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COME SMELL THE MAGIC OF MY NEW FRAGRANCE LINE

LATELY, I'VE BEEN thinking about getting involved in a risky new project. How can life be creatively satisfying without taking a risk? Yeah, that's right. I'm thinking about launching my own fragrance. You laugh, but anyone who's anyone has a fragrance.

I'm just thinking it might help my career.I would give it some catchy yet romantic name. Not "Indian Summer," because that's been used already - but something equally provocative.

I certainly would not try to compete with any of the famous designers, like Tommy Hilfiger, who calls his fragrance simply "Tommy."

A little egocentric, don't you think?

"Tommy" is an unforgettable scent with "crisp, clean, distinctly American notes like Texas Yellow Rose, Cape Cod Cranberry and New England Apple Pie."

Hmmm. How do they do that?

Another popular fragrance is "Tuscany," which is designed to reflect "the graduate's continued pursuit of excellence."

According to its packaging, it is inspired by "the music, architecture and passion of Italy's Tuscany region."

That sounds pretty cool.

Actually, I identify more with Geoffrey Beene's fragrance. He calls his "Grey Flannel." Now there's a solid, distinguished male fragrance.

Besides, I have some at home.

Beene says a man should learn to appreciate a fragrance in a way that says who he is.

"A fragrance should evoke some kind of feeling in you. When you smell it, it should create a mood."

That's what I'm after - mood.

Typically, he says, men don't realize they have to wait about 15 minutes after a fragrance is sprayed on the wrist to see how it actually smells.

Women know all about that, of course.

Beene says it takes a few minutes for one's body chemistry to mix with the fragrance and personalize it. It takes that long for what is referred to as the fragrance's "dry-down" to emerge. This, says Beene, is the true essence of the fragrance after the alcohol has worn off.

Does that inspire you?

I've thought about all this, and I think I'm ready to take the leap with my own fragrance. It will be one that will definitely create a mood, one that will mix well with the body's own chemistry, one that will take awhile to kick in.

Of course, I have to personalize it with my own experience.

So now that I've had back surgery, I've decided to call my fragrance Physical Therapy. Feel the heat. Physical Therapy. It'll work you over. Physical Therapy. You've never sweat like this before. Physical Therapy.

Yes! If you feel good about yourself, chances are you'll feel good about Physical Therapy.

Let its natural, invigorating oils blend with your own body chemistry. Physical Therapy. Let the energizing fragrance energize you. Physical Therapy.

Apply it generously for maximum impact. Physical Therapy.

Doesn't that sound like an ideal fragrance for the male of the '90s?

Any man worth his salt works out to keep his health, to keep his energy, to make himself more attractive to the opposite sex. What better description of the impact of those dedicated work-outs than Physical Therapy?

Look for it soon at one of the trendier, upscale downtown merchants. If you don't see me wandering around at the time, schmoozing potential customers, it is probably because I'm doing a promotional on Regis and Kathie Lee.

Dennis Lythgoe's column is published on Tuesdays and Thursdays.