by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan of the WSJ Since the late 1990s, Coach Inc. has earned a reputation for producing the latest must-have handbag. Now, it wants to do the same for fragrance. Earlier this week, Coach president and creative director Reed Krakoff threw a cocktail party at his Manhattan townhouse to celebrate the launch of his companys first fragrance, which will start selling in the brands 220 stores next month. Over risotto balls and chardonnay, Mr. Krakoff said the company had long planned to do a scent but was waiting for the right moment. We wanted to wait until wed evolved into a lifestyle brand, he said. We didnt want to just have handbags and fragrance and not have much of a connection between the two. Mr. Krakoff noted that his company now makes a wide range of products that include coats, shoes, scarves and pet accessories such as collars. Created by Estee Lauder Cos., the floral scent simply named Coach features notes of jasmine, honey and orange flower and will be sold in a $68 1.7 fluid oz. bottle and a $42, 8 ml purse-sized version. Coach is entering the scent business at a time when perfume sales are slowing and the industry is mired in a glut, as the number of celebrity and designer fragrances continues to jump every year. Mr. Krakoff said he believes the Coach scent will stand out from the pack due in part to its presentation the bottle is designed to resemble a vintage perfume container and it is housed in a decorative box thats meant to be a keepsake as well. Kim-Van Dang, president of the Manhattan-based beauty branding agency KVD NYC Inc., said the strategy could work initially. A nice box goes a long way when it comes to brand recognition think Jo Malone, Tiffany and Hermes, she said. But fabulous juice is the only reason consumers will come back to make repeat purchases thats when you have a real fragrance hit on your hands. Coach has been on a tear. The company recently announced projected sales of $2.6 billion this year and CEO Lew Frankfort said the brand has seen sales increase about 25% so far this year. The company also recently announced plans to open two Legacy stores to sell a line of handbags and accessories that are priced higher than its main collection. The brands party during fashion week also offered a peek into Mr. Krakoffs personal taste. The designers living room bore the pared-down, chic aesthetic that many of his Coach pieces possess but with one striking, quirky touch a small herd of fluffy sheep benches created by French artists Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne.