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NEW YORK — Tova Borgnine hopes to once again prove fragrance doesn’t have to be smelled before it sells.
This story first appeared in the April 18, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Already the leading fragrance vendor on QVC, Borgnine is adding Free Spirit to the Tova fragrance lineup as a limited-edition follow-up to Body, Mind & Spirit, which launched in 1992. Following a preview telecast in June, Free Spirit is slated to officially hit airwaves in September.
Pointing to the impetus for Free Spirit, Allen Burke, director of merchandising for QVC Beauty, said, “As [Borgnine] came out with new fragrances, we put less emphasis on Body, Mind & Spirit. But customers kept reminding us about how they loved that fragrance.”
Said Borgnine: “Free Spirit is grounded in Body, Mind & Spirit.” She added that although it is launching in the fall, it is not tied to any particular season. “It is about feeling light and fresh year-round. A sense of spring has always fascinated me — the hope of new beginnings.”
Free Spirit shares similar olfactory accords to Body, Mind and Spirit, including respective top, middle and bottom notes of osmanthus, heliotrope and amber. But Free Spirit adds apricot at the top, French lilac at the heart and vetiver at the base. Just as she did for Body, Mind & Spirit, Sophia Grojsman of International Flavors and Fragrances blended the juice for Free Spirit. Plans call for a 1.7-oz. bottle of Free Spirit to be priced at $40. Industry sources project the scent could exceed $1 million in sales volume.
Tova first began selling on QVC 11 years ago — about the same time Body, Mind & Spirit launched as Tova’s second fragrance. Her first, Tova Signature, bowed in 1982 and was sold though mail order prior to QVC. According to the retailer, 8 million units of Tova Signature have sold to date. Borgnine launched Tova Nights in 1997 and Tova Nirvana, which launched last year, has been nominated for a FiFi this year.
Borgnine described the Tova-QVC union as “a very happy and profitable alliance.” While Burke acknowledged that QVC has a “financial interest” in the brand, he declined to characterize the extent of any stake.
The Tova brand appears roughly every six weeks on QVC, a frequency that picks up depending on the season. For example, during the current approach to Mother’s Day, Borgnine appeared three separate times for at least five hours combined last weekend.