By  on January 7, 2005

NEW YORK — Fresh off acquiring the Versace beauty business, EuroItalia of Cavenago, Italy, has turned the spotlight on its Moschino fragrance license.

Moschino’s newest Cheap and Chic scent, a women’s fragrance called I Love Love, was unveiled during an interview here Wednesday with executives from EuroItalia’s U.S. affiliate, EuroItaly.

I Love Love will be the third scent within the Cheap and Chic fragrance portfolio, which also includes the original Cheap and Chic by Moschino as well as L’Eau Cheap and Chic.

The scent will be launched in the U.S. in early February, an introduction that will take place in a chainwide exclusive with Saks Fifth Avenue to capitalize on the Valentine’s Day selling period. In addition to a spring launch in Italy, I Love Love will also be rolled out globally.

Regarding the exclusive U.S. launch with Saks, “The choice was made to take advantage of the [Moschino] synergy within Saks,” said Connie Ruscio, vice president and general manager of Fragrances Exclusive Inc., which distributes Moschino fragrances in the U.S. She was referring to the fact that the retailer already has an established Moschino fashion business and that adding I Love Love would widen the breadth of the Moschino franchise at Saks, which includes ready-to-wear, swimwear, jeans, scarves and bags.

Rossella Jardini, creative director of Moschino, noted that, “Beauty for Moschino has been an integral part of the overall image of the brand, since its inception.”

By late spring-early summer in the U.S., I Love Love will be rolled out to 1,200 department stores, according to Ruscio. The widened distribution base will include retailers like Neiman Marcus — another established Moschino fashion venue — Nordstrom, Federated Department Stores Inc., May Department Stores Co. and Dillard’s.

Industry sources estimate the scent could generate global retail sales of 15 million euros, or $19.9 million at current exchange rates, during its first year on the market. In the U.S., that number could fall between $8 million and $10 million.

Claudio Tenan, export manager for $594 million EuroItalia, called I Love Love a “very strategic launch” within both the Cheap and Chic brand and within the full stable of Moschino fragrances. “We expect — and we already have plans for the most important markets worldwide — that I Love Love will become our biggest and most successful line in the Moschino portfolio from year one,” Tenan remarked.The scent will reach some 85 markets this spring, Tenan noted, including the U.K., Germany, Spain, Holland, Russia, France, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, Brazil and Australia. It will eventually be carried in about 8,000 doors globally, excluding the U.S., according to Tenan.

For I Love Love, Firmenich’s Oliver Crisp, who blended the scent, said the idea was to create something “new, sparkly, girly, unique and simple.” The fragrance features dry bottom notes of Japanese Tanaka wood. There are citrus top notes and floral middle notes in I Love Love, which belongs to the fruity, floral olfactory family.

A 30-ml. eau de toilette is priced at 31.60 euros, or $42, for Italy, while a 50-ml. version has been set at 47.90 euros, or $63.70. In the U.S., the smaller version is priced at $32.50 and the price of the larger size has been set at $50. Two 200-ml. ancillaries — a bath and shower gel and a body lotion — will accompany the scent for $25 and $32, respectively.

In a throwback to the first Cheap and Chic scent of the mid-Nineties, the I Love Love bottle design echoes that of 10 years ago. Originally, the bottle was designed to resemble Olive Oyl, the girlfriend of cartoon character Popeye.

I Love Love’s target is younger women, which EuroItalia executives said was communicated in the bottle’s cartoonish shape and orange-and-blue motif. The fragrance’s packaging also features the scent’s name in graffiti-style graphics. The project was a collaborative effort between EuroItalia and Moschino. “In the next few years,” Tenan said, “this launch will be followed by other fragrances developed in strict synergy with the trends of the Cheap and Chic fashion line.”

Ruscio said there will be “strong promotional posturing” for I Love Love in the U.S. To wit: In May, plans call for eight million I Love Love advertising inserts to appear in magazines like Vogue, Glamour, Elle, In Style and Cosmopolitan. In June, eight million scented pieces will break in teen magazines, including Teen Vogue — a nod to the younger consumer the scent is attempting to attract.Between $3.5 million and $4.5 million will reportedly be spent to support I Love Love in the U.S. during the scent’s first year.

— With contributions from Stephanie Epiro, Milan

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