Cacharel’s Amor Amor.

NEW YORK — L’Oréal USA has a grand plan for its Cacharel fragrance brand in the U.S. — to grow the brand into a third pillar of its Designer Fragrance Division, along with its Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani scent businesses....

NEW YORK — L’Oréal USA has a grand plan for its Cacharel fragrance brand in the U.S. — to grow the brand into a third pillar of its Designer Fragrance Division, along with its Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani scent businesses.

This story first appeared in the January 16, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“We think there are numerous opportunities for the brand here in the U.S.,” said Jack Wiswall, president of the Designer Fragrances Division of L’Oréal USA. “In the rest of the world, Cacharel has a strong market share, and our aim is to build its position here in the U.S. We plan to devote significant resources toward meeting that goal, beginning this year.”

Wiswall also is hoping to grow the women’s fragrance business for the company. “As a company [meaning all of L’Oréal USA, not just his division], we currently have about 28 percent of the men’s fragrance market and about 13.7 percent of the women’s [fragrance] market,” noted Wiswall. “We’d like to build the women’s business to 20 percent or more of the market.” He is looking at Cacharel — whose portfolio includes the Anaïs Anaïs, Noa and Gloria scents — as one way to do that.

The cornerstone of the plan to grow Cacharel in the U.S. is a new fragrance called Amor Amor, which rolled out in Europe in October and is now rolling out to about 900 of the Designer Fragrance Division’s 2,200 U.S. department and specialty store doors, including Macy’s and Dillard’s. The balance of the U.S. stores will get the fragrance in March. Three eau de toilette sprays are rolling out now — 1 oz. for $29.50, 1.7 oz. for $42.50 and 3.4 oz. for $55. They will be joined by two ancillaries that will launch in time for Mother’s Day: a 6.8-oz. body lotion for $34, and a 6.7-oz. shower gel for $29.50. The target age group for the scent: 29- to 50-year-old women.

The juice, formulated by Laurent Bruyere and Dominique Ropion of International Flavors and Fragrances, has top notes of pink grapefruit, blood orange, mandarin and black current; a heart that includes apricot, red rose and a rare form of jasmine called melati, and a drydown that includes vanilla, musk and sandalwood, said Stephen Rosato, assistant vice president of marketing for L’Oréal’s Designer Fragrances Division.

Wiswall is hoping for significant Valentine’s Day business, and noted that the brand will support that effort with national advertising in February and March consumer magazines —?which will include at least 10 million scented strips in a diverse range of beauty, fashion and lifestyle magazines, including those targeted at teens and at the Hispanic market. About eight million blow-ins in store catalogues are also planned. Overall, at least 27 million scented impressions are planned for the launch season. In addition, the brand also will unleash a gift-with-purchase — a purse emblazoned with colored hearts — for the Valentine’s Day selling period.

While neither of the executives would comment on projected sales or advertising and promotional spending, industry sources estimated the company is aiming to hit $30 million at retail in the U.S. during the scent’s first year on counter, and about $15 million would be spent on advertising and promotion in the same period.

If all goes as planned, an additional Cacharel introduction could hit the market as early as the fourth quarter of 2004, said Wiswall.