NEW YORK — Summer fragrance? Been there, done that. Bulgari’s aiming to break into a new category: winter fragrances.

This story first appeared in the June 28, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

And the company is kicking off that concept this fall with Bulgari Absolute Blu, a riff on its existing Bulgari Blu.

“It is a limited-edition strategy with fresh thinking,” explained Connie Ruscio, vice president and general manager of Fragrances Exclusive, Bulgari’s U.S. fragrance distributor. “Rather than lightening up our fragrance for summer like so many others do, we thought it could be interesting to enrich our juice, making it even deeper and richer.” The juice, by Alberto Morillas of Firmenich, has a stronger concentrate of oils than the original, making for an eau de parfum concentre, she noted. The key difference is the use of ginger in the scent: The ginger top note has been toned down and made richer, while ginger has also been threaded throughout the heart of the scent. The juice also includes wisteria, musk, sandalwood, flax flower, acacia and vanilla notes.

The bottle concept is “fire in ice,” Ruscio explained. The outer packaging is a translucent pale blue, while the inner bottle, designed by Thierry de Bashmakoff, is frosted glass colored in gradations of blue, ranging from pale blue at the bottom to cobalt at the top of the bottle, with cobalt echoed in the bottle’s cap. Absolute Blu is available in one size, 1.33 oz., and will retail for $62. “That’s a bit higher than the original, which retails for $55 for 1.33 oz.,” said Ruscio. “However, because of the high concentration of oils, it represents a great value.” Absolute Blu will launch at the end of October in about 900 department and specialty store doors, including Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. “We think it will be sold out by Christmas,” said Ruscio. While she wouldn’t comment on expected sales, industry sources estimated that they would top $2 million at retail.

The launch will also include sampling — about 300,000 miniatures are planned, said Ruscio. National advertising is not planned at this time.”