NEW YORK — Guess is putting a charge into its fragrance business.
Six months after launching a signature women’s scent, the fashion brand aims to build the men’s side of its business and is targeting guys with Guess Man. Guess has also slated women’s and men’s flanker scents for early summer and fall, respectively, this year.
Guess Man, an eau de toilette that blends aromas of amber, wood and musk, is scheduled to be launched next week at 1,800 doors and roll out to nearly 2,300 doors in the U.S. through April.
“This is a great opportunity for the Guess brand to expand,” stated Paul Marciano, co-chairman and chief executive officer of the 25-year-old company. “Men’s fragrance is a natural complement to the sexy, fresh lifestyle of the Guess man.”
Inspiration for the scent came from a trip Marciano took to Positano, Italy, for a photo shoot for Guess’ spring 2006 European advertising campaign with photographer Ellen Von Unwerth and model Luca Loy. During the shoot, Marciano was moved by the sight of the seaside village and decided on the spot to use Loy for the fragrance’s ad campaign as well. The shoot was extended by a day and Von Unwerth got the final visual for Guess Man.
Like the brand’s feminine scent, which is said to be meeting expectations, Guess Man is a result of the fashion house’s union with Parlux Fragrances Inc. Parlux obtained the Guess fragrance license in November 2003.
“When we began the [Guess Man] project, we asked, ‘What would the guy who wears Guess apparel like to wear as a scent?'” said Kathleen Galvin, vice president of marketing for Parlux. “We knew it had to be youthful, contemporary and extremely masculine — but masculine in a new way.
“Guess is very focused on creating a full line for their male customers,” she added, noting the scent targets guys in their late teens to mid-30s.
The fragrance also stands to bolster Parlux’s men’s business. The company, whose revenues topped $100 million for the fiscal year ended March 2005, also holds fragrance licenses for Paris Hilton, Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Perry Ellis, Ocean Pacific, XOXO, Fred Hayman Beverly Hills and Baby Gund.
“Parlux has enjoyed much success with its men’s fragrances over the years, but Guess Man is expected to attract a younger, trendier, more brand-conscious consumer than we have reached with our other brands,” noted Galvin.
Guess Man, which was blended by Steve DeMercado of Fragrance Resources, features olfactory accords of Siberian blue fir, Peru balsam, Egyptian sandalwood, spiced amber, brushed suede and musk. There’s also a spicy infusion of white pepper, ginger root and nutmeg, as well as lavender and armoise.
The Guess Man bottle, which was designed by Henry de Monclin of Ateliers Dinand, was manufactured by Bormioli Rocco. It has a metallic silver shell that’s cut away to reveal a green glass window, giving the bottle the shape of the letter G.
Guess Man will be available in two versions, a 1.7-oz. eau de toilette for $40 and a 2.5-oz. edt for $50. Ancillary items are planned for late summer.
The scent could generate $20 million in first-year retail sales volume, according to estimates by industry sources.
In the U.S., Guess Man will be carried at all Macy’s divisions, at Ulta and at Guess retail stores. Unlike the women’s scent, Guess Man will be carried at Sephora. Internationally, distribution deals are still being hammered out, but the scent could potentially reach 50 countries. Guess Inc., which had revenues of $936.1 million last year, operated 310 stores in the U.S. and Canada as of last month.
To support the launch of Guess Man, a print ad campaign will run in magazines like Vanity Fair, GQ, Details, Cargo and Blender. There will also be a sampling campaign of more than 5 million 1.5-ml vials that are to be distributed at department stores and nightclubs.
Guess noted that “more than 70 percent of male fragrance is purchased by women for men,” so much of the Guess Man sampling will be done at the Guess women’s fragrance counter. Sources speculated the advertising and promotional campaign could be worth at least $5 million.