Niki Taylor

Begin by Niki Taylor, the model’s first scent, is scheduled to make its debut for fall 2005 through fragrance licensee Victory International.

NEW YORK — As celebrity fragrances continue to surface, model Niki Taylor is gearing up to add one more to the mix. Called Begin by Niki Taylor, the model’s first scent is scheduled to make its debut in fall 2005.

“I’m not coming out with a record [or] a new movie,” noted Taylor, chief executive officer of Begin Enterprises. “It’s just me, Niki Taylor, the ceo, the businesswoman, the single mom. I think a lot of women can relate to me that way. I’m not J.Lo, I’m not Britney Spears — I’m relatable and touchable.”

Taylor, who admitted she is a “perfume junkie,” signed a deal with New Jersey based-Victory International, the fragrance licensee, to develop the Taylor-branded fragrance. “My baby is the fragrance and then we are going to roll out cosmetics and apparel — it will be a lifestyle brand,” said Taylor. This news confirms a report that ran in these columns August 12.

Taylor launched Begin Enterprises in January 2003 to develop the brands. But there is also a charitable arm of the company that she formed to help three women a year write a business plan and get the necessary funding to make it viable. She wanted to find a way to “invest in women.”

“I was lucky enough [to have] the money and the resources [to start a business]. There are so many women out there that don’t have the money and this is my best way of paying it forward — to give back and help them out,” said Taylor.

And while it has been said that some celebrities put their names on a fragrance and basically end their involvement with the project, Taylor plans to stand by her scent.

“It’s a prestige fragrance,” explained Taylor. “So, I’ll be doing an extensive tour in all the cities [and will] be face-to-face with all these women. I’m not just putting my name on the bottle — I’ll be there holding their hand and asking what they like about it.”

While the fragrance, created by Firmenich, is still in development, Taylor noted that she does “love citrus [and] vanilla undertones.” The bottle — previewed via a picture on Taylor’s cell phone — has a blue tint that fades to a lighter shade at the top.

This story first appeared in the November 12, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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The fragrance will come in two sizes: a 1.7-oz. and a 3.4-oz. that will retail for $42 and $60, respectively. Ancillaries will include a shower gel, body lotion and body cream.

Industry sources estimated that Begin would do $20 million to $30 million at retail in the U.S. alone in its first year on counter, and that about $6 million to $8 million would be spent on advertising, with another $2 million being spent on promotion.

Begin by Niki Taylor will make its debut in October 2005 in about 400 department store doors, and a full rollout for a total of 1,100 U.S. department store doors is scheduled for spring 2006. Print advertisements will break in September books and sampling will consist of scent strips and vial on cards.