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Bulgari’s New Jewel

ROME — Omnia means "everything" in Latin, and "one’s lifelong wish" in Arabic. To Bulgari, it also, hopefully, means "winner." The Italian luxury goods house is aiming to make Omnia the hottest selling scent in its fragrance portfolio,...

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ROME — Omnia means “everything” in Latin, and “one’s lifelong wish” in Arabic. To Bulgari, it also, hopefully, means “winner.” The Italian luxury goods house is aiming to make Omnia the hottest selling scent in its fragrance portfolio, with industry sources estimating that the new scent could generate $60 million to $70 million globally at retail during its first year in 14,000 points of sale.

“Our expectation is the kind of success the company hasn’t been able to reach in the past — bigger than Blu; we expect [Omnia] to be double-digit growth for us in the perfume division,” said Francesco Trapani, Bulgari’s chief executive officer. He refused to discuss sales targets or advertising budgets, but sources estimate that the target for the U.S. is $10 million at retail, backed by $2 million in advertising for the first year.

The new women’s fragrance was unveiled recently amid what looked like a scene from a science-fiction movie, a dramatic backdrop of acid green lights and plumes of smoke at the historical Terme di Diocleziano in Rome.

Set for release worldwide in late August to early September 2003, the fragrance is Bulgari’s first Oriental scent. In the U.S., Omnia will be launched in mid-August with a single launch store. Distribution will be rolled out to Bulgari’s 1,000-door network by early September, according to Connie Ruscio, vice president and general manager of the Fragrances Exclusive division of Chanel Inc., which distributes Bulgari fragrances in the U.S.

Shruti Gandhi, executive marketing director at Fragrances Exclusive, said a total of five million scented impressions will be made as part of the promotional effort. Ruscio added that the program will be driven by magazine and catalog advertising, heavy sampling, direct mail advertising, billing inserts and in-store events. The company will offer a gift with purchase in the fall, consisting of a deluxe miniature sample.

While executives declined to discuss figures, industry sources estimate the total price tag for advertising and all forms of promotion in the U.S. at $4 million. Ruscio noted that this marks the first time that Bulgari has launched a line of fragrance with an ancillary body product, a body lotion, included.

Bulgari chose to branch out into the oriental market to round out its product portfolio, which includes the fragrances Blu and Blu Pour Homme, Bulgari Eau Parfumee (Green Tea) and Eau Parfumee Extreme, Bulgari Pour Femme, Bulgari Pour Homme, Bulgari Black and Eau Fraiche.

Created by Firmenich, the scent is a mélange of food and flowers — its ingredients featuring white chocolate and masala tea.

“We launched Omnia because it won’t cannibalize our other fragrances,” said Trapani. “The peculiar thing about this fragrance is that it is a light oriental and has interesting ingredients of fruit and food — gourmet is its peculiarity.” Omnia’s top notes are mandarin, saffron, ginger and black pepper; the middle notes are comprised of masala tea — cinnamon, nutmeg and Indian almond essence and Lotus blossom, and base notes of white chocolate, Indian wood and sandalwood.

“We try to be contemporary and elegant and daring at the same time,” said Trapani. The fragrance is aimed at women aged 25 to 45.

Omnia’s nose, Alberto Morillas, believes Omnia will stand apart from the other Oriental fragrances being launched this year because of its lighter smell. “You can smell the spices and cinnamon,” he said. “We wanted to create something new in the oriental world and not just sweet because everyone imagines oriental is sweet.” The packaging designer, Fabrice Le Gros, came up with an equally distinctive design for the bottle, which is made of amber glass and silver, interlocked like a pair of Bulgari rings.

“We know we have an outstanding product,” said Trapani. “Though the general environment is worsening, we are speculating that our situation is going to improve even more in 2003. We closed 2002 in a successful manner — our debts were down 50 percent. Sales are going well without any new launch.”

Bulgari did 17 percent of its total 2002 turnover in fragrance, and Trapani expects Omnia to further enhance the business. The bottle also stars in an elaborate and expensive advertising campaign set in a futuristic Stonehenge. In the advertisement, toga-clad Australian model Alyssa Sutherland looks at different versions of herself in mirrors. Sutherland was chosen to represent Omnia because of her cat-shaped eyes.

Television advertising is only set for screening in Europe, but heavy print advertising is planned for national magazines worldwide. This marks a turnaround for the company in light of Bulgari’s recently released financial statement for 2002 —?advertising was cut by 25 percent in 2002 over 2001.

Omnia will be released first as an eau de parfum in two sizes. In the U.S., a 40-ml. size will retail for $67, while a 65-ml. size will retail for $87. A 200-ml. body lotion will retail for $42. As well, a more extensive bath and ancillary line is planned for 2004.

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