Nidara Perfumes

Why did Harley Davidson Fragrances fail?

  • By: Rena Tatton
  • Date: September 27, 2021
  • Time to read: 3 min.
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Harley-Davidson is an American motorcycle manufacturer founded in 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was one of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression.

Over a long period of time the company has survived numerous ownership arrangements, subsidiary arrangements, periods of poor economic health and product quality and has had intense global competition.

Despite all of this Harley-Davidson is one of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturers and an iconic brand widely known for its loyal following.

Harley Davidson Black Mass

Harley-Davidson manufactures its motorcycles at factories in York, Pennsylvania, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kansas City,  Manaus, Brazil and Bawal, India.

Construction of a new plant in Thailand began in 2018.  The company markets its products worldwide and also licenses and markets merchandise under the Harley-Davidson brand, among them apparel, home décor, ornaments, accessories, toys, scale models of its motorcycles and video games based on its motorcycle line and the community.

Perfumery

 Although Harley-Davidson’s founding fathers recognised the importance of good marketing not all the non-motorcycle products were successful.

 In the mid 90’s Harley-Davidson decided to enter into the world of boutique perfumes and colognes. They wanted their followers to ride hard and smell good.

The brand was known as the “Hot Road” and featured various colognes for the men and scents for the women.

Harley-Davidson perfumes and colognes were developed with L’Oreal but are very rarely seen these days as it is some 20 years since they were first marketed. You can however still acquire them.

The first edition was created in 1994 and the last in 2005.

1994 – Legendary Harley-Davidson

This was launched under the slogan “The Scent of Freedom”. It is a dry chypre fragrance for men and has top notes of mint and bergamot with middle notes of cypress and cedar and base notes of sandalwood and patchouli.

1999 – Destiny Man

This is a woody, spicy fragrance for men and comprises notes of cinnamon, anise seed, ginger, sandalwood, cedar, amber and leather.

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Destiny Woman

This is a floral, green fragrance with top notes of mint, green leaves, red berries, sea notes and bergamot together with middle notes of jasmine and rose and base notes of sandalwood and cedar.

2001 – Legendary Harley-Davidson Cool Spirit

This is an aromatic, fougere fragrance for men and contains top notes of bergamot. Pineapple and apple together with middle notes of lavender, cypress and mint and base notes of cedar, patchouli and sandalwood.

2002 – Territory

This is a woody, spicy fragrance for men with notes of pepper, exotic spices and woody elements.

2005 – Black Fire

This is an amber, woody fragrance for men and has top notes of lemon, bergamot, mandarin orange and cedar together with middle notes of coriander, nutmeg and cardamom and base notes of patchouli, amber and incense.

Summary

The idea behind launching the colognes and perfumes was that Harley owners would finally be able to complete the all-encompassing Harley-Davidson lifestyle and smell like their bikes.

While many Harley-Davidson riders loved the brand and would buy almost anything with a Harley logo on it Harley fans were not willing to spend their money on a bottle of perfume. This particular extension of the brand was too far for lovers of the motorcycle and many accused Harley-Davidson of “Disneyfying” the brand  and believing that more products equalled more sales.

Today the “Hot Road” perfumes and colognes have made their way into the Museum of Failure in Helsinborg, Sweden.

Even though you may be a successful entrepreneur and have a worldwide following, branching out into unfamiliar territory is not always the right course to take and proves you cannot always win them all.

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