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May 13, 2002 | 1350 IST
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Scent of the man: Big B bottled

Shweta Rajpal Kohli

Amitabh BachchanCome September, and Amitabh Bachchan fans -women and men - will be able to wear a perfume named after him.

The superstar has clinched a deal with the France-based company, Robertet, for launching perfumes after his name.

Called Amitabh for Her and Amitabh for Him, the two high-end brands will be launched around the world. Bachchan returned from France recently after approving the fragrance the company created for the brand.

It took the perfume creator almost a year to develop a scent that would suit his character and personality.

"The fragrance is subtle, yet mysterious. It evolves and grows on you," Sunil Doshi, CEO of Alliance, Bachchan's celebrity management firm, said.

"The scent is very original, fresh and innovative. We approved the fragrance instantly because it was very characteristic of Bachchan," said Doshi, who accompanied the superstar to Paris.

"The company has already spent millions of dollars in creating the fragrance," he added. The size and shape of the bottle has also been finalised.

The offer to launch a brand of perfumes named after him came when Bachchan was regaining popularity during the days of Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Post-KBC, the actor suddenly became the darling of the advertising industry, and managed to make Rs 300 million just out of brand endorsements.

Although Robertet has not paid Bachchan any sum for using his name, the star is likely to get a royalty from the sales.

But will a perfume named after a 60-year-old man sell? "Why not? Robertet did a lot of market research before approaching Bachchan. It is confident of the success of the brand. It considers it a very viable and workable business proposition," Doshi said.

The firm is also exploring the option of launching several extensions of the Amitabh brand, if the perfume project takes off.

The $250 million Robertet, a major in flavours and fragrances, has started operations in India. It is targeting India and China as the major markets to augment the group's position in Asia. The company has appointed actress Zeenat Aman, who also has a perfume named after her, as its brand ambassador.

Bachchan is the fourth Indian celebrity after Zeenat Aman, Shah Rukh Khan and Lata Mangeshkar, to have a perfume named after him. Zeenat, SK and Lata eu de Cologne failed to make it big in the fragrance market. Let's wait and see what's in store for Amitabh.

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