By  on July 1, 2005

SAINT PAUL DE VENCE, FRANCE — David Beckham has made a career out of shooting for goals. Now, the soccer player and Coty Inc. believe he will naturally be on target with his debut fragrance, Instinct.

Known as much for his penchant for luxury labels and high-profile marriage as for his prowess on the pitch, Beckham is among the latest entrants into Coty's star-spangled scent portfolio. The beauty powerhouse, which creates fragrances for Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion and Sarah Jessica Parker, among other celebrities, also recently snapped up Unilever's designer fragrance portfolio, which includes the Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, Chloe, Lagerfeld and Cerruti beauty licenses.

Instinct is the first building block in what is eventually to become the Beckham Beauty House, a brand that will encompass men's grooming products, plus his-and-her fragrances.

Beckham and his other half, former Spice Girl Victoria (aka Posh Spice), proved to be real team players when it came to building their joint beauty business alongside Coty's creative squad.

"For me, [the project] had to be exciting, and I had to be involved," said Beckham, while attending a launch event held mid-June in a villa outside the idyllic French Riviera town of Saint Paul de Vence.

"Coty really allowed us to have a lot of creative input," added his wife, who will work with Coty on a female fragrance.

For Bernd Beetz, Coty's chief executive officer, the pair's involvement was integral to the project's success.

"Perfumery is a very, very demanding category in terms of consumer expectations. They want the celebrity's personality to really be seen and echoed in the product," he said.

Beetz added the choice of star is key to creating a long-term brand.

"David Beckham is the most accomplished and complete athlete I can think of," he said, noting the soccer player is also a modern style icon. "He is a complete star and inspires a lot of people."

While Beckham's draw outside of his rabid European fan base — namely, the U.S. market — remains to be seen, executives said his across-the-board appeal was key to cinching the Coty deal.

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