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Boateng Set To Launch First Scent

BERLIN — Ozwald Boateng, Savile Row’s most colorful bespoke tailor, has come out with his first fragrance. And it’s for women.<br><br>Like his modernist and brilliantly hued approach to men’s custom tailoring, Ozwald Boateng...

BERLIN — Ozwald Boateng, Savile Row’s most colorful bespoke tailor, has come out with his first fragrance. And it’s for women.

Like his modernist and brilliantly hued approach to men’s custom tailoring, Ozwald Boateng Parfum Bespoke pour Femme “takes two ends of the spectrum and makes them meet,” the designer said in an interview here. For the fragrance is actually a duo housed in one bottle.

Boateng was in Berlin last week for a children’s aid benefit, chaired by the German president’s wife, Christina Rau, which featured both Boateng’s men’s fashion and a sneak preview of the fragrance.

The bicolored glass bottle is the work of young English designer Jimmy Yang. In the orange part, there’s a fruity composition created by Bertrand Duchaufour from France’s Créations Aromatiques, and in the red chamber, a deep floral by Hugh Spencer from Ungerer in America. Each side can be sprayed and used separately. However, by experimenting with and layering the two juices, women can mix their own individually scented cocktail.

“My perfume is worlds away from the normal designer scents,” Boateng said, “in that it doesn’t compel anybody to use a particular fragrance note. Every woman can compose her own sensual perfume according to her personal taste or her mood at the moment.”

Another unexpected twist is the scent’s producer: the mass market specialist, Mibelle Cosmetics. Based in Buchs, Switzerland, Mibelle racked up sales of about $225 million in 2001. The cosmetics production firm of the giant Swiss supermarket group Migros, Mibelle, also manufactures private label beauty products for many German drugstore and supermarket chains, as well as for The Body Shop.

Mibelle, which has a licensing agreement with Boateng, is in final negotiations with distributors for the new designer scent. Irene Müller, project director, said Ozwald Boateng Parfum Bespoke pour Femme is expected to hit perfumery shelves in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the U.K. in March 2003. The 50-ml. bottle will retail at about $78. Müller would not comment on sales goals, but industry sources estimate that the fragrance could ring up first-year sales of about $11 million.