By  on December 8, 2006

GENEVA — For its first fragrance under its renewed Gucci license, Procter & Gamble Prestige Products wants to woo more men.

Called Gucci Pour Homme II, it will be launched in the U.S. in early March in a tight distribution of 300 specialty store doors and then begin rolling out in May to 1,200 U.S. doors and to the rest of the world. The two companies re-signed their licensing pact in May.

Gucci Pour Homme II is a follow-up to the original, FiFi's Award-winning Gucci Pour Homme fragrance, which was launched in 2003 by former designer Tom Ford and then licensee Cosmopolitan Cosmetics.

During a recent presentation in New York, Mark Lee, chief executive officer of Gucci, stressed how the partnership with P&G is focused on becoming "the leader in this category, to be one of the top brands."

"I think we've never spent as much time on a male fragrance as we did on this one, and it really is amazing," said Markus Strobel, general manager of prestige products and fine fragrances of P&G Prestige Products, which worked on the scent for two years. He explained that P&G Prestige Products chose to launch a men's fragrance as the baptism project for the Gucci license because Gucci's fragrance business was severely underdeveloped compared to its fashion business and also under-represented in the men's market. Research indicated that Gucci is a highly desirable brand to men, especially in the U.S., said Strobel.

"We checked the market and found the dream level to aspire to the brand is really, really high — there's a huge potential for the brand that hasn't been captured," he said.

When creating the new Gucci Pour Homme II scent, P&G Prestige Products looked to the original for inspiration. "We looked at the original project, which we always liked, the bottle, its preciousness and its weight, and why the project never did take off in the first place because some things weren't 100 percent right," said Strobel.

Keeping with the original bottle's design, Gucci Pour Homme II was given luxury details like the weighty hand-brushed gold metal cap, a heavy glass rectangular flacon and a brilliant blue juice color, chosen by Frida Giannini, Gucci's creative director. Strobel also pointed out that the new scent's eau de parfum juice is four times the strength of the original Pour Homme II. The opening U.S. price point is $50 for a 50-ml. eau de toilette.

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