By  on April 13, 2007

MILAN — After a 13-year hiatus since its last men's fragrance launch, Dolce & Gabbana will unleash Light Blue Pour Homme, on shelves this summer.

The Milan-based fashion duo said in a statement that the fragrance was aimed at men who embraced the seduction and sophistication of the Mediterranean lifestyle.

"Light Blue Pour Homme is made for the Dolce & Gabbana man: Sensual and modern, he likes to take care of himself, enhancing his healthy body with sports. The fragrance captures the fresh, spicy and sensual scents of the Mediterranean, which we feel is the perfect playground for seduction," according to Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.

Light Blue Pour Homme will be the male counterpart to Dolce & Gabbana's successful women's scent, Light Blue Pour Femme, which, since its launch in 2001, has rated among the top 10 best-selling fragrances in several key markets.

"There are three things coming together for this new fragrance in a pretty good way," said Markus Strobel, general manager of Procter & Gamble Prestige Products, the licensee partner of the Dolce & Gabbana fragrance brand.

"First of all, there hasn't been a Dolce & Gabbana men's fragrance launch in quite a few years, yet the fashion business is growing in leaps and bounds among men," added Strobel. "Number two, since Light Blue Pour Femme's launch in 2001, it has turned into a classic, and it certainly deserves its male counterpart, from the position of the designers. They have a clear vision about their brand [and] they…felt that Light Blue Pour Femme is not complete without its male counterpart."

Procter & Gamble Prestige Products is hoping some of Light Blue Pour Femme's stellar retail performance will shine onto the new scent. While P&G wouldn't comment on projected sales, industry sources estimated that Light Blue Pour Homme would do $75 million worldwide in its first year of sales. WWD also has learned through industry sources that Light Blue Pour Femme sells around five million units annually.

"If we keep investing behind the Light Blue Pour Femme and have the Light Blue Pour Homme and have this one overall megaconcept behind them, we feel that there will be so many halo effects on both sides that the male will radiate on the female and the female on the male. But together, as a franchise, each individual part will become stronger. It's one of those cases where one plus one equals three," said Strobel.Strobel added he was confident the scent would be "a classic," based on the results of Procter & Gamble's first collaboration fragrance with the Milan-based design duo, The One, which Strobel said ranked "as a top-five fragrance everywhere apart from France, where it is in the top 20." P&G acquired the Dolce & Gabbana beauty license in December 2005, after the expiration of the original pact with Euroitalia, which earlier had put Dolce & Gabbana on the fragrance map with scents like the women's Light Blue.

The other factor the fragrance had working in its favor, said Strobel, is that it will be launched in the relatively uncluttered time slot of late May and early June. A fast and intense global launch plan has been engineered to hit 60,000 sales points within three months.

Strobel confirmed that a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign would back up the launch, with television spots and print ads in the majority of the top 20 fragrance markets, including Italy, Germany, France and the U.K. A mostly print and outdoor-based advertising campaign will roll out in the U.S. in June, spearheaded by a billboard in Times Square.

Designer Gabbana came up with the concept for the advertising campaign, said Strobel, which epitomizes the designers' ideal of a muscle-packed Mediterranean man. Photographer Mario Testino shot tanned model David Gandy in a boat on the Mediterranean off the Italian resort island of Capri, in a pair of tight white swimming trunks. Seen in the background are Capri's landmark Faraglioni rock formations.

Both of the designers were involved in the lengthy creation process of the juice.

"The fragrance is wearable and highly distinctive — it took us two to three years to develop this fragrance, because the standards of Dolce & Gabbana are very, very high,'" said Strobel. "They had a clear vision behind the fragrance."

Created by the Procter & Gamble fragrance team, together with the designers and fragrance house Firmenich, the fragrance sits in the spicy-woody olfactory family.

"What we tried to do since the inspiration is Mediterranean sensuality, we have a lot of great ingredients like Sicilian mandarin which gives a sparkling fresh top note," said Strobel. The Sicilian mandarin is combined with frozen grapefruit peel, bergamot and juniper. Heart notes for the fragrance consist of rosemary, Szechuan pepper and rosewood, and the mix is rounded out with base notes of musk wood, incense and oak moss.With its simple, rounded shoulders, the scent's flacon bears a resemblance to its older sister fragrance. The frosted-glass bottle features a gray blue-and-silver metal cap, and matching gray blue velvet packaging and was designed by Gabbana.

In the U.S., two sizes of eau de toilette sprays will be offered: a 2.5-oz. bottle priced at $52.50 and a 4.2-oz. flacon for $67.50. Alongside the scent will be a 4.2-oz. aftershave for $45 and a 2.5-oz. aftershave balm for $35, as well as a 6.7-oz. shower gel for $28 and a 2.4-oz. deodorant stick for $20.

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