PARIS — Hugo Boss is getting intense in its drive to build the three-year-old Boss Woman fashion business. Ditto in the women’s fragrance department — with the launch of Boss Intense this fall.

Like Boss Woman’s fall-winter 2003-2004 fashion collection, Boss Intense is meant to have sophisticated sex appeal. It’s also intended to boost Hugo Boss’ women’s fragrance business.

“Hugo Boss started with very strong positioning on the men’s side,” said François Saurel, brand manager for fragrances in France and the Benelux countries at Procter & Gamble Prestige Beauté, Boss’ fragrance license-holder. “Our objective is to keep growing that men’s business, but we want to establish [the brand] more and more on the female market.”

Already, the Hugo Boss fragrance franchise for women includes Boss Woman, Hugo Woman and Hugo Deep Red. Together, these ring up 25 to 30 percent of Hugo Boss’ scent sales in a market such as France. The long-term goal, according to Saurel, is to have the women’s and men’s fragrance split closer to 50-50.

Hugo Boss executives are also hoping Boss Intense will spark further synergies between the brand’s fashion and scent businesses.

Sensuality is meant to run through the whole Boss Intense concept — from its advertising to its packaging to its juice.

Daniela Urzi is featured in the advertising campaign shot by Thiemo Sanders. In the single-page ads due to break in September magazines in launch countries that month, she’s pictured gazing in a sultry manner over a man’s shoulder. There will also be 10- and 20-second TV ads, shot by Tranh Anh Hung, depicting Urzi seducing a man while wearing a one-of-a-kind Boss Woman dress.

Industry sources estimate the ad and promotional budget for Boss Intense in the U.S. will be $5 million. In the U.S, print ads will break in January magazines. Sampling at launch will include about 15 million scented impressions, including sampling in store catalogs, scented blow-ins and inserts, said Brad Mandler, vice president of sales for Clarins Fragrance Group, Hugo Boss’ U.S. fragrance distributor.

Boss Intense’s bottle, a tapered, upright rectangle with rounded edges that seem to twist, comes in gradations of deep red glass. The flacon — which also has a ruby-colored spray-top inset — was designed by the Peter Schmidt Group.“It’s very elegant and feminine,” added Saurel.

The inspiration for Boss Intense’s bottle came from a flickering fire, explained Nancy Tomei, director of marketing for Hugo Boss at the Clarins Fragrance Group.

The juice, by Givaudan’s Ursula Wandel, has top notes of spices and kumquat; heart notes of vanilla, orchid and Turkish rose, and base notes of precious woods, amber and musk.

The fragrance will first be launched in most of Western Europe in September, with the rest of the world’s introduction slated to take place in October and November.

Boss Intense’s U.S. launch will take place in stages, said Brad Horowitz, vice president of marketing at Clarins Fragrance Group. From Dec. 26 through post-Mother’s Day 2004, it will be in Macy’s East and West, Dillard’s and Marshall Field’s, with a total of 500 doors. Soon thereafter, it will be sold in 500 supplementary department and specialty stores. And in early 2005, more U.S. doors will be added.

While neither Hugo Boss nor Clarins executives would comment on sales projections for Boss Intense, industry sources estimate it will generate $20 million-plus at retail in its first year in the U.S.

The Boss Intense line will include eau de parfum sprays — a 1.6 oz. for $48 and 3.4 oz. for $60 — plus a 5-oz. shower gel for $20 and a 5-oz. body lotion for $30 in the U.S.

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