MILAN — Italian designer Antonio Fusco has loved magnolias since he was six years old, so it was only natural to use the flower as his inspiration for his first women’s scent.
“When I was a child I liked the perfume of the magnolia, the orangey-lemony scent,” said Fusco of the eponymous scent, which begins rolling out this fall. “Magnolia was too strong to use alone, but it remains the heart of the scent.”
Antonio Fusco Parfum was created in collaboration with Italian beauty giants the Guaber Group. The firm got involved, said Guaber chief executive Roberto Venini, because Fusco is a new designer. “We need to discover new high-flyers,” Venini said, adding that those new high-flyers “must be Italian.”
The fragrance’s smell wasn’t the only quality that came from Fusco’s childhood memories. The heavy glass bottle, which bears a distinct Thirties influence, featuring double black stripes below the black top, was inspired by a bottle owned by Fusco’s grandfather. “My grandfather collected bottles, and I always remember a particular glass bottle with a black top that was very heavy and precious,” said Fusco, adding, “An important fragrance has to have an important bottle.”
French firm Dunal helped Fusco design the bottle, and Atelier Dinand designed the orange packaging.
Created by Fragrances Resource in Paris, the scent’s top notes include bergamot, magnolia petals and freesia; middle notes are of rose, Egyptian jasmine and seawater, and bottom notes are of amber, musk and iris.
The fragrance will launch in Italy in October to a select lineup of about 500 doors. By yearend, however, it is slated to be available in about 5,000 doors internationally, including Switzerland, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Korea, Hong Kong and Russia. So far, the scent has no launch plans for the U.S. market.
The fragrance’s advertising campaign features a young woman dreaming, her head slightly turned. The campaign will be print-based and will be released in European markets following the launch.
“Everybody makes sexy, strong advertising. I found this girl who is not famous, not a model but is very angelic and pure,” Fusco said of the 19-year-old Swiss unknown he used for the campaign.Fusco was vague about the scent’s sales projections, saying that he “hopes, rather, to spread brand awareness a little further than Italy and plow whatever money acquired from sales back into the advertising campaign.” However, industry sources estimate that the scent may break 14 million euros (about $15.5 million) in wholesale sales after the first year of release.
The line will include a 50-ml. parfum for 80 euros ($88.52); a 50-ml. eau de parfum at 51 euros ($56.43) and a 100-ml. eau de parfum for 78 euros ($86.31); a 15-ml. purse-sized eau de parfum for 35 euros ($38.73), and a bath product line including a 250-ml. bath gel for 25 euros ($27.66), a 250-ml. body lotion for 30 euros ($33.20), a 150-ml. jar of body lotion for 50 euros ($55.33) and a 100-ml. natural spray deodorant for 31 euros ($34.30). Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange.
With his women’s line finished, Fusco isn’t sitting still — he’s now working on his first men’s scent, which he hopes to have out in about a year. “We are still deciding on its direction — it will definitely be sophisticated and modern and maybe it will have magnolia as an ingredient as a connection to the women’s scent,” said Fusco.
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