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Beauty Beat: Bulgari Unveils New Eau Parfumee Scent … Kao Gets Go-Ahead on Kanebo Deal

After green and white, Bulgari has chosen red for the third installment of its series of tea-inspired scents, the same color scheme that's found on the Italian flag.

Bulgari Unveils New Eau Parfumée Scent
MILAN — After green and white, Bulgari has chosen — what else? — red for the third installment of its series of tea-inspired scents, the same color scheme that’s found on the Italian flag.

The Rome-based jewelry and luxury goods brand has launched Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge, following the success the company has enjoyed with its Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert (Green Tea, in English) and Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc (White Tea) counterparts.

Bulgari chief executive officer Francesco Trapani said the company’s tea story could continue further.

“The story of Eau Parfumée is strongly linked to the inspiration that derives from [tea] and its uniqueness,” said Trapani, “so there’s the possibility we will use it again in the future to expand the collection.”

Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge, an eau de cologne, began reaching shelves in the U.S., Asia and travel retail venues this month. Plans call for it to be rolled out to the rest of the world by March. The scent was introduced at Saks Fifth Avenue in the U.S. on Sunday. It will be carried at Saks on an exclusive basis for the spring season, after which it will be rolled out to 500 doors in the U.S.

Bulgari declined to comment on a projected sales figure for the scent’s first year on shelves, but industry sources estimate Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge could ring up between $2 million and $4 million in retail sales in the U.S.

Created by perfumer Olivier Polge of International Flavors & Fragrances, Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge is part of the woody-spicy family. Its clear glass flacon, which was designed by Thierry de Baschmakoff, features a transparent stopper stained red.

Intent on upping the sensual properties of Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge, top notes include pink pepper with orange and bergamot. Middle notes include fig, Roiboos red tea from South Africa and Yunnan red tea from China — ingredients the company say have never been used before in perfume. The scent is finished with notes of walnut and musk.

Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge will be merchandised at both the men’s and women’s fragrance bars, according to Bulgari.

This story first appeared in the December 20, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The scent is available in two sizes, a 50-ml. version and a 100-ml. bottle, which are priced at $57 and at $82 in the U.S., respectively. An accompanying bath line includes a 200-ml. bath and shower gel for $38 and a 200-ml. body lotion for $46.
Stephanie Epiro

Kao Gets Go-Ahead on Kanebo Deal
TOKYO — Kao has gotten the green light to buy Kanebo in a stock deal valued at 263.4 billion yen, or $2.27 billion at current exchange, from the Industrial Revitalization Corporation of Japan, which bails out distressed companies.

Kao partnered with three investment funds on the deal. The acquisition of Kanebo and Kanebo Cosmetics, Japan’s second-biggest cosmetics business after Shiseido, is expected to close in late January. In addition to the stock acquisitions, Kao plans to acquire all the patent rights, trademark rights, utility model rights and design rights held by Kanebo Cosmetics for 148 billion yen, or $1.28 billion, once the deal closes.

“With the stock acquisition, Kanebo Cosmetics will become a subsidiary of Kao,” Kao said in a statement. The company said Kanebo Cosmetics will continue to operate as an independent entity under its current management. Kao plans to harness the growth potential of both companies and to accelerate the overseas Asian business.

“Through the acquisition of Kanebo Cosmetics’ stock, Kao intends to align Kanebo Cosmetics with its own cosmetics business to create one of the world’s foremost cosmetics business groups,” the Kao statement said.

Kanebo cosmetics are sold in approximately 50 countries worldwide through distributors as well as subsidiaries and affiliated companies. At the end of this year, Kanebo Cosmetics is expected to generate sales of 196.5 billion yen, or $1.69 billion. Kao’s prestige cosmetics business generated sales of 78.3 billion yen, or $675 million, for the fiscal year ended March 31.