Ralph's Hot Fragrance Set To Heat Up Retail for Spring
By Julie Naughton
NEW YORK — It's going to be a hot spring season at Ralph Lauren fragrance counters.
That heat will begin to build in March, when Ralph Lauren Fragrances, a division of global beauty giant L'Oréal, will launch Ralph by Ralph Lauren Hot — the newest addition to the designer's scent lineup.
Building upon the strengths of franchises has always been a successful strategy for the brand, which has also launched a trio of Polo fragrances — the original and two siblings, Polo Blue and Polo Black — and several scents under the Ralph by Ralph Lauren banner, of which Hot is the third. Cool bowed in 2004 and the original Ralph by Ralph Lauren was introduced in 2000.
"Ralph Hot gives the Ralph girl a new fragrance in her lifestyle portfolio," said Signe Gammeltoft, president of Ralph Lauren Fragrances Worldwide. Gammeltoft was named to her role in June; she was previously president of L'Oréal's Luxury Products Division in the U.K. "Ralph is the leading young fragrance brand in the marketplace and Ralph Hot will help us to continue our global success."
The Ralph franchise is primarily targeted at consumers ages 15 to 25, representing a huge market opportunity, said Heather Simmons, vice president of global marketing for Ralph Lauren Fragrances. "About half of the 6.2 billion people in the world are under 25 — and 1.5 billion of those people are women," said Simmons. "The market continues to grow very strongly, and consumers in this age group always want whatever is the newest, hottest item — and they are spending money in our world. We want to continue to grow our leadership position in that market."
And the same female consumer could easily wear all three scents in the Ralph portfolio, showcasing different aspects of her personality, Simmons said. "The Ralph Hot fragrance appeals to her flirty, sexy side, the Cool girl is trendy and adventurous and the original Ralph girl is preppy and confident."
That youthful yet sophisticated consumer will be drawn in by the scent, which is the brand's first gourmand juice, said Jennifer Mullarkey, assistant vice president of global fragrance development for Ralph Lauren Fragrances, who developed the fragrance with Givaudan's Pierre Negrin.
"This scent has several key accords, which we call the 'tasty signatures,'" said Mullarkey. "The base is luscious maple, which is built around a middle accord of mocha cream that offers creamy, decadent qualities to the scent. The top note is of cinnamon, which adds a sexy focus."
In the top notes, the cinnamon is combined with almond blossoms and mandarin; the mocha cream in the middle accord is accented with orchid, honeysuckle, jasmine, fresh milk and fig notes, and the maple in the drydown is complemented with creamy vanilla, amber, musk and sandalwood. The bottle is made of deep, transparent purple glass, accented with turquoise, hot pink and yellow lettering and a turquoise cap.
The Hot scent line will include a 2.5-oz. eau de parfum spray for $42.50 and a 4.2-oz. eau de parfum for $55. Two ancillaries, a 6.7-oz. body moisturizer for $27.50 and a 6.7-oz. shower gel for $24, will launch in the U.S. in June. In the U.S., the eaux de parfum will be available in about 2,200 department and specialty store doors and at polo.com in March. Internationally, the brand will be launched in late spring 2006.
Print advertising was shot by Regan Cameron. It will break in April fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. Online efforts also will be a major part of the brand's awareness campaign, said Simmons, who added that many of the brand's online efforts will center around retailer-related sites.
A large sampling campaign will also be undertaken, noted Jack Wiswall, president of the designer fragrances division of L'Oréal USA. More than 20 million scented strips in national advertising, as well as a preselling campaign with scented purple bead-and-ribbon bracelets, will be disseminated.
While none of the executives would comment on projected sales or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that the scent would do upward of $20 million at retail in its first year on counter and that about $10 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.
L'Oréal also continues to develop a planned color cosmetics line under the Ralph Lauren banner, which is expected in 2007.