NEW YORK — First J.Lo, now Celine — Coty Inc. is snapping up pop stars left and right.

On Tuesday, Coty announced it had signed an exclusive global licensing agreement with Canadian songstress Celine Dion to develop and market a fragrance line. The scent collection, to be marketed within the Coty Beauty division — the fragrance firm’s mass market arm — is expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2003. The fragrance introduction will coincide with Dion’s debut with the Cirque de Soleil show in Las Vegas.

"As part of our strategy, we have been looking at celebrities because we felt that it is really those types of personalities that create a lot of buzz and resonate in consumer life today," said Eric Thoreux, president of Coty Beauty Americas. Coty’s Lancaster unit recently launched a fragrance with singer/actress JenniferLopez, aka J.Lo, called Glow.

Thoreux said that Dion is "perceived by the consumer as a very experiential and balanced person in the way she has achieved success on the professional side but balance in her personal life — even stopping her career to raise her child."

He continued: "All of this is an incredible way of going through the complexity of modern life with elegance. At the same time, her music strikes a deep emotional chord in her audience."

To start, the fragrance will be distributed in upper-end mass market stores like J.C. Penney Co., Sears and Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, and will likely be expanded into traditional mass stores such as Walgreens and CVS.

Dion is said to be deeply involved in the creation of the fragrance. She was not available for comment, but in a statement said: "I wanted to partner with a beauty company that would develop a product in line with my values. Like creating music, it is important that beauty products appeal both to one’s senses and emotions."

Thoreux said he spent a day last week with Dion’s marketing team in Canada to work on the project. "She is involved in every step," he said. Fragrance house Creations Aromatique is working with Coty and Dion on the juice.Thoreux said the fragrance will have a "prestige image," adding, "it was very important to her [Celine] that it can be affordable. She has always had an accessibility factor."

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