NEW YORK — Moschino hopes to revitalize its fragrance business in the U.S. with the introduction this summer of its newest scent, Moschino Couture.

The Italian fashion house will introduce Couture in July, a scent that — like Moschino’s original fragrance, Femme, from 1989 — is tied to Moschino’s signature apparel collection. “Beauty fills a significant [portion] of our sales,” said Rossella Jardini, creative director of Moschino. “[While] it’s a stimulating outcome,” she added, “in the U.S. market, we still have many opportunities to make the most from it and to develop it.” Of Moschino’s total fashion and accessories revenues, which are reportedly in excess of $306 million globally, fragrance generates 10 percent of that total.

Couture is the first fragrance Jardini has had a hand in creating from start to finish for Moschino. It’s 15 years since the label launched its first fragrance in the U.S. and with Couture the company looks to recapture what it calls the “ironic and self-confident” Moschino woman. Industry sources estimated the scent could generate retail sales of $5 million during its first 12 months on counter in the U.S.

“It’s a reflection of the signature Moschino collection,” said Michelle Stein-Borgna, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Aeffe USA Inc., the U.S.-based sales and marketing arm for Marignano, Italy-based Aeffe SpA, which owns Moschino. “It’s important in terms of expressing the evolution of the brand and synergy between all facets of [the Moschino] lifestyle,” she added.

Couture bowed in Italy last fall and was subsequently rolled into international markets including the U.K., Canada and Russia in recent months. For the U.S. introduction in July, three Federated Department Stores Inc. nameplates — Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s East and Macy’s West, or about 150 doors — will launch Couture Other Federated chains are expected to begin carrying the scent by the fourth quarter.

At a press launch in New York on April 22, Michelle Israel, fragrance buyer for Bloomingdale’s, said she was “very excited” about the introduction. “It’s fun and interesting — it captures the joy of Moschino,” she said. “Any launch is significant, but particularly one with a designer name.”Connie Ruscio, vice president and general manager of Fragrances Exclusive Inc., which is handling distribution of the scent in the U.S. for EuroItalia, noted, “We have a very strong promotional support plan.” The effort includes promotion in major metropolitan newspapers, in-store sampling and visual weeks in July. This initial effort will be followed in November by a print ad campaign in magazines like Vogue, Glamour, Lucky, Allure and Cosmopolitan, in which five million scented impressions are planned.

Firmenich formulated the eau de parfum, a floral, woody musk that mixes olfactory accords of pepper and citrus, peony and pomegranate and spicewood and vanilla. Two versions of the scent, a 50-ml. for $50 and a 100-ml. for $70, will launch along with two 200-ml. ancillaries — a shower gel and a body lotion for $25 and $30, respectively.

Throughout the Nineties, Moschino has launched several other scents in the U.S., including Pour Homme, Uomo, Oh De Moschino and Cheap and Chic. In 2002, it launched L’Eau Cheap and Chic. The brand’s fragrance distribution network comprises some 150 doors including Bloomingdale’s, as well as Sephora USA, which carries the full selection.

— Matthew W. Evans

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