and Blanc could be worn by both sexes.
Each eau de parfum sells for $46.50, or 39 euros at current exchange rates, for a 50-ml. spray. — Brid Costello
Mugler’s BMen to Hit U.S.
NEW YORK — Thierry Mugler added a spritz of intrigue to the U.S. press launch of his newest scent, BMen.
The event was held amid dim, underground surroundings at The Vault in Manhattan’s Wall Street neighborhood last week. Behind the massive vault door, a video screen showed computer animation of an imaginary comic book character that accompanies BMen — inspired by Mugler’s interest in comic book superheroes, as previously noted. Along with Mugler, who shied from cameras, Vera Strubi, president of Thierry Mugler Parfums Worldwide, appeared at the event. Also there were Benjamin Gillikin, president of the firm’s North American operations, and Christian Courtin, president and chief executive of Groupe Clarins, which owns Thierry Mugler Parfums.
U.S. distribution plans for BMen call for a Sept. 17 launch at Nordstrom. Shortly thereafter, the scent will hit Bloomingdale’s. Then, in October, BMen will reach Mugler’s full fragrance distribution network of 420 doors in the U.S., including Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Industry sources estimated BMen could generate first year-retail sales of $2.5 million. — Matthew W. Evans
Revlon Reverses Course
NEW YORK — Citing “unfavorable market conditions,” Revlon Consumer Products Corp., a Revlon subsidiary, has decided not to proceed with previously announced refinancing activities. The company had issued tender offers on three classes of outstanding senior secured notes due between 2005 and 2006. Those who had already accepted the offer will have their notes returned to them. Adverse market conditions also steered the company’s decision to put off the offering of new senior notes as well as new credit facilities. — Ross Tucker