REVLON PLANS FRAGRANCE TURNAROUND: TRIO OF INTROS INCLUDES EXTENSION OF 25-YEAR-OLD CHARLIE FRANCHISE

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Revlon, having turned around its cosmetics business, is now trying to recapture the sweet smell of success in fragrances.

The leading mass-market cosmetics marketer is launching three new scents: Charlie Sunshine, Fire & Ice Cool-both brand extensions-and Street Wear Scents.

Street Wear Scents is a line of sprays that are part of an edgy new beauty line meant to reflect trends of the moment.

The company also is rumored to be working on a major new brand for fall.

YEAR OF BIG REINVESTMENT

Revlon VP-Fragrance Marketing Steven G. Perelman declined to discuss the marketing budget but executives familiar with Revlon's plans said this will be a year of major reinvestment in the category.

"Revlon . . . is committed to the mass market across all of our businesses," Mr. Perelman said.

The full Charlie line is said by industry executives to be budgeted at about $7 million in media with more than half of that going to Sunshine; the Fire & Ice franchise is slated for nearly $8 million with more than 75% going to Cool. With couponing and sampling, the total marketing budget could approach $30 million.

FLAGGING FORTUNES

The infusion is needed to reverse both Revlon's flagging fragrance fortunes and the category.

For the 52 weeks ended Dec. 29, mass-market women's fragrance sales declined to $681.4 million, off 12.9% from 1995, according to Information Resources Inc. Among the top 10 women's brands, Revlon could claim only one: No. 9 Charlie with a 1.9% share, down from 2% the year earlier.

Charlie Sunshine, with a perky positioning, will be supported with print and TV ads targeted at a younger consumer as the company seeks to broaden the appeal of the nearly 25-year-old franchise.

Ads from Tarlow Advertising, New York, break this month. A 30-second TV spot gives an 800-number for viewers to call to receive a free sample of the Charlie of their choice.

Fire & Ice Cool ads feature Cindy Crawford.

'INCREDIBLE' ADS

The ads for Cool are "incredible executions that have set records in terms of clutter-and awareness- breakthrough for us," Mr. Perelman said. "We have revised the way in which we develop fragrance concepts and our advertising."

Revlon isn't the only company struggling: Coty, which claims six of the top 10 brands, saw all but one decline. Coty is hoping to bounce back with Nokomis, a

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