By  on June 10, 1994

MILAN -- Fueled by the surprising sales of the first Bulgari fragrance, Eau Parfumee, the Rome-based fine jewelry house has launched a second women's scent, called simply Bulgari.

According to Francesco Trapani, chief executive officer, retail sales for the high-end unisex Eau Parfumee topped $2.9 million (5 billion lire at current exchange rates) in 1993. And the scent is only available in Bulgari's 35 worldwide signature boutiques.

For the Bulgari launch in February, the jewelry house broadened the distribution to 400 selective perfumery stores in Italy.

The fragrance is expected to roll out to the U.S. in September and, once the distribution is completed, it will have 400 doors between department stores and exclusive sales points.

As reported, Fragrances Exclusive, a division of Chanel, will be the North American distributor.

Jean Hoehn Zimmerman, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Chanel, said the fragrance will be sold in Bulgari's eight U.S. boutiques, as well as in 40 to 50 specialty store doors.

While neither executive provided sales figures, industry sources estimate Bulgari could have retail sales of $1 million to $2 million in its first six or eight months on North American shelves.

The line includes a 15-ml. parfum at $110 (190,000 lire), a 7.5-ml. parfum spray bottle at $82 (140,000 lire) and 50-ml. and 100-ml eau de parfums in splash and spray versions, priced between $50 (85,000 lire) and $85 (145,000 lire).

The scent, which is fresh and flowery, includes notes of Italian bergamot, Brazilian rose wood, violet, iris, orange blossom, musk and vetiver, among others.

The flacon is a cleanly cut frosted glass bottle with a gold metal cap.

Bulgari's future plans include a full-range bath line for the Bulgari scent, due out in September, and a signature men's fragrance scheduled for the beginning of next year, Trapani said.

He noted that the company will invest $1.8 million (3 billion lire) in advertising.

"Part of it will be used for print ad campaigns, while the rest will go to train and inform the salespeople about the philosophy, traditions, goals and history of Bulgari," explained Trapani. "We have invested a lot of money and time in our fragrance business. We don't have licensing contracts, but a company called Bulgari Parfums S.A., based in Neuchatel, Switzerland, was created for production, design and distribution of the Bulgari fragrances."

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