NEW YORK — Body by Victoria is getting a spritz of eau de parfum.

The two-year-old beauty line under Body by Victoria, the Victoria’s Secret lingerie franchise, was strictly body care. But that will change in early May, when Body by Victoria Fragrance begins selling in about 1,000 Victoria’s Secret stores. Roughly half of these locations will be the company’s beauty-only retail format and the other half will be lingerie stores that sell fragrance. It will also be marketed online at and in Victoria’s Secret catalogs.

Robin Burns, president and chief executive officer of Intimate Beauty Corp. and its Victoria’s Secret Beauty division, is quick to point out that this is no mere line extension. She believes the fragrance will eventually outperform the body products.

“We introduced the body line, but the bigger producer will be this fine fragrance,” said Burns, who declined to elaborate on sales projections.

The debut of the fragrance, though, could drive the Body by Victoria fragrance and body care business to the $35 million mark in retail sales volume by yearend, according to industry sources, with the scent alone accounting for 65 percent of that figure.

After the scent’s first year, sales of Body by Victoria fragrance and body care could reach $50 million to $55 million annually, sources added.

“Beauty is just at the beginning of its contribution to this major [Body by Victoria] sub-brand of Victoria’s Secret,” Burns remarked.

Burns is bullish about the “upside potential” of beauty within Body by Victoria, especially since it can be leveraged against the recognition of the total Body by Victoria franchise. With an estimated $20 million spent on promoting that business annually, Body by Victoria as a whole is projected to grow to $600 million this year, an increase of 15 percent over last year. Sources also said the brand could double in size to $1.3 billion by 2006.

The new Body by Victoria fragrance will be available in one-oz., 1.7-oz. and 3.4-oz. bottles priced at $25, $37 and $48, respectively. Firmenich’s Harry Fremont created the juice, which features top notes of freesia and mandarin, a heart of water hyacinth and cucumber and a base of white musk and sandalwood.

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Burns contends that launching scented body care products created demand for a fragrance.

“We did it in reverse,” she said, pointing to the more conventional but contrasting method of launching a fragrance first, then following it with ancillary products. “People loved the fragrance of those [Body by Victoria] body products,” said Burns, “and have asked, ‘Where is the eau the parfum?”‘

Supporting the new fragrance will be 12,000 linear feet of the company’s retail window space, which will feature visuals of Gisele Bundchen that were shot by Dominique Isserman. Additionally, a vial-on-card sampling program consisting of one million units will take place in stores, and Victoria’s Secret catalogs will feature three million scented strips.

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