By  on July 1, 1994

CERNOBBIO, Italy -- When Laura Biagiotti launches her third women's fragrance in Europe this fall, she will be reaching for a younger customer.

The new scent, called Laura, will be aimed at women from 18 to 35, according to Walter Farnsteiner, president of the German-based Eurocos Cosmetic GmbH, the prestige fragrance division of Procter & Gamble.

Bud Hamilton, president of Eurocos USA, which is based in Hunt Valley, Md., said the target audience for Biagiotti's established fragrances, Roma and Venezia, is a "little older," from 18 to 49.

Farnsteiner and Hamilton were here last week for a two-day press presentation of the new fragrance. The high point was a formal dinner Thursday for 300 guests in the sumptuous 15th-century Villa d'Este on the shore of Lake Como.

Farnsteiner said Laura will be introduced in September simultaneously in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Finland and Sweden.

Laura will be distributed through 1,200 to 1,500 perfumeries in Italy and 6,000 to 7,000 throughout the rest of Europe.

Distribution to France and Great Britain will follow six to 12 months later.

"We couldn't include these countries immediately because we are a little behind," Farnsteiner said."We still have to introduce the previous fragrances and establish our organization in these two markets."

While there are still no definite plans for the U.S., Farnsteiner said Laura might be introduced there in fall 1995.

"There are so many different sales patterns for the U.S. market, depending on financial plans and what you have in the pipeline," he said. "But if you want to be a global player, you have to cover the U.S and [Western] Europe in the same way, since these two markets generate 65 to 70 percent of the total worldwide volume," Farnsteiner pointed out.

Hamilton noted that American launches usually follow the European introductions within six to 18 months.

Although Farnsteiner declined to disclose sales projections and advertising budgets, industry sources estimate that Laura could reach a wholesale volume of $40 million to $50 million for the first year.

The launch will be supported by an advertising budget equaling 50 to 60 percent of projected sales, according to sources.

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