Byline: Pete Born

NEW YORK — Intercosmetics, the U.S. subsidiary of Wella’s German-based Cosmopolitan Cosmetics, is launching two different women’s fragrances this spring, one as an addition to its powerful Gucci Rush franchise.
The other represents an unusual twist — a women’s scent as an offshoot of last year’s success of Dunhill Desire, a hot niche scent in the men’s market.
The Gucci scent is Rush 2, a follow-up to the Rush women’s fragrance, which was introduced in September 1999 and subsequently followed by a men’s version. According to industry estimates, the original Rush does around $16 million to $17 million at retail in 1,300 doors. Rush 2, which will have a soft launch in May and a fall rollout, is expected by industry sources to push the Rush and Rush 2 franchise to $24 million to $25 million. Martha Brady, Intercosmetics president and chief executive officer, said the decision to bring Rush 2 out early with a spring introduction in about 130 specialty stores was made to capitalize on the headway made by Rush and to satiate consumer demand for newness. It originally was scheduled for fall. By yearend, she expects the new scent to be in 750 to 800 doors.
The two fragrances — both created by Tom Ford — share the same distinctive, rectangular plastic packaging. The original Rush package is red and the new version is fuchsia. But aside from the similar name and packaging, the two fragrance formulas are different, with the new scent related by some common notes to the original.
The new scent — developed by Michel Almairac of Robertet, the perfumer who did the original — is a transparent floral chypre, while the first Rush is an oriental. The two fragrances share some notes — freesia, rose and gardenia — but a major difference is that the patchouli of the original was replaced with palm wood to impart a lasting effect without being too heavy. The palm wood was combined with narcissus and lily of the valley to help form the top note. The transparency was created with a combination of green floral notes.
The line will consist of three sizes of eau de toilette spray including: a 1-oz. size priced at $40; a 1.7-oz. version for $57, and a 2.5-oz. size for $75. There also will be a 2.5-oz. hydrating body mist priced at $45 and a 6.8-oz. shower gel for $35.
But before the curtain goes up on the second act of Rush, Intercosmetics will introduce Dunhill Desire for a Woman next week. It represents a different twist on masterbranding, which usually involves establishing a brand in the dominant women’s market then cashing in with a male mate.
In this case, Intercosmetics will be attempting to do the reverse, primarily because Dunhill has been seen as a men’s brand, with three male scents on the market before the original men’s Desire came along a year ago, with a 300-door distribution. The women’s scent, a floriental developed by Maurice Roucel at Dragoco, will have a similar distribution, eventually swelling to 750 to 800 doors.
Sources estimate that the women’s scent could do $12 million to $15 million in first-year retail sales promoted by a $3 million to $4 million war chest, including magazine ads featuring men’s and women’s dual-scented strips. The new Dunhill line has five items. It includes three eau de toilette sprays, opening with a 1-oz. size priced at $38 and ending with a 2.5-oz. version for $60. A $28 shower gel and a $38 body lotion completes the line.