NEW YORK — Armani is aggressively going after women.
The Designer Fragrances Division of L’Oréal USA is hoping to add strength to its women’s fragrance business with the August launch of Armani Mania. Following the 2003 introduction of Sensi, which emphasizes sensuality, Mania is touted as being “the essence of Armani.”
L’Oréal launched another fragrance called Mania in 2000, but that scent was subsequently taken off the market. With a distribution of only 265 doors, the earlier effort is now viewed as a test by L’Oréal executives. Jack Wiswall, president of the Designer Fragrances Division, said the new incarnation is a different fragrance. The bottle is similar but the formula is completely new, as is the positioning and
Moreover, great significance has been attached to the new product. “Sensi was our first major toe in the water in the women’s market with Armani,” since Acqua di Gio for Women in 1995, said Wiswall. “We need another player in the women’s category.”
Armani Mania, developed by International Flavors & Fragrances, is described as a woody, aromatic floral and contains top notes of Moroccan laurel, mandarin zest and black currant; middle notes of peony, lily of the valley and iris, and bottom notes of sandalwood, musk and amber. The new fragrance is slightly less expensive, with the 1.7-oz. spray priced at $49.50, compared with $55 for Sensi. It will also be available in a 2.5-oz. size for $65; a 6.7-oz. body lotion will be priced at $37.50.
“Sensi is a little bit more sensual [than Mania],” noted Serge Jureidini, general manager of Giorgio Armani Parfums and Cosmetics at L’Oréal USA. “The Armani Mania woman is more approachable and she has this inner glow. [This scent] should allow us to reach a slightly younger audience.”
While the shape of the bottle mirrors that of the men’s scent with its “fluid, natural shape,” the women’s bottle is clear glass with a peach colored juice and finished with a mother-of-pearl cap. Isabelle Morel, international marketing director for Giorgio Armani Parfums, said the fragrance found its inspiration in the designer’s style — or particularly his latest collections — which she described as “more feminine, more colorful and more sparkling.”
“This is a very important project for us,” noted Chris Payne, director of marketing for Giorgio Armani Parfums. “We’ve always had a very strong heritage in the men’s category.” He quoted NPD BeautyTrends and noted that Acqua di Gio for Men finished in the number one spot and “its largest year of market share.” Armani Mania [for Men] had a number five ranking. He added that Sensi was the second largest women’s launch at the fragrance bar in 2003 and “the largest women’s launch we’ve ever had in the U.S. for the Armani franchise.”
L’Oréal is aiming for a top five position with the launch of Mania. While executives declined to discuss numbers, industry sources estimate the fragrance could do as much as $35 million in its first year at retail, and advertising and promotion is expected to cost about $15 million.
At launch, there will be 50 million scented impressions, including scented strips, blow-ins and inserts. There will also be a print campaign, shot by Mert Atlas and Marcus Piggot, featuring Leticia Birkauer, who is also the model for Giorgio Armani fashion for spring and summer 2004. There will be single pages and double-page spreads in various women’s fashion and lifestyle magazines.
The fragrance will roll out internationally to a total of about 15,000 doors in Europe, the Middle East and Canada in September 2004 and in Asia-Pacific and South America in March 2005.
— Kristin Finn, with contributions from Pete Born