By and  on March 17, 2007

MILAN — Versace is returning to its classic roots with an eponymous fragrance — its first scent entirely developed by Euroitalia since the manufacturer acquired the license for an estimated $63.8 million, mostly in advance royalties, in December 2004.

"This is the right product to put Versace back on the top niche of retail," said Claudio Tenan, export director at Euroitalia. "We worked on every detail to improve the perception of the brand. We needed to take the Versace scent franchise up worldwide. Everyone put 100 percent of their talent and effort behind this. In each market, we are being very selective, and will treat it at the highest end of the market."

Euroitalia has finely tuned a two-tier launch plan for Versace, which will bow first in the U.K., Italy and the U.S., with a worldwide rollout beginning in September.

The scent, produced by International Flavors & Fragrances and Donatella Versace, is a fresh floral, a departure from Versace's heady, more intense fragrances of the past. It has top notes of guava, black current, purple wisteria and white lilacs, a heart of Angel Wing jasmine, lotus flowers and azaleas, and a drydown of cedar, Kasmir wood, musk and vetiver. In the U.S., two sizes of eau de parfum sprays will be offered at launch: a 1.7-oz. bottle for $70 and a 3.4-oz. version for $90.

In an interview with WWD, designer Donatella Versace said she had a strong vision for the new scent.

"I wanted to create a fragrance that embraces you — that is fresh, floral and enticing — and that would become a distinctive mark for the Versace woman who is always sensual and sophisticated, particularly when selecting her perfume. My starting point was to create a classic perfume, an important and timeless scent, to be worn at any time of the day, providing that extra dash of glamour that puts the finishing touch to every outfit," she said.

The designer, whose ready-to-wear collection she showed last month in Milan received positive reviews for its pared-down pizzazz, said she wanted to encapsulate both new and historic aspects of the fashion brand in the scent's smell and look. To that end, the bottle, which Versace designed, features the fashion house's Medusa head studded in the center of the flacon and the golden stopper decorated in a Grecian fret design traditionally used by the fashion brand.

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