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Versace Addressing Its Man

MILAN — Following the success of the Versace Woman launch in 2000, Versace Beauty is getting ready to seduce the European market with a new men’s fragrance, Versace Man.<br><br>The fragrance is to be shown for the first time at this...

MILAN — Following the success of the Versace Woman launch in 2000, Versace Beauty is getting ready to seduce the European market with a new men’s fragrance, Versace Man.

The fragrance is to be shown for the first time at this weekend’s Cosmoprof, which runs through March 11 in Bologna, Italy. The inspiration for the scent was based around the world of private gentleman’s clubs.

Ferdinando Silva Coronel, managing director of Versace Profumi, said the new scent took characteristics from English clubs, bars and Cuban cigars. “The idea was to have an elegant fragrance. When we talk about exclusive clubs, we are talking about the atmosphere and elegance in London. In Italy we are more feminine in terms of styling and feeling,” said Coronel.

The “men’s only” feeling has been embodied in the ingredients of living tobacco leaves and design of the bottle, created by Donatella Versace in conjunction with A/R media’s Tino Valentinitsch. Reminiscent of a brandy flacon, the rectangular-shaped bottle is made of thick violet glass with a graduated zigzag design on the sides. Alligator-print packaging on a fluorescent mauve background encases the scent.

Created by International Flavors & Fragrances, the scent has top notes of black pepper, Calabrian bergamot, angelica flowers and neroli; a heart of saffron and cardamom, and end notes of living tobacco leaves, amber, Kashmir wood and labdanum.

Versace Man launches in Continental Europe in April, at the end of June in the U.K. and at the end of September in the U.S. Two sizes, including a 50-ml. eau de toilette for $48.97 and a 100-ml. eau de toilette for $67.47 will be sold. The line will also include a 100-ml. aftershave for $47.89; a 125-ml. deodorant for $21.76, and a 200-ml. shower gel for $21.76. All figures are converted from the euro at current exchange rates.

The new scent is aimed at men who want to be elegant with a modern edge, explained Donatella Versace. “For me, a modern man is someone with charisma, intelligence and a great sense of confidence,” she said. “This fragrance is dedicated to him — it’s elegant and seductive, but it has depth, as well.”

Added Coronel: “He’s working and he wants to be sophisticated. Men like fragrances that are really male and not transparent and very light and fresh — that is going out of style. Now men like to be the center of attention.” In Italian terms, Coronel said the fragrance was for men who desired sophistication — from young, wild boys from the South to working men in Milan.

Versace Man is Versace Profumi’s 26th fragrance launch and 12th men’s fragrance launch. The company is pinning high hopes on the scent and expects it to sell 500,000 units worldwide in a year. Industry sources predict the fragrance will pull in more than $27 million in retail sales worldwide over the next 12 months.

A print-advertising strategy is in development and will be ignited with a double- and single-page campaign shot by Stephen Meisel and featuring Brazilian model Bruno Santos sultrily reclining in a wood-paneled gentlemen’s club. In the background there is a painting with an English hunting scene.