By  on January 24, 1994

NEW YORK -- Get ready for another fragrance from Calvin Klein.

Once again, he's looking to break the rules.

According to industry reports, Klein and his fragrance licensee, Unilever's Calvin Klein Cosmetics, are attempting to develop a single scent that will appeal to men as well as women and can be marketed to both sexes.

Names reportedly under consideration include variations on the word "One," such as "One by Calvin Klein."

However, the project appears to be in the early stages, and like all fragrance concepts, there is no guarantee what direction it will ultimately take. If the fragrance can be successfully developed, it could hit the market as early as this fall. Sources speculated that the fragrance may be aimed at a younger consumer.

Klein executives could not be reached for comment Friday.

There have been few instances of companies marketing major, commercial fragrances to both men and women in widespread distribution. Last April, Bulgari launched Eau Parfumee as a unisex product. But the Bulgari scent is limited in distribution, restricted to the company's 33 boutiques worldwide, and the fragrance is only an eau de toilette splash, much like 4711, a light German scent that's been on the market for over 100 years.

In contrast to those more generic products, Klein is attempting to develop a full fragrance line, with mainstream department store distribution.

"They're always breaking ground," said one industry executive, of Klein and his fragrance business.

Annette Green, president of the Fragrance Foundation, noted that this new concept is a logical step for a company that has broken with tradition before.

It was Klein, working with his fragrance licensee, then headed by Robin Burns, who pioneered "master branding" -- separate men's and women's fragrances with the same name and a common advertising campaign. Master branding has now become common practice in the industry.

In the process, the cosmetics company became one of the leading forces in the global fragrance industry, with a wholesale volume of more than $400 million.

Klein's Obsession, a 1985 women's fragrance, was followed by Obsession for Men in 1986; Eternity in 1988 was echoed in 1989 by Eternity for Men, and the Escape for Men of 1993 came after Escape, a 1991 entry.

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