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Coty Plans Roberto Cavalli Scent Launch

The designer's signature women’s eau de parfum will debut the first week of February.

MILAN — Roberto Cavalli is kicking off his fragrance license with Coty Inc. with a new outlook and the launch of a signature women’s eau de parfum starting in February.

This story first appeared in the January 27, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“It’s my first perfume with Coty, and it’s like starting a new story,” said Roberto Cavalli, president of the Roberto Cavalli Group.

In late July 2011, he signed the fragrance license with Coty for the development and distribution of scents under the Roberto Cavalli and Just Cavalli brands. Coty Prestige — a division of Coty — is discontinuing Cavalli’s existing fragrances and plans to enlarge its scent footprint.

“The idea of the fragrance is to expand beyond fashion,” explained Françoise Mariez, senior vice president of marketing for European fragrances at Coty Prestige. “If we manage to duplicate what Cavalli has done with fashion into fragrance, it could be very interesting for us in terms of expansion.

“Products will launch with real stories, faithful to the DNA of the brand, and each future launch should add an interesting new story,” said Mariez. “We don’t want to launch product after product. We want to build up on the success of its forerunners.”

Although the focus of attention is firmly on fragrance, the irrepressible Cavalli turned enthusiastic when quizzed about the future possibility of launching color cosmetics. Eva Cavalli, creative director of the fashion house, described it as “a dream” and said makeup would be further explored in the next year.

“I love it. Color is key for me,” said Cavalli, known for his bold colors and animal prints. “I’d like to make many, many things with color and cosmetics — even color for the hair.”

Meanwhile, the positioning of the new Roberto Cavalli Eau de Parfum is simple: Don’t go unnoticed.

The scent’s gold-colored ambery floral juice was created by Givaudan’s Louise Turner. Top notes include pink pepper, while there’s an orange blossom note in the heart and a tonka bean note in the base.

Coty Prestige executives worked with Eva Cavalli on the bottle that’s meant to evoke feminine curves. It is topped by a gold-hued, tiara-shaped cap sporting Roberto Cavalli’s initials and ringed with a thin tiger-print band.

The archetypal Cavalli woman, whom the designer called “sexy and wild, just like my fashion,” inspired the fragrance. He said women he finds sexy are strong-willed, glamorous, independent divas.

The face of Roberto Cavalli’s new scent is Elisa Sednaoui, the half-Italian, half-Egyptian model-actress who’s best known for her role in Christopher Thompson’s comedy “Bus Palladium.” The fragrance’s print campaign, shot by Steven Klein, will come in single and double pages. A video campaign, lensed by Johan Renck, stars Sednaoui and a tiger. It comes in 15-, 20- and 30-second spots destined for TV. A 45-second version is for the Internet. (Renck and Cavalli had worked together in 2007 on the commercial for the designer’s H&M fashion tie-in.)

In the first week of February, Roberto Cavalli’s edp will be introduced in Italy and elsewhere in the world excluding the Far East and Russia, which are slated to get the scent in the fall. Launch exclusives will include Harrods in the U.K. between Feb. 12 and March 7, and Sephora in France. The scent will be carried in Cavalli fashion stores worldwide, as well as in prestige perfumery channels.

In the U.S., the 30-ml. and 75-ml. edp sprays are priced at $48 and $85, respectively.

Coty executives would not discuss sales projections, but industry sources estimate the new Cavalli scent will generate $50 million in first-year wholesale revenues globally.

This year is full of new projects for the Cavalli house, which, alongside the fragrance, will launch a home collection, a new accessories line for the Class Roberto Cavalli label, plus work with Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller on jeweled timepieces.