P&G Revisits Baldessarini
GENEVA — Hugo Boss may have sold its Baldessarini men’s wear line last summer but that’s not stopping licensee Procter & Gamble from building the brand’s fragrance portfolio.

The consumer products giant has unveiled the third Baldes­sarini scent, an amber-infused blend called, naturally enough, Ambré.

Boss said a year ago it would discontinue the Baldessarini apparel line and sold two men’s wear units — Baldessarini GmbH & Co. KG and Baldessarini Design und Verwaltungs-GmbH — to Werner Baldessarini in August of last year.

Now, P&G is adding Ambré to a brand that has what P&G calls a “cult-like” following. At the P&G offices here, Oliver Kastalio, global general manager of prestige products and fragrances at Procter & Gamble Prestige Products, said the Baldessarini fragrance line has turned into an unexpected success story.

“When we first launched the brand we felt it would be a bit niche,” he said. “We were surprised the first initiative was a success and it has been growing ever since.

“Now we are aware of the relevance of that proposition for our consumer because even if the model we use, Charles Schumann, is relatively old — this whole exclusivity you could think is more skewing toward an older consumer — but it’s the young guys who love the brand,” added Kastalio.

“We have a lot of consumers in their 20s and 30s buying the Baldessarini fragrances because they are buying into the proposition, that gives us the critical mass on the brand.”

Industry sources estimate Baldessarini Ambré could net up to $55 million in sales volume worldwide in its first year on the market.

Baldessarini Ambré was launched exclusively at 99 Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom doors this month. The fragrance will be rolled out to 921 doors in the U.S., including Macy’s, Dillard’s, Lord & Taylor and Sephora starting March 15. Asian and western European markets will get the scent beginning next month.

Kastalio said that Baldessarini Ambré fits in the premium but not conservative positioning of the Baldessarini fragrance brand. “It’s really building on this heritage of Baldessarini — he is the man that has achieved it all, and he is very relaxed about it,” said Kastalio.

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Kastalio said the scent was made in collaboration with Werner Baldessarini, founder of the high-end Baldessarini men’s wear line. He is also former chairman of the Hugo Boss board and now a member of its advisory board and creative consultant to Hugo Boss and Baldessarini.

“In everything we are doing, he is involved in all the details, he is obsessed with details and that’s what we need,” said Kastalio.

Like its predecessor scents, Baldessarini Ambré has a slick TV advertising campaign to accompany its launch, starring the Baldessarini fashion brand’s model Schumann. In the ad, directed by Herve De Crecy, Schumann is being flown in his private Learjet 45 by a young female pilot.

P&G’s fragrance creation team, in partnership with fragrance house Firmenich, composed the scent. Amber essence is featured in the base of the olfactory structure, combined with oak wood and labdanum. Ambré’s heart notes include dark floral and leather accords, while top notes are whiskey oak, mandarin and red apple. The scent is packaged in a glass flacon that has been etched with a line that is supposed to represent an amber horizon.

Launched as an eau de toilette spray, the fragrance will retail at $48 for 1.7 oz. and $60 for 3 oz. A Baldessarini Ambré ancillary line includes an aftershave splash, 3 oz. for $46; shower gel, 5 oz. for $26, and deodorant spray, 2.5 oz. for $20.

Lancôme International Appoints Deputy G.M.
PARIS — L’Oréal has named Laurent Kreutz deputy general manager of Lancôme International.

Kreutz, who took on the role Jan. 1, replaces Odile Roujol, who was appointed managing director of Lancôme International in June, succeeding Marc Dubrule. Kreutz was previously general manager of the French beauty giant’s Travel Retail Europe business.

Prior to that, he held numerous roles within that division, including manager of its Prestige & Collections business, manager of Helena Rubinstein-Biotherm and area manager of Lancôme, his first role at the firm.

Additionally, Jean-François Ninu has been named L’Oréal Luxury Products International division’s general manager of Travel Retail Europe, Middle East and Africa. Ninu previously managed the Prestige & Collections and Lancôme businesses at Parbel, a U.S.-based distribution subsidiary of L’Oréal.

Guerlain France Taps Managing Director
PARIS — Philippe Pinatel has been named managing director of Guerlain France. Pinatel replaces Thierry LeVallois who left the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brand to become managing director of Yves Rocher-owned brand Dr. Pierre Ricaud. Pinatel was previously director of Guerlain’s subsidiaries in China and South Korea.