Ferragamo's Tuscan Creations.

MILAN — Salvatore Ferragamo SpA, parent company of the Salvatore Ferragamo Group, said on Thursday it is in ongoing exclusive negotiations with Interparfums Inc. for the worldwide licensing of Ferragamo branded perfumes.

The deal, whose closing is still subject to the signing of definitive agreements, is intended to give a further boost to the Italian fashion house’s fragrance business, while preserving a worldwide selective distribution in line with the brand positioning.

The Florence-based company’s fragrance division has been managed in-house for the last two decades.

The Ferragamo Parfums SpA company has been a separate entity yet wholly owned by Salvatore Ferragamo SpA until the board of directors of the parent company approved the merger by incorporating it in November 2020. The operation derived “from the need to simplify the Italian structure of the Salvatore Ferragamo Group, with an optimization of the resources management and an efficiency of the organization,” read a statement at the time.

The merger became effective in April.

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Meanwhile, longtime Ferragamo Parfums chief executive officer Luciano Bertinelli quietly exited the company at the end of 2020, succeeded in the role by Teodora Sevastakieva, formerly international business director at the company.

As reported, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hurt Salvatore Ferragamo’s revenues in 2020. In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2020, revenues fell 33.5 percent to 916 million euros, compared with 1.37 billion euros in 2019. In particular, sales of fragrances dropped 52.4 percent to 41.8 million euros, mainly penalized by stores closures in both domestic and travel retail channels.

In the first quarter of 2021, sales of fragrances were up 5.3 percent to 10.5 million euros compared to the same period last year. Overall, in the three months ended March 31, the company’s revenues rose 10.3 percent to 244.6 million euros compared with 222 million euros in the same period last year.

The potential licensing agreement with Interparfums wouldn’t be the first in the history for the Ferragamo fragrance business.

In 1994, the brand signed an agreement for the development and manufacturing of its first fragrance with Eurocos Cosmetics, a Germany-based division of Procter & Gamble.

After discontinuing the deal with nothing having been produced, in March 1997 Ferragamo and Bulgari formed a joint venture — each taking a 50 percent stake — called Ferragamo Parfums SA. This resulted in two operating companies: Ferragamo Parfums and Ungaro Parfums — as prior to that Ferragamo had bought the Ungaro trademark from Chanel. At the time, Bulgari was given management responsibility under a service contract.

After a four-year-long partnership, the two parties amicably dissolved the joint-venture contract, with Ferragamo acquiring from Bulgari its 50 percent stake for an undisclosed sum. The Ferragamo Parfums division was then established in 2001 to control the entire fragrance business in-house, from the development of the scent to the distribution.

Interparfums’ fragrance licenses include Boucheron, Coach, Jimmy Choo, Karl Lagerfeld, Kate Spade, Moncler, Montblanc, Paul Smith, Repetto, S.T. Dupont and Van Cleef & Arpels. The group also owns Lanvin fragrances and the Rochas brand.