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Beauty Beat: Burberry Sets Limited-Edition Scent, Plans Masterbrand

Burberry has unearthed a glittering prize for its most faithful fragrance fans.

LONDON — Burberry has unearthed a glittering prize for its most faithful fragrance fans.

In the fall, the company will launch Burberry Brit Gold, a limited-edition fragrance that will roll out to the brand’s top customers internationally for the holiday season.

Meanwhile, Burberry is working on a new masterbrand to be launched next year. Marcella Cacci, president of Burberry Fragrances, a division of Inter Parfums SA, told WWD in an exclusive interview her team was currently hammering out the details.

Burberry Brit Gold, an “ambery Oriental,” is aimed at Burberry Brit fans in search of a glamorous scent for evening. It flanks Burberry Brit, a fresh, green Oriental and Burberry Brit Red, a more sensual “gourmand Oriental.”

“It’s a very special, very focused product,” said Cacci during an interview at Burberry’s sleek and polished offices near Piccadilly Circus here. “It’s still an Oriental fragrance, so it makes sense within the Brit family. But it offers the customer a different option for a different mood — and it’s more of a night scent.”

Gold will come in two sizes — a 50-ml. and 100-ml. eau de parfum — priced at $58 and $78, respectively. The rectangular bottle, designed by Fabien Baron, is similar to the other Brit containers, but looks as if it’s been dipped in liquid, metallic gold.

The color, Cacci noted, echoes both the runway trends for the fall and, of course, the holiday mood.

In the U.S., Gold will launch exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue and Burberry retail stores in late September. A month later, it will be rolled out to Burberry’s best customers, or about 10,000 doors worldwide. In the U.S., it will also sell at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale’s.

While Cacci declined to give sales projections, industry sources say Gold will generate $15 million at retail internationally. The U.S. is expected to generate a total of $4 million at retail.

Cacci said the company was spending $1 million on promoting Gold — mostly in-store, point-of-sale and co-op advertising — over the three-month period.

Burberry Brit has been a powerhouse brand for Inter Parfums, and is expected to generate a total of $245 million at retail by the end of this year, according to industry sources. The brand currently accounts for 45 percent of all Burberry fragrance sales.

This story first appeared in the July 6, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“The Brit franchise continues to surpass our expectations, and we are certain that Brit Gold will continue to build the momentum,” said Don Loftus, president and chief executive officer of Cosmopolitan Cosmetics U.S. Inc., whose firm distributes Burberry’s scents in the U.S.

Earlier this year, Burberry Brit Red scooped the Fifi Award for Best Women’s Fragrance in the Nouveau Niche category (USA), and Burberry Brit for men won Best Men’s Fragrance of the Year in the Luxe category (USA and UK). Sources estimate that sales this year of all the Burberry men’s and women’s fragrances will reach $550 million at retail — a 20 percent rise over 2004.

Last fall, Inter Parfums extended its licensing agreement with Burberry for another 12 years, boosted royalty payments and created the new operational division called Burberry Fragrances. Burberry Brit Gold is the first fragrance to be launched under the new division, which is based in Paris.

Gold, created by Givaudan’s Antoine Lie, opens with feminine, floral notes of magnolia and neroli, mixed with black currant and ultrafresh bergamot. The heart is drawn from pink iris, amber and vanilla — the common denominator in all the Burberry Brit fragrances. The drydown is a blend of sexy musks and sandalwood.

And while Gold may round out the Burberry Brit offer, it certainly won’t be the last flanker. “It’s a strong franchise and we have other projects planned. There are a lot of future opportunities,” Cacci said.