By and and  on March 29, 2012

BOLOGNA, Italy — This country is a beauty factory, and the brand development engine has been firing on all cylinders this year.

Here are the highlights, culled from interviews in Milan and Bologna:

• Estée Lauder Italy continues to build its connection with consumers by putting cosmeticians in pharmacies, perfumeries and other points of sale and adding some in-store animation for some of its brands. The company is also aggressively promoting MAC Cosmetics in Italy, with plans to open a flagship in Rome in September, according to Orna Nofarber, managing director of Estée Lauder Italy. In addition to its prominent new counter at La Rinascente, MAC is also available at Coin and various freestanding stores in Italy.

• Ferragamo Parfums threw a party on the evening of March 20 in New York’s West Village in Palazzo Ciupi as part of its global, staged rollout for its Signorina women’s fragrance. The Moscow launch was in October and the fete in Dubai was held early this month. The last stop will be Beijing in July or September, said Luciano Bertinelli, chief executive officer of Ferragamo Parfums.

He declined to discuss numbers, but industry sources calculate that Ferragamo’s global retail target could run upward of 35 million euros to 40 million euros, or $46.3 million to $52.8 million, during the fragrance’s first year. Bertinelli did say he expects Signorina to be the house’s strongest fragrance and that, for the first time, Ferragamo is investing in print advertising in the U.S.

• ICR-ITF’s Blumarine will be launching the Innamorata women’s eau de parfum starting in spring in Italy. While ICR-ITF president Roberto Martone would not divulge numbers, industry sources estimate the company registered a sales increase of approximately 16 percent, to 148 million euros, or $195.6 million at average exchange for the period, in 2011. Martone expects ICR-ITF to post gains again in 2012, thanks to brands such as Trussardi, Blumarine and DSquared2.

• Euroitalia continues to roll out Yellow Diamonds around the world. The company is also preparing to add an eau de toilette to its Versace Vanitas brand, with new outer packaging. Its distribution is to be broader and 10 percent to 15 percent less expensive than its edp counterpart. Prices will be approximately $52 for 1 oz., $70 for 1.7 oz. and $91 for 3.4 oz. Euroitalia is also working on a new Moschino fragrance. The product is designed for a younger customer, and executives hope it will be a hit in Asia.

• La Perla is currently launching a companion scent to its classic 1987 eponymous women’s fragrance. The new fragrance is an eau de toilette called La Perla In Rosa. It is designed to attract a younger consumer — aged 18 to 25 — than the original, and will be promoted with advertisements featuring model Alazne Bilbao. The juice includes notes of pear, raspberry, Turkish rose and patchouli.

In April, new packaging is coming out for the original La Perla eau de parfum, which will still use the bottle design by Pierre Dinand. An eau de toilette version could be in the cards for 2013, but is not yet confirmed.

• Davines returned to Cosmoprof with another impressive high-tech, eco-friendly booth designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and the mission of showing off its new pipeline of projects, beginning with A New Color line. The brand’s product formulas are billed to be ammonia-free. The new Natural Tech hair treatment collection was also on show. Hair treatment generates about one quarter of Davines’ revenues, which in 2011 were 55 million euros, or $72.7 million, at wholesale, up 12 percent on-year, according to Davide Bollati, the company’s president and chairman. “This year it should be more than 60 million euros [or $79.3 million at current exchange],” he said. In another pavilion, the company was showing a new skin care offering under its Comfort Zone banner, which will be launched in October. Bollati described it as “food for the skin.”

• Nail enamel marketer OPI was lining up the European launch of Gel Color, its semipermanent nail product, which was introduced in the U.S. in October 2011. Bill Halfacre, OPI’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, said the launch increased the company’s salon professional products business — which makes up about 30 percent of the firm’s total revenues — by 35 percent.

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