PARIS — Cerruti is canvassing for the yes vote among young men with its new scent, CerrutiSí, due out mid-March.

For the fragrance, which targets males aged 20 to 35, executives at Unilever Cosmetics International’s European Designer Perfumes division — holder of the Cerruti beauty license — studied the brand’s universe, from its Italian roots to its men’s fashion to its stores and color codes.

“We realized Cerruti is classic with a twist — a modern classic,” explained Michael D’Arminio, vice president of creation and development at UCI. He also described the Italian brand’s style as “sophisticated and new casual chic.”

Like Cerruti’s men’s fashion under new designer Adrian Smith, the scent is meant to go after a more youthful, seductive category than ever before.

The core target for CerrutiSí is the passionate 25-year-old male. “[He’s at] a key pivotal point, a right of passage,” said D’Arminio. “The world is still his oyster. [So] the idea was [to encapsulate] dreams and fantasies of today’s 25-year-old men.”

UCI executives chose the name “si,” meaning yes in many languages, since it is universal and conjures up a sense of optimism. Plus, it’s easy to pronounce.

“Everyone gets it in the same way,” said D’Arminio.

That’s important, because the fragrance will be introduced in Europe and the Middle East, as well as corresponding travel-retail markets, in mid-March. In all, CerrutiSí will be carried in some 10,000 doors.

While UCI executives would not discuss numbers, industry sources estimate the new fragrance will generate $25 million to $30 million in wholesale business during its first 12 months.

The scent’s juice, created by Firmenich’s Jean-Pierre Bethouard, is an oriental fougere. It contains top notes of ginger and litsea cubeba; in its heart is a Mauritanian Balm — a mixture of herbs, resins and woods, such as copahu, cedarwood, rosemary, geranium and moss — which was used by ancient Romans who believed in its strong powers of seduction, and base notes of Siamese benzoin, patchouli leaves and heliotrope flower.For the flacon, UCI tapped in-store architect Frederic Gaunet, who created an asymmetric form with both frosted and clear glass, like that found in Cerruti stores. In keeping with the brand’s Italian heritage, Gaunet used for CerrutiSí’s cap hand-carved and stained wood from Parma, Italy.

With the outer box, UCI wanted to continue invoking the idea of sensuality, passion and inner fire. So it chose a variety of tones of Pompeii red, which appear in Smith’s spring 2004 fashion collection.

A strain of passion also runs through CerrutiSí’s advertising, which features the brand’s sultry fashion model, Ben Gerrett. The TV spots were directed by Karina Taira and created by Christian Reuilly, of Ogilvy & Mather France. Azim Haidaryan shot the still ad.

For the advertising campaign, set to break starting at the end of February, UCI will place an emphasis on TV spots. These come in 30-, 20- and 10-second takes and picture Gerrett wandering though a sizzling party. He’s rather unfazed by any of the passionate scenes, but moved when clawed on the chest by a passing woman.

The still ad will come in single pages‚ with and without scent seals‚ double pages, plus inserts. It shows Gerrett, the CerrutiSí bottle and a tag line reading: “A new fragrance for men.”

The pre-sampling campaign for CerrutiSí will break in January. Then, accompanying the scent’s launch will be 12 million samples, including 1.5-oz. vials on cards and 7.5-oz. deluxe samples.

The new scent’s lineup includes a 90-ml. eau de toilette spray for $64 (55 euros), a 40-ml. eau de toilette spray for $48 (41.50 euros), a 200-ml. shower gel for $20 (17 euros) and a 75-ml. deodorant stick for $22 (19 euros). All dollar figures are converted from the euro at current exchange rates and are for France.

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