NEW YORK — After his three retro-style Splash scents succeeded for spring, Marc Jacobs is back for another round of them this fall.
“The first group — Rain, Grass and Cotton — brought a lot of life to the Marc Jacobs franchise, and business is up in the stores, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s,” said Michael D’Arminio, vice president of global marketing for the Marc Jacobs and Vera Wang brands at Coty Prestige. “It made a lot of sense to revisit the concept.” The trio was launched in April.
D’Arminio noted that Coty’s January restructuring — which involved the reorganization and renaming of the global prestige beauty businesses with an eye to gaining an advantage in specialty stores — has allowed marketers to coddle specialty brands a bit more than was possible under the old framework.
“We are now organized in a way where we can call on and hand-hold the specialty brands,” he added. D’Arminio also thinks the novelty of the Splash fragrances in a market littered with eaux de toilette and eaux de parfum helped drive sales. “Big risks bring big rewards,” he said. “I think people like the Splash scents because they can go anywhere and they take inspiration from Marc’s collections. They take you back to what’s fun about fashion.”
Rain, Grass and Cotton were Jacobs’ first scent entries since launching Blush in September 2004 — unusual in an industry seemingly obsessed with churning out fragrances at a prodigious rate. The Splash entries also represented new thinking for the Jacobs scent brand, as the designer pointed out when the first Splashes were introduced.
“I always liked the concept of a fragrance someone could wear without it being too precious,” Jacobs said at that time. “I was trying to move away from the concept that fragrance is only meant to sit on a shelf and be dotted on the wrist, sparingly, for special occasions. Everything about Splash is meant to be more casual or lighthearted: the scents, the colors, the big bottle with its oversize proportions. All three scents are things that always smell good to me. They aren’t ‘occasion’ scents — they are meant to invite you to use as much as possible, whenever you like.”
The three new Splash scents, like their predecessors, are limited-edition offerings. Dubbed the Autumn Collection, the line comprises Violet, Ivy and Amber scents and will launch in October. Ivy has top notes of sparkling nutmeg, cardamom and mandarin; a heart of cool candy cane accord and fresh orris, and a drydown of warm suede, tonka bean, vetiver and sandalwood. Its juice is tinted pale green. Violet’s top notes are of sparkling bergamot and peony; its heart is of delicate violet, orchid, orris and creamy cashmere accord, and its drydown is of cedarwood, vanilla, musk and gingerbread. Its juice is tinted a pale lavender. Amber has top notes of crystallized ginger and star anise; a heart of cassia bark, ancient amber and elegant lys, and a drydown of tonka bean, cashmere wood and benzoin. Its juice is tinted a pale golden tone. All scents are intended to be unisex.
Ivy and Violet were formulated by Firmenich, and Amber was concocted by Quest. Each 10-oz. bottle will retail for $65.
“They’ll move well from autumn to winter,” said D’Arminio of the trio, noting he thinks they are likely to be sold out by February. They will be available in 500 specialty stores in the U.S., including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Marc Jacobs boutiques. Globally, the scents will be in about 2,000 doors, including Colette in Paris, and Harrods and Selfridges in the U.K. D’Arminio refused to discuss projected sales, but industry sources estimated the scents will do $3 million to $5 million at retail in the U.S.
Jacobs and Coty are said to be working on a new freestanding fragrance brand for 2007, although all involved declined comment.