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Bulgari Aims to Boost Colognes, Hospitality Range

The Italian jeweler is introducing Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu, the fourth scent in a unisex cologne line.

MILAN – What began as a welcome gift in Bulgari stores has turned into a product line the Italian luxury brand hopes will be a bastion of its beauty portfolio.

With the spring addition of Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu, Bulgari’s Eau Parfumée unisex cologne collection now comprises four scents, each developed by a well-known perfumer, and the fragrances are part of the company’s plans to boost its hospitality range over the coming years, tapping into an emerging demand for top-of-the-line amenities.

“We wanted to relaunch this line, now that the tea craze of the early Nineties has died down,” said Valeria Manini, managing director of Bulgari Parfums, adding: “These are fragrances to please oneself; they convey a state of mind, not seduction.”

Daniela Andrier created the latest juice, which comes in the same frosted glass bottle, designed by Thierry de Baschmakoff, as Jean-Claude Ellena’s original 1992 Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert, only tinted a soft shade of cyan to evoke the Chinese Fujian tea it contains. Jacques Cavallier’s Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc bowed in 2003, while Olivier Polge’s Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge hit shelves in 2006.

Though Andrier has worked with Bulgari — part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton — for many years, developing Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu was “almost like developing a fragrance for myself, because I love the [Fujian tea] note,” she said, describing the scent as “a very peaceful smell.”

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The international launch of the blue juice, alongside its green, white and red predecessors, will follow a selective distribution plan, with about 500 doors to carry the scent in Italy, for instance, and 300 in the U.S., including Sephora and top department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Worldwide, the door count is expected to be around 5,000 to 6,000 at most.

Manini said the Eau Parfumée line had a strong appeal in the U.S. and U.K., as well as in France. “Our goal is to be number one in luxury amenities,” with expansion of bath lines and scented candles, and into other hotel chains, she said.

Industry sources said the entire Eau Parfumée product line could hit close to 40 million euros, or $44.6 million at current exchange, in retail sales over the next year, with 15 to 17 million euros, or about $16.7 million to $18.9 million, stemming from the new fragrance.

Advertising strategy will vary by world region, with a focus on in-store displays and “a ritual philosophy” in Western markets, and more traditional television and print campaigns in Asia, according to Manini.

Each of the Eau Parfumée scents will be available in a 75-ml and 150-ml version, and Bulgari is also planning to introduce a 350-ml bottle, matching the original size of the fragrances handed to special customers of the firm’s Via Condotti boutique in Rome two decades ago. At the higher end, a 150-ml. cologne bottle will retail for 129 euros, or about $144, and a 600-gram candle will sell for 145 euros, or $162.