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United Perfumes Expands Fornasetti Franchise

The London-based beauty company will unveil Flora, a second home fragrance, in September.

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LONDON — United Perfumes is forging ahead with its Fornasetti franchise. The London-based beauty distributor and manufacturer will in September unveil Flora, a second home fragrance for the dreamy and whimsical Italian interiors brand.

This story first appeared in the August 17, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The new scent is meant to be a foil to Fornasetti’s first scent, Otto, which launched two years ago and features notes of thyme, lavender and cedar wood. Both fragrances were developed by master perfumer Olivier Polge at International Flavors & Fragrances.

“We decided to turn the tables and do the opposite of Otto, which was a little bit dark,” said Laurent Delafon, cofounder and chief executive officer of United Perfumes. “Flora is meant to be the day to Otto’s night. It’s beautiful, sophisticated, but not sickly sweet or overpowering.”

The new scent contains top notes of ivy, lily of the valley and white rose; middle notes of iris, orange blossom and jasmine, and base ones of tuberose, sandalwood and musk. It comes as a candle in a decorative ceramic vessel with a lid, hand-decorated in Italy.

As with Otto, the vessel’s design features the face of the opera singer Lina Cavalieri, but this time in the guise of the mythical fertility goddess Flora, wearing a crown of greenery and flowers. Unlike Otto, however, Flora comes only in candle form, rather than incense, scent spheres and scented crystals.

Delafon said one of the inspirations for the latest scent was the garden of the Fornasetti family’s house in Milan, which is more of the wild and rambling English variety, than of the manicured French one.

The Flora candle comes in one size, 300 grams, and is priced at $165. The vessel is meant for keeping once the candle is finished.

The candle will launch at about 80 retailers worldwide, including eight Barneys New York locations, Selfridges, 10 Corso Como, Fornasetti, L’Eclaireur, Lane Crawford and Couture Lab. Although Delafon declined to reveal revenue projections for the line, industry sources said first-year sales are set to hit $1 million.

Otto also has some news of its own: United Perfumes has created new scented candle vessel designs, including the iconic face of Cavalieri with vivid, vertical bands of colors. Other variations show Cavalieri’s face covered with a net or with a mask in a series known as Burlesque. The Burlesque designs were originally designed for the Parisian store L’Eclaireur, and have now been brought into the main collection.

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