SWITZERLAND. Victorinox, best known as the manufacturer of the iconic Swiss Army Knife, has revealed plans to roll out a new men’s fragrance next year in a major brand building effort.

The new fragrance marks the first innovation from the family-run firm since it acquired Wenger SA – the only other company that manufactured Swiss Army knives – and its Swiss Army Fragrance business in 2003.

With the new fragrance, the company hopes to put the spotlight on the Victorinox name. “It’s a new departure for us, and will carry much more the essence of Victorinox, rather than Swiss Army Knife, the name we traded on in the past,” said Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrance Chairman Veronika Elsener.

Victorinox took space for the first time at the TFWA Asia Pacific show, showcasing its entire portfolio including travel gear and accessories; (Bottom right) Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrance Vice President Global Sales Christoph Sanne

Spearheaded by former President of Parfums Thierry Mugler Vera Strübi, the new fragrance is designed to help Victorinox carve a niche in the prestige fragrance sector, adding a new target market to the mix.

“The Swiss Army fragrance itself is a masstige fragrance,” noted Jonathan Holland, Managing Director of Jonathan Holland & Associates, the Singapore-based company behind Victorinox’s marketing drive in Asia Pacific. “However, other new products within the Victorinox portfolio won’t necessarily be masstige; they will also be looking to drive new products in the prestige sector.”

He added: “The exciting new launch will come about in the first half of next year. It will be distributed very selectively initially as the company’s aim is to build a very solid base with this brand. As it is the first real innovation since Swiss Army Fragrance has been under the Victorinox banner, it will be treated very seriously in terms of the support behind the brand. They are building a solid platform to the business, as per the Victorinox style with all of their product categories. It’s important that they have a strong pillar brand in the prestige sector so as to build and develop from that.”

Victorinox was profiled in the May 2008 issue of The Moodie Report Digital Print Edition

And it was with this philosophy that the company made its debut in travel retail at the TFWA Asia Pacific exhibition in May 2008. Since Victorinox’s venture into the Asia Pacific market in January 2007, efforts have largely been focused on the domestic market. Once the company gains a foothold in the domestic markets, more ambitious travel retail plans will follow.

Victorinox is now in 12 domestic markets: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and China, where it will launch within the next few months.

“Basically, we’re well-placed now for the duty free business,” said Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrance Vice President Global Sales Christoph Sanne. “I would say [the TFWA Asia Pacific show] is really the starting point of duty free for us.”


On show at the exhibition was the entire Victorinox portfolio, including travel gear, accessories such as watches and its fragrance assortment.

The Victorinox fragrance portfolio comprises four products: Swiss Army Classic, Swiss Army Altitude, Swiss Army for Her and Swiss Army Mountain Water.

(Left to right) Swiss Army Classic, Swiss Army Altitude, Swiss Army For Her and Swiss Army Mountain Water

Launched in 1997, Victorinox’s best-selling men’s fragrance Swiss Army Classic sells more than 1.4 million units annually. The 100ml edt comes in a brushed metallic quiver, a design inspired by the small bowls Swiss soldiers use for their canteen food.

Swiss Army Altitude, released in 2001, is an edt for men. The fresh and woody fragrance comes in a frosted black bottle that “emphasises the fresh power and energy from the Swiss mountains”. Its design is inspired by the small oxygen tanks used by Swiss soldiers while scaling great heights.

The first Swiss Army women’s fragrance, Swiss Army for Her, is described as a warm, floral and long-lasting fragrance for women who love nature. The edp is presented in a red glass flacon with a metal cap, the deep red derived from the trademark colour of the traditional Swiss Army Knife.

All three fragrances are available in 25ml, 50ml, 100ml, and as a 75ml deodorant stick.

Swiss Army Mountain Water, launched by Victorinox last year, has its olfactory concept built around the icy freshness of water from the Swiss Alps. The fougère juice comes in an intense blue bottle, inspired by the crystal clear blue water flowing from the mountains.

The launch of Mountain Water was supported by a visual campaign that showed ads of a man scaling an imposing glacier, along with the tagline: “˜The Swiss Way of Freshness’.

And the Swiss Alps association seems to have clicked with its target audiences. “Mountain Water was meant originally as just a one-off product for a year,” explained Holland. “However, the demand for it has been so strong that Victorinox are now reviewing that initial plan, and it’s quite possible that Mountain Water will become a permanent item in the portfolio because of its success.”

The nature theme, which centres on an authentic “Swiss ambience”, also forms the core of a series of new visual campaigns for Swiss Army Classic, Swiss Army Altitude and Swiss Army for Her. The association with the Swiss landscape runs strongly in all three ads, with snow-capped mountains and calm lakes forming a backdrop of unspoilt nature.

Focusing on the Swiss way of life: The association with the Swiss landscape runs strongly across all Swiss Army fragrance visuals, with snow-capped mountains and calm lakes forming a backdrop of unspoilt nature

With a solid foundation in place, Victorinox is optimistic about its fledgling beauty business. “What we want to achieve within the next 10 years is to be among the 20 best-selling perfumes globally – and of course in Asia,” said Sanne. “As for mid-term goals, we hope to expand into the area of skincare by 2010. The idea behind this is that Victorinox is primarily an outdoor company, with the travel gear and watches, so we believe that skincare – also for men, such as suncare – could be interesting.

“I know skincare in Asia is different from skincare in Europe – it won’t be easy – but this would be the next category in which we would like to expand,” Sanne added.

For details, contact Christoph Sanne, Vice President Sales Global, Victorinox Swiss Army, tel: +41 41 818 1211, e-mail: christoph.sanne@victorinoxswissarmy.com; or Jonathan Holland, Managing Director, Jonathan Holland & Associates, tel: +65 6356 4835, e-mail: jonathan.holland@jh-associates.com.

Visit www.victorinoxswissarmy.com.

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