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Beauty Beat: Hugo Boss Back to Women’s Scents

After a three-year intermission, the Hugo Boss fragrance franchise again has women on its mind with a warm, new feminine scent called Femme.

BERLIN — After a three-year intermission, the Hugo Boss fragrance franchise again has women on its mind with a warm, new feminine scent called Femme.

With the Boss Woman’s fashion business growing by leaps and bounds — sales were up 38 percent last year and 67 percent in the first quarter of this year — Procter & Gamble, holder of the Boss fragrance license, was not only inspired by Boss woman’s fashion identity, but also its performance.

“For us, Femme is clearly a priority. We want to make it the biggest Boss Woman’s fragrance in the portfolio,” commented Marco Parsiegla, associate marketing director of Boss fragrances. “We were inspired by fashion in terms of design, but also in terms of numbers. The [Boss Woman] success in fashion has brought a sophisticated aspect to Femme,” he said.

Described as a radiant and sensual scent, the important heart note is a classic combination of white flowers including oriental lily, stephanotis and rose petals. The top note is a mixture of tangerine, black currant buds and freesia, whereas the creamy, musky base has scents of apricot and satinwood.

A blush-toned juice in a rounded glass bottle with a light-reflecting diagonal cut, Femme is available as a 50- and 75-ml. eau de parfum, priced at 47 euros and 61 euros, respectively, or $60 and $77.50. It is accompanied by a 200-ml. shower gel and body lotion and 150-ml. deodorant spray, priced at 25 euros and 28 euros, respectively, or $32 and $35.50, apiece.

Femme officially hit the counters in Germany Sept. 16, though Sephora on the Champs-Elysées and other international retailers brought it in a week or two earlier. It is a global launch going to all Boss doors over the next six months, with the exception of the U.S.

“For us, America is a huge growth opportunity, but the focus is first to establish the male business. We’re still in the process of rolling out Boss Selection [for men],” Parsiegla explained.

He would not comment on sales goals, but noted that 20 to 25 percent of the Boss fragrance business is generated by women’s scents. Industry sources estimate that Femme could generate between $7.5 million and $10 million in its first year.

This story first appeared in the October 10, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

P&G partnered with the fashion house, working with Boss Black creative director Ingo Wilts. The advertising campaign stars the face of Boss Woman, Julia Stegner, in a print campaign photographed by Glen Luchford, and a TV spot shot by Danish director Jan Gleie in Copenhagen.

The synergies between the fashion and fragrance houses “have serious potential. We’re both using Julia, as we want to create an overall female universe for Boss,” Parsiegla said. “She’s been Boss’ front model for two years, and she’s young, intelligent, beautiful and understated.”

There will be standard sampling, but also “little 50-ml. sampling devices of the body lotion. It’s a bit more about sophistication and pampering the consumer,” he said.