Paul Sebastian Inc. was born in 1979 from a scheme dreamed up by two New Jersey natives named Leonard Paul Cuozzo and Alan Sebastian Greco. Cuozzo had become interested in developing fragrances after living near the International Flavors & Fragrances plant in Union Beach. He paired his budding skills as a perfumist with the business expertise of his friend, Greco, who was working as a national sales manager for Textron at the time. The pair bottled their first cologne - a concoction Cuozzo had been tinkering with for twelve years with New York perfumer Fritzsche Dodge - and sold it to three New Jersey men’s clothing stores. It was so successful that within two years the business had expanded to over 300 stores and was grossing over $200,000 a year. Despite its roaring success in the coming decades, Paul Sebastian was considered unorthodox for the fact that it did virtually no national advertising. Instead, it focused its resources on the company’s relationship with their distributors, which remained by and large specialty stores. However, the company is also famous for its innovations with the “gift with purchase” concept. Beginning with teddy bears in 1983, fine porcelain pieces to match their fragrances soon became the company trademark. In 1989 the company went international
Today, the original Paul Sebastian Inc. is no more. In 1999 its primary assets and rights were sold to FFI Fragrances, including Paul Sebastian Fine Cologne, Design, Casual, Cigar Aficionado (designed for the magazine of the same name) and its Nautica and Mark Cross lines. However, Paul Sebastian continues to flourish as a well-established brand name.
Their launch fragrance, which is still sold today, is called Paul Sebastian Fine Cologne, a mixture of subtle spices, sweet florals and citrus, with rich undertones of soft woods and musk released in 1980. It was followed in 1982 by men’s fragrance VSOP and in 1985 by Design, the company’s first women’s fragrance. After developing Brownstone in 1988 and Tribeca in 1989, they worked with designer Alexander Julian to develop Colours, a womens wear collection released in 1992. The company found success with its own Casual (for men and women) and Design (for men) in 1995. In 1997 it returned to pairing with outside designers, working with David Chu on Nautica Women and Nautica Competition and developing Embrace for luxury goods company Mark Cross. It also released its own Paul Sebastian Silver in 1997. In 2004 Funky Sexy Cool for women was released under the Sebastian name, a sweet scent featuring honeysuckle, fruit and lilac, and its newest scent, released in 2006, is Paul Sebastian Kinetic.
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