NEW YORK — Mary Kay this fall plans to give its customers Affection, a new fragrance designed to push the direct seller into the realm of premium price points.

“The Affection launch is the next step in expanding our product offering to today’s modern woman,” said Yvette Franco, vice president of brand development for Mary Kay. “The product says something a little different about who we are and who Mary Kay is today. With its updated and sophisticated packaging, along with its unique scent, we believe it will become a premier luxury fragrance.”

Affection, May Kay’s 10th scent and seventh women’s fragrance, will be available in September for $50 for a 1-oz. bottle.

Housed in a curvy glass bottle, the scent is described as a modern oriental chypre with notes of pink peppercorn, Chinese osmanthus, white peony and amber woods. Mary Kay fragrance experts worked with perfumer Claude Dir from Quest International to develop the scent.

“It has such a modern feel, but with an Asian nod,” said Franco. “Everything about it speaks to the now, and it makes a bold statement. These are things not everyone’s expecting from us.”

Despite the fragrance’s higher price, Franco anticipates Affection will be its biggest launch, doubling the sales of the company’s most popular scent, Belara. Although company executives would not comment, industry sources estimate Affection will bring in $10 million in retail sales its first year.

National print advertising will break in roughly 25 December women’s, lifestyle and fashion magazines including O, the Oprah Magazine; Real Simple; Latina; In Style, and Parenting. Over 28 million samples will be distributed with the company’s catalogue, sales force publication and in magazine advertising. Mary Kay’s 700,000 U.S. consultants will provide single-use towelette samples to customers and potential customers. A limited-edition gift set will be available for $55 that includes a solid fragrance compact, shower gel and body lotion.

The fragrance will be available first through Mary Kay’s U.S. consultants. After a slow international rollout, 1.6 million consultants will be selling Affection.

This story first appeared in the June 16, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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