NEW YORK -- Chanel Inc. is expected to become the North American distributor for the new Bulgari fragrance, which is slated for introduction here in the fall, according to Chanel.
Bulgari Parfums USA is planning to sign a service agreement soon with Fragrances Exclusive Inc., a division of Chanel, for the handling of sales, merchandising and distribution of its fragrance. Bulgari will retain approval rights for any distribution arrangements.
In a statement, Francesco Trapani, chief executive officer of the Bulgari Group in Rome, said, "Strategically, this is an important decision."
Several weeks ago, he told a reporter, "We are very ambitious and have high expectations, and within the next three or four years we want to have a leadership in the high-end perfumery market and compete with high-end jewelry houses that have fragrances."
Jean Hoehn Zimmerman, senior vice president of sales and marketing of Chanel, said the new women's scent, called Bulgari, is expected to be launched in the U.S. in September or October in the eight Bulgari stores, as well as some specialty stores.
"The exact number of doors has not yet been determined," she said. "But we are planning to keep distribution very limited, to no more than 40 or 50 doors."
The new Bulgari fragrance was launched in Italy last February and is currently sold there in perfumeries. It will be launched in France this month and is expected to reach the remaining European markets throughout summer and early fall, Zimmerman said.
While prices and sizes of the fragrance line have not yet been decided on for the North American launch, Zimmerman noted the Bulgari line will most likely contain seven items and that the collection would have an opening price point of $70 to $75.
While executives from neither company would give North American sales projections, industry sources estimated that Bulgari could have retail sales of $1 million to $2 million in the first six to eight months.
The scent, which is fresh and flowery, includes notes of Italian bergamot, Brazilian rosewood, violet, iris, orange blossom, musk and vetiver, among others.
The perfume flacon is a geometric, clean-cut frosted glass bottle with a gold metal cap.Bulgari intends to launch a bath line extension to the Bulgari scent in Italy this September, and a signature men's fragrance next year.
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