Byline: Jackie Cooperman

MILAN — With Trussardi’s launch of Python, its first women’s scent in six years, the Italian fashion house is promoting the connection between sexuality and fragrance.
The advertising, starring a sultry naked model in an embrace with a lengthy boa constrictor, is unabashedly focused on sex — something of a departure for Trussardi, which traditionally has used more conservative images.
“We’re like the opposite of [Ralph Lauren’s] Romance,” said marketing manager Alessandra Carnevale Bonino, referring to the American fragrance’s sweet and whimsical advertising campaign. “For us, the chance to succeed is tied to the ability to be daring.”
The company is targeting $2.2 million in retail sales for the first four months the fragrance is on sale in Italy, where it rolls out to 1,200 doors on Sept. 20. Trussardi will launch Python simultaneously in the United Kingdom, Austria, Greece, France and Spain and probably will roll it out in the U.S. next January.
In Italy, Trussardi Parfums will invest nearly as much in its ad campaign as it hopes to make in the first four months, Bonino said. The racy campaign features a television spot directed by Fabrizio Notari and a print campaign shot by Antonio Schiavano.
The commercial, which will run in Italy starting Sept. 20, features 24-year-old Cuban model Leyani Prieto Perez. Clothed in a flowing garnet dress, Perez strides toward an enormous, empty glass version of the Python bottle. She enters the bottle, and her dress falls to the floor and becomes a writhing boa constrictor that engages her in a series of erotic embraces.
Music, replete with a woman’s moans, swells to a crescendo, the camera pulls back and an unidentified woman’s arm grabs the Python bottle. She sprays the fragrance on her neck and whispers, “Python Trussardi. Urlo di piacere,” which means the scream of pleasure in Italian.
“We may have exaggerated the femininity and sensuality, but we really wanted to change the balance away from men’s fragrances,” which currently account for 70 percent of Trussardi Parfums sales, said Bonino. “We really want to use Python to become a major player in the women’s fragrance market.”
The fragrance, described as a “gourmand floral oriental,” is a rich blend of flavors and spices. It contains top notes of bergamot and mandarin, followed by chocolate, plum, nutmeg, jasmine and rose, and a dry-down of cardamom, vanilla and sandalwood.
The eau de toilette comes in three sizes — 30, 50 and 100 ml. The bath line includes a golden-colored body cream-gel, a ruby red bath gel with suspended gold flecks and a 50-ml. deodorant spray. Prices range from $16 for the deodorant to $66 for the 100-ml. eau de toilette.
The packaging is sleek — the eau de toilette, a bright red liquid, comes in an asymmetric frosted glass bottle with opaque gold lettering. The bath products are in rounder plastic bottles, and the cardboard box is textured to mimic the pattern of python skin that Trussardi uses in its clothing and accessories.
The new fragrance comes as Trussardi Parfums tackles the US market. “For 10 years, we’ve been working on expanding our fragrance market, and getting into the U.S. is like catching the moon,” said export manager Patrick Pace.
In an attempt to boost U.S. distribution, Trussardi Parfums last year moved away from its three-year exclusive agreement with Nordstrom and signed a distribution deal with the American fragrance producer Maraczek, best known for the high-end men’s fragrance Gendarme.
Pace said he was still working out final distribution plans for Python in the U.S., but other Trussardi fragrances are available at Nordstrom, Sephora, Macy’s West, Barneys New York and a host of specialty boutiques.
Pace sees growth in the American market as essential to Trussardi’s future.
“If you’re not in the United States, you can say you’re an international company, but there’s still a major piece missing,” he said.