MILAN — After establishing a 92-year history of scent making, Acqua di Parma is about to try its hand at skin care.

This story first appeared in the March 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned fragrance house will launch Blu Mediterraneo Italian Resort — a five-item skin and body care line slated to reach shelves globally in May.

Blu Mediterraneo Italian Resort’s launch strategy is highly limited, totaling 700 doors worldwide. It is expected to generate 6 million euros, or $9.3 million at current exchange, in retail sales worldwide during its first year, according to industry sources.

The skin care line will be unveiled in tandem with another Acqua di Parma first: an eponymous spa on the Italian island of Sardinia.

The freestanding spa is expected to open its doors in May in the plush resort town of Porto Cervo, on Sardinia’s Smeralda coast. Acqua di Parma has developed some professional-use products for the spa, which will also carry the new skin care line.

The Blue Mediterraneo Italian Resort skin and body care line, which took two and a half years to create, was inspired by Acqua di Parma’s Blu Mediterraneo fragrance series — which references specific locations in Italy and the flora and fauna native to them.

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“Blu Mediterraneo represents outdoor lifestyle on the Mediterranean coast — we expressed this concept with fragrances but now we’ve broadened it to include a wellness line of treatments that are really about self-indulgence,” said Catherine Castillon, product manager, Blu Mediterraneo Italian Resort.

She said the products are meant to create for consumers an “experience of being in a beautiful Italian coastal town, where everything is amazing and you are treating yourself.”

The line features Mediterranean Oxygenating Complex, an ingredient used in all the products that contains extracts from maquis, a scrubby Mediterranean underbrush. The brand also tapped other plants, fruits and seeds from the Mediterranean to formulate the products, including fig for its vitamins and proteins, and carob seeds, considered a vegetable hyaluronic acid.

The beauty firm claims the ingredients purify, oxygenate, nourish and protect the skin. “The reality is these products offer other benefits — like antiaging and refining — but [the big emphasis is] they offer natural beauty,” said Castillon.

Blu Mediterraneo Italian Resort features a 15-ml. eye elixir for $60, a 50-ml. radiant face cream for $71, a 50-ml. repairing balm for $61, a 200-ml. body nourisher cream for $68 and a 150-ml. delicate pumice scrub for $63.

The line’s packaging features a sea blue background trimmed with yellow, green and white stripes similar to that used for Blu Mediterraneo fragrances.

A Blue Mediterraneo print advertising campaign, which was shot on location on Italy’s coast, features a private villa situated with a view of the Mediterranean. The campaign will be particularly focused on May and June issues of magazines and newspapers.

— Stephanie Epiro

L’Oréal Picks Ingenius Students

PARIS — A team from Canada’s Sherbrooke University won a challenge to reduce energy use at a L’Oréal production site as part of the fourth annual L’Oréal Ingenius competition, which was held in Paris two weeks ago. Competitors spent three days at the plant before compiling an energy efficiency report.

More than 60 Ingenius competitors have been recruited by the French beauty giant since 2005. This year, the competition drew more than 300 students from 50 universities.