By  on April 2, 2010

LONDON — Jo Malone is taking an intense look at Middle Eastern perfumery.

In July, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned brand, based here, will introduce Cologne Intense, a collection of four fragrances concocted using ingredients traditionally associated with the region.

“It’s a chance for us to offer our Middle Eastern customers something more familiar,” said Dominic De Vetta, Jo Malone’s global general manager, adding the launch is part of a company-wide strategy to respond to regional consumer preferences. A Jo Malone project tailored to the Asian market is also in the pipeline for a spring 2011 launch, for instance.

Presenting the Cologne Intense line in the recently refurbished, art-filled Leighton House Museum in London, De Vetta said the brand was inspired by the Middle East’s rich perfumery heritage and a desire to make it accessible to a wider audience.

“We wanted to start playing with deeper, richer ingredients, and we wanted to offer more consumers that experience in a very Jo Malone and modern way,” he said, adding the collection was created to appeal to “fragrance connoisseurs” as well as the brand’s Middle Eastern clientele.

“We opened barely a year ago in the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai and a second one in the Dubai Mall three months later, and they’re two of our best-performing stores worldwide,” he said. “They’re doing way above expectations.”

When it bows in July, the collection will only be sold in about 35 stores globally, including doors in Paris, London and New York.

“If it finds its audience, we may broaden it out,” De Vetta said.

The colognes, which are packaged in a black-hued version of the customary Jo Malone fragrance flacon, are pegged at a higher price point than the brand’s existing scents. A 100-ml. spray bottle of Amber & Patchouli will retail for 80 pounds, or $119.50 at current exchange, in the U.K. compared with 64 pounds, or $95.60, for a similarly sized bottle of Lime, Basil & Mandarin, for instance.

The lineup, which was blended by Christine Nagel of Fragrance Resources, includes Amber & Patchouli, which has notes of amber, patchouli leaf and guaiac wood. Oud & Bergamot’s formula includes bergamot, cedarwood and oud notes. Rose Water & Vanilla features notes of rose water, rose loukoum and vanilla, while Iris & White Musk is a blend of violet, white musk and iris notes.

Like the existing Jo Malone portfolio, scents from the Cologne Intense collection may be layered with other fragrances to create different combinations.

Industry sources estimate Cologne Intense will generate $5 million in first-year retail sales.

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