By  on May 19, 2006

NEW YORK — Coty is hoping that the deal it signed for its new “Desperate Housewives” fragrance will usher in a new model for licensing.

Coty and Touchstone Television, which produces the hit TV show, signed a deal in March to produce Forbidden Fruit, the new women’s fragrance. Unlike most other celebrity beauty products, the new scent is based on a show, rather than an individual star, and is developed with a production company.

Coty chief Bernd Beetz said in March that a deal like this gives Coty a platform for a lifestyle brand — one, he hinted, that could lead to additional partnerships with studios.

Certainly, Coty — which holds the licenses of Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker and Celine Dion, among others — is an acknowledged celebrity scent powerhouse. But Dennis Keogh, senior vice president of marketing for Coty Prestige, believes the “Housewives” license brings a new dimension to the house’s celebrity bent.

“This scent is based around a show, a concept — not around a particular star, like most of the other celebrity projects,” said Keogh. “It takes the genre to a whole new level.”

With the program’s estimated 30 million viewers, there’s plenty to get desperate about, added Teri Siegel, vice president of marketing for Coty Prestige, a division of Coty Inc. “Our goal is to turn all of the viewers into fragrance users,” she said.

That’s a reasonable goal, thinks Bruce Gersh, senior vice president of business development for ABC Entertainment and Touchstone Television. “We’ve seen a tremendous response to the ‘Desperate Housewives’ product line extensions,” said Gersh. “Coty was the obvious choice for the ‘Desperate Housewives’ fragrance. They pioneered the celebrity fragrance category, and have a very successful track record with major brands.”

Forbidden Fruit, concocted by Firmenich, is a fruity floriental. Top notes are of crisp Rome apples, orange flowers and ripe, juicy peaches, with a heart of wisteria (naturally, given the fact that the characters live on Wisteria Lane), jasmine, ylang-ylang and passion lily. The drydown is of cedarwood, sandalwood, vanilla and tonka bean. Forbidden Fruit’s bottle of frosted glass with a scarlet cap is intended to be reminiscent of an apple, noted Siegel.

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