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Coty in Fragrance Deal With Elite

New scent line bearing the the modeling agency's name will be distributed in mass market, drugstore and perfumery doors.

Coty Inc. has signed a deal with Elite World, the modeling agency, to develop and market a new scent line bearing the Elite name.

The initial collection of four scents is slated to launch in February in Europe and in late March or early April in the U.S., rolling out to additional markets throughout the spring. It will be distributed in mass market, drugstore and perfumery doors, with a door count similar to that of Coty’s Adidas and Playboy licenses. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Bernd Beetz, chief executive officer of Coty Inc., said the Elite license is part of the company’s fourth, or mass, category in its fragrance pillar, along with Adidas and Playboy, which are important businesses for the firm. He envisions the Elite brand as having high aspirational quality, especially among teenagers, because of “the crazy popularity of the casting shows.” He was referring to reality TV programs like “America’s Next Top Model.” “We know how to do fragrances,” Beetz said, “and we know how to tap into the zeitgeist.”

Renato Semerari, president of Coty Beauty, calls the new license a lifestyle brand, similar in its appeal to the Playboy fragrance brand Coty launched in 2008. “We have always been looking at bringing more lifestyle brands to Coty,” said Semerari. “Playboy was more in our mind an icon for teenage boys, but we found girls were as receptive to it as the boys were. Playboy is more on a seduction platform, while Elite is more fashion. We believe girls will also find great appeal in this license; many girls have this dream about modeling, traveling around the world and having a cosmopolitan lifestyle. We felt this partnership would allow us to surf in that world.”

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The Coty deal is the first for Elite World, which was founded in 1972 and represents more than 2,000 models on five continents.

“The new collaboration will fuse Coty’s unrivaled fragrance expertise with the global reach of the Elite Models brand to distill the glamorous appeal of modeling and fashion into a fragrance line,” said Cristian D’Ippolito, ceo of Elite World. “Coty was the clear choice for Elite to create its new fragrance collection. Coty has achieved a tremendous level of success with many prestigious brands, and Coty’s drive for excellence aligns with Elite’s proven ability to generate global awareness beyond the world of fashion.”

Each of the four scents is named for a city, each representing a different fashion scene, said Jurgen Scharfenstein, senior vice president of global marketing for Coty Beauty. Paris Baby is a sparkling floral with top notes of apple, freesia and Bellini accord; a heart of osmanthus, jasmine and orange blossom, and a drydown of musk, vanilla, patchouli and sandalwood. London Queen opens with notes of mandarin, bergamot and raspberry; leads to a heart of plum, jasmine and exotic tiare tahiti, and has a drydown of warm vanilla, benzoin and musk. New York Muse opens with lotus flower, gardenia leaves and blood orange notes; has a heart of red peony, creamy violet and exotic velvet orchid, and a drydown of black vanilla, patchouli and sensual musks. Rio Glam Girl opens with vibrant açaí berry and juicy starfruit; has a heart of princess peony, jasmine and violet flower, and a drydown of sandalwood and palisander wood. In Europe, a 50-ml. scent will retail for between 8 and 12 euros, or $10.55 and $15.82 at current exchange, depending on the market, said Scharfenstein. U.S. pricing is to be determined.

Promotion will include a comprehensive media campaign as well as synergies with Elite’s Model Look Contest. Details are still being determined and will be announced later this fall.