By and  on May 18, 2007

Missoni is diving back into the fragrance market with Acqua, a new fragrance inspired by the Mediterranean Sea.

The scent will bow in July and will be a permanent addition to the line. In the U.S., it will be exclusive for six months to Nordstrom, then enter additional specialty store doors.

"Acqua is about the beach, about water and about summers in Sardinia," said Angela Missoni, creative director for the company that bears her family's name, during the fragrance's Italian launch event in Milan on May 8. "It's a sunny scent — we really want to create a line of fragrances, one that reflects the Missoni lifestyle, and there's radiance in our DNA."

Noted Margherita Missoni, Angela's daughter and the face of the campaign, at the scent's Manhattan launch party April 30: "Our first fragrance [launched in March 2006] was about putting our lifestyle in a bottle — and this second one is about our lifestyle in the summer. It's a fresh, more joyful scent."

Developed by Trudi Loren, vice president of corporate fragrance development worldwide for the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., in cooperation with Symrise, Acqua has top notes of bright bergamot, juicy melon, fresh grapefruit and sensual narcisse; a heart of velvety violet, voluminous peony, blue freesia and crisp muguet, and a drydown of Tuscan iris, jasmine and glimmering "sole," said to represent "the warmth of the sun hitting the open water."

Like Missoni's first fragrance, Acqua is packaged in an egg-shaped glass bottle. Acqua's bottle is a pale blue, accented by a gold metallic cap with a coral-hued cabochon. The base of the bottle holds an abstract zigzag motif, a signature of the Missoni apparel lines.

Acqua's line consists of eaux de toilette in three sizes, 1 oz. for $45, 1.7 oz. for $60 and 3.4 oz. for $80; a 0.2-oz. parfum roller ball priced at $60; a 6.7-oz. body lotion, $50, and a 6.7-oz. shower gel, $45.

The Missoni fragrance brand is available in about 200 specialty store doors in North America. "Our objective has always been to build this brand in selective distribution, as it is about luxury," said Veronique Gabai-Pinsky, president of the Aramis and Designer Fragrances division at Lauder. "We are taking our time, because this is a brand for the long term."While none of the executives would comment on projected sales, industry sources estimated that the scent would do upward of $20 million at retail globally in its first year.

National advertising, which will break in July fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, was shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott at Le Tre Sirene (The Three Mermaids, in English), the Missoni family vacation home in Sardinia, noted Carol Russo, senior vice president and general manager of sales and marketing, North America, for Aramis and Designer Fragrances.

As well, an extensive sampling campaign aimed at making upward of 10 million scented impressions also is planned, added Diane Kim, vice president of global marketing for Aramis and Designer Fragrances.

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