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MILAN — If one considers perfume counters as miniature museums, executives at Eurocosmesi here think they have been lacking an important work of art: A new fragrance branded by Yugoslavian-born fashion designer Mila Schön, whose affinity with artists such as Lucio Fontana and Gustav Klimt has transferred over to the new fragrance.

This story first appeared in the October 4, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Billed as “Seduction Art,” the new Mila Schön women’s eau de toilette, called Mila Schön, will bow in Italian and Mideastern perfumeries at the end of October. Distribution will continue in Europe and the Far East in the first quarter of 2003, followed by a worldwide rollout. Antimo Marino, Eurocosmesi’s marketing manager, expects Mila Schön to bring in $2.45 million in its first year of sales, excluding Japan. Figures are converted from the euro at current exchange rates.

“We consider this a very educated product,” said Marino. “The value of the fashion brand is the inspirational source. We think of it as a work of art.”

Milan’s Eurocosmesi, whose beauty licenses include Transvital, Mariella Burani and Iceberg, acquired the worldwide Mila Schön production and distribution license in the first quarter of 2002. That agreement excludes the Japanese market, which is currently held by Mila Schön holding company Itochu. Marino said Eurocosmesi negotiations with Itochu for those market rights are still pending.

The goal, according to Marino, is to bring the Mila Schön presence back to perfumeries and reposition it. The designer’s last women’s fragrance, Schön, will disappear from shelves with the arrival of the new entry. “Effectively, it has already been in decline,” he said.

Additionally, the new Mila Schön fragrance falls within an attempt to rejuvenate the Mila Schön brand across the board. As reported, the house has tapped Marc Hellmuth as the new creative director. “We want to polish up the image,” added Marino. “[Mila Schön’s] public has aged with the pieces [of the brand]. Our target with this fragrance is a young woman — but not too young.” The target, he said, starts at 28-30 and extends all the way through 60- to 80-year-olds.

As a fashion designer, Schön came onto the Italian scene in the late-Fifties. She is known for her use of reversible wool fabric and a stylistic touch characterized by simple lines or seams that become punctual details. Accordingly, the new fragrance is “very elegant and sophisticated but light. Not too excessive. It does not scream,” said Marino.

Like Schön’s famous double fabric, the fragrance — a transparent amber — is meant to have two faces: Thanks to fresh fruity top notes, a transparent spicy floral heart and a woody, amber and musk base, the fragrance was designed to start off light and then finish sensually. It was created by Milan-based Cirizza.

The same inside/out concept holds true for the packaging. Like the fabric, which has neither a front nor a back, both the bottle’s interior and the exterior can be seen at the same time. It was created by Atelier Dinand and plays on the idea of Fontana’s “cuts” made famous in his slashed “Spatial Concept” canvas.

Mila Schön fragrance comes in two sizes — a 50-ml. version retailing for $34.11 and a 100-ml. size for $45.81 — and is accompanied by an ancillary bath line: a 150-ml. deodorant retailing for $14.62, a 400-ml. shower gel retailing for $13.64 and a 400-ml. body lotion retailing for $19. All prices are converted from the euro at current exchange rates.

Next on deck, said Marino, is the brand’s first-ever men’s fragrance. The company hopes to have it on shelves during second semester 2003.

Photographer Armin Linke, who is also currently part of the “Side Effects: Visions of Contemporary Metropolises” exhibition at Milan’s Triennale, shot the print ad campaign. It will break at the end of October in monthly and weekly magazines only.