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Kenneth Cole Builds ‘Black’ Fragrance Line

The brand will release Black Bold, an update to the existing Black fragrance franchise introduced in 2003.

Kenneth Cole Productions is going back to Black next month, launching the first permanent introduction to the fragrance franchise since 2009.

Parlux Ltd., which took over the brand’s license from Coty in 2013, has spent the better part of this year bulking up Kenneth Cole’s men’s business. This spring saw the introduction of Mankind Hero, the third in the Mankind series, and August will see the release of Black Bold, an update to the existing Kenneth Cole Black franchise that was introduced in 2003.

According to Catherine Russell, executive director, global marketing and brand development at Parlux Fragrances, the new eau de parfum is targeted to an “urban guy taking risks, being daring and making a difference in whatever he does.” She said the “leatherlike band” hugging the bottle is an ode to Kenneth Cole’s men’s wear. The tag line of the fragrance is “Find Your Bold,” and a corresponding digital and social media strategy will begin in tandem with the release of Black Bold.

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Russell described the scent as an aromatic woody, with top notes of watermint, mandarin, basil leaves and ginger; a heart of ancient cedar leaf, nutmeg, lotus flower and incense smoke, and a base of black and blonde woods, suede, violet leaves and leathery musks.

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Russell said the marketing budget for Black Bold through 2016 will be split evenly between print and digital, with scent strips through print and a social program leading promotional efforts.

Black Bold, which ranges in price from $46 for a 1 oz. bottle to $76 for 3.4 oz. one, will enter more than 3,000 doors in the U.S. between August and September, including Macy’s, Dillard’s, Ulta Beauty and Belk. A global rollout is set for 2017 in the U.K., Australia, Germany and other regions.

The Kenneth Cole fragrance portfolio is said to be a $100 million business, with industry sources putting projections for Black Bold at $10 million for the first year. Since 2002, the brand has released 16 scents with its fragrance licensees, driven largely by the three pillars Black, Mankind and Reaction.

According to Russell, month-over-month sales are up 80 percent for the brand, with year-over-year sales up nine percent. Men’s scents drive about 80 percent of the Kenneth Cole fragrance business.