Puff Daddy’s Sean John Fragrance Arrives At Macy’s This Fall
Over a year ago, Puff Daddy, also known as Sean Combs and Diddy reentered the fragrance business with 3 AM. The line was released on May 6, 2016, under a new partner, Parlux (see it here). The entrepreneur is now set to release his latest fragrance, Sean John.
“I see it lasting generations,” Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs” said to WWD, speaking of his brand during a break between photography sessions in Los Angeles for the advertising campaign to promote his latest fragrance, Sean John.
“The past sales stumbles of his last fragrance, 3AM, don’t appear to faze Combs in the least as licensee Jacavi Beauty Group and distributor Parlux Ltd. embark on the latest launch.”
Puffy built his music empire (Bad Boy Entertainment) 23 years ago, launched a clothing line (Sean John) 17 years ago and released his first fragrance, Unforgivable 11 years ago. Now he’s is ready to build a fragrance empire. He’s here to stay! “There are always a lot of different trends and sometimes fragrances smell like other fragrances. From the get-go, we tried to represent something that was cool and clean, and we always kept our signature bergamot in,” he said. “You can go in so many different directions with fragrances, but if you have a point of view, I think that’s how you build a brand.”
Combs’ plodding and detailed approach impresses executives at Parlux, which, with Jacavi, took over Sean John fragrances in 2013 from former licensee the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. “There is a lot of show business working with him, but, when you cut through all of that, there’s a man who knows how to reach his consumer and has very good instincts,” said Parlux president Donald Loftus. “He really seems to understand and enjoy the category, and takes an active role in the juice, the packaging, the bottle and the advertising. It’s really a part of him, and he understands all that it means.”
Parlux on why the 2015 release 3AM, in Loftus’ strikingly candid admittance, “just didn’t work.” But perhaps it was partially because Combs the person and Sean John the brand were overshadowed by heavy-handed messaging. The Sean John fragrance distills Combs to serve him up in a straightforward manner to consumers. Combs summarized, “It’s about the evolution of the brand and the personal evolution that we all go through. It’s what the brand is about. It’s [gone] from Puff Daddy to Diddy to Sean Combs.”
In simple terms, Combs has grown up and so has his fragrance. “His franchise is always going to be cool, aspirational and sexy,” said Diana Espino, global vice president of marketing and brand development at Parlux. “That’s never going to change. But he has changed. Unforgivable was him in bed with two girls, and I Am King was about all men being kings. 3AM was a departure from the other Sean John pillars, but, we think, right now, with Sean John, it’s about him looking forward to this next phase of his life. At the end of the day, when the fashion show is over, when the party stops and the girls go home, he’s still Sean John.”
“To capture Combs’ mature self-assurance, Firmenich’s Harry Fremont concocted a modern fragrance with top notes of bergamot, mandarin, watermint and black pepper; middle notes of nutmeg, violet leaves, cardamom and angelica root, and base notes of amber, vanilla, musk, sandalwood, amberwood and coumarin.” “It has a sophistication that gives the vibe of a great men’s fragrance,” said Combs. “It’s not too strong. It’s soft and clean, but it’s a memorable scent for when you are around a young lady or just trying to smell good.”
The ad for the Sean John fragrance was hot by Elton Anderson. It centers on Combs looking contemplative while sitting on stairs and contains the motto, “Always Sean John.” Espino observed, “he is anchored on those stairs, and he has reached this pinnacle of life where you see this light above him. We wanted to make him and the product exude sexiness. He looks damn sexy. There doesn’t have to be a lot of peripheral things around to bring the sexiness. This will be just as big as an attention-grabber as it would be if he had many girls around him.”
The packaging is equally stripped down. The bottle is black, accented by black embossed letters spelling Sean John. Silver is added to the box to make it stand out on counter. “The packaging is simple, direct and elegant,” Espino continued. “I think it speaks exactly to where we see him right now. We don’t need to explain him. The bottle doesn’t need anything flashy. The response from retailers has been very positive, frankly much more positive than we’ve gotten for the other celebrity fragrances that we have.”
Loftus confirmed the early favorable reaction. He said, “The scent is well-loved. I think we will sell a second and third bottle as well as a first, so, hopefully, it will go on to be a classic.”
The Sean John fragrance will enter Macy’s in October at the price of $70 for a 3.4-oz. eau de toilette spray and $39 for a 1-oz. eau de toilette spray. Across a variety of categories such as fragrance, men’s sportswear, watches, suits, ties, headwear and children’s wear, Sean John has had a fruitful relationship with Macy’s (its clothing is exclusive to the department store) that’s helped the brand reach roughly $525 million in annual retail sales. “There would be no Sean Jean without Macy’s,” asserted Combs.
In related Puffy news, he is working on his final album, No Way Out 2 and gearing up to embark on the Bad Boy Reunion tour with Lil Kim, The Lox, Faith Evans, Ma$e, Total, French Montana and more.
Behind the scenes at the Sean John fragrance advertising shoot.
Photos Credit: Elton Anderson | Photo by Chelsea Lauren