Parlux Fragrances Inc. is shifting its overall strategy while getting ready to launch two new fragrances by Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson this summer.

This story first appeared in the May 14, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The latest Hilton women’s scent, called Tease, is her 10th fragrance. The scent, based on Hilton’s fascination with Marilyn Monroe, differs from most of her others in that its positioning is more reflective of her personality, rather than alluding to make-believe characters, such as mermaids.

“It is much more evocative of who Paris Hilton is,” said Frederick E. Purches, who took over as chairman and chief executive officer after Neil J. Katz stepped down in late January.

Since then, Purches has steered a new course for the company in an effort to increase sell-through and minimize the inventory buildup that erodes profitability. Among the sell-through tactics being utilized is a use of point-of-sale promotion, such as modeling and gift-with-purchase events.

Purches added that Tease features upscale packaging and more accessible pricing, with a 1.7-oz. eau de parfum priced at $45. “This is the one that is going to do it,” he noted. The fragrance, a white floral developed by Fragrance Resources Inc., will be shipped in next month to a department store distribution of 2,500 doors, roughly the same as for Simpson.

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According to industry sources, about $1 million will be spent on advertising support for each of the two scents. Sources also estimate that the new Hilton and Simpson fragrances could generate a combined net wholesale volume of $35 million for the first year.

The Simpson scent is Fancy Nights, the third in her Fancy series. Also developed with perfumer Steve De Mercado of Fragrance Resources, the formula is a floriental chypre. The 1.7-oz. eau de parfum is priced at $49, and it will be launched midsummer.

The company is looking forward to the launch of its first Rihanna women’s scent next January. “It’s going to be very big for us,” Purches noted, adding that Kanye West’s debut scent is on hold until next year. The company remains in talks with Jay-Z, Purches added. A new Queen Latifah flanker, Queen of Hearts, is being readied for fall, and the first Nicole Miller fragrance has been launched exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. The fragrance had a sneak preview at the Denver Saks store on March 15, sparking sales of 56 of the 100 bottles on hand during an appearance by Miller. In addition, Parlux will add a hydrating body veil to the Josie Natori fragrance line in August.

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