KATZ COMES BACK
Fragrance industry veteran Neil Katz is back in the game with Omni Scents.
Tom Branna • Editorial Director
SO MUCH for celebrity. The man who helped create the craze for celebrity-inspired scents is now turning his atten- tion to “lifestyle” fragrances. Neil Katz, the former Parlux
Fragrances executive who gave the world Paris Hilton, Jessica
Simpson and other celebrity scents, has teamed up with Lucien
Lallouz to create Omni Scents, an Aventura, FL-based company
that promises to create, market and distribute fragrances inspired
by lifestyle brands that resonate with today’s consumers.
After leaving Parlux, Katz spent the past couple of years
consulting; more specifically, matching licensors with licensees to help brands find the right celebrity. Business was brisk,
Katz recalled, but he wanted more. During the summer, Katz
and Lallouz created a fragrance house that would be international in nature and dedicated to creating interesting fragrances. Lallouz is no stranger to Katz or to the fragrance game,
taking credit for the first celebrity fragrance (Julio Iglesias), followed by Phantom of the Opera and a special 50th anniversary
fragrance for Gone With The Wind. He also served as business
development consultant for Parlux Fragrances.
What’s on Tap?
First up for Omni Scents is a line of Miss Universe branded
fragrances. The launch, slated for Summer 2013, will include
three scents inspired by Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss
Teen USA. Miss Universe is a global brand with pageants in
nearly 90 countries, highlighted by the Miss Universe pageant
in December, which attracts more than one billion viewers. For
those who keep track of such things, the winner of the most
recent Miss Universe pageant was
USA’s Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island.
Although a fragrance supplier
hasn’t been selected, plans call for creating special scents for select countries
and developing new fragrances each
year to coincide with each pageant.
“There’s a great aspirational feeling when it comes to Miss Universe,”
Katz explained. “If you go to certain
parts of the US, girls as young as three
years old are competing in beauty
Miss Universe Olivia Culpo
pageants. By 10, they aspire to be Miss Universe.”
The likes of Honey Boo Boo aside, that aspiration is evident
in other countries as well, according to Katz.
“The public is very interested in Miss Universe. It breaks
the mold of just celebrity and fashion scents. Regular people
can be inspired by regular people.”
Distribution plans haven’t been finalized, but Katz expects
the Miss Universe line, as well subsequent Omni Scents’ fra-
grances, to be distributed in department stores such as Macy’s,
Dillard’s, Belk and Bon-Ton, as well as Ulta. The brand will also
be available internationally and in duty-free shops. Regardless of
distribution, however, Katz predicts moderate price points for the
Miss Universe line.
With the fragrance industry dominated by multinationals,
Katz is confident that Miss Universe is the kind of unique brand
that can help Omni Scents cut through all the celebrity clutter.
“Miss Universe is big and pervasive in the US and around the
world,” he insisted. “We don’t need to introduce the concept to
the world—just the fragrance.”•