Online Exclusives

Tova Signature Platinum Launches in New York

By Nancy Jeffries , Correspondent | August 4, 2009

An entrepreneur recalls her amazing journey to become a fragrance expert.

Tova Borgnine’s journey from her first cosmetic boutique on the Jersey Shore, Tova’s Touch, to accolades as Retailer of the Year, with QVC, at this year’s Fragrance Foundation FiFi Awards, has been remarkable. After emigrating from Norway at the age of seven, she arrived in New York with her mother to begin what would become a lifelong adventure in beauty, fashion, modeling, skin care, publishing, and ultimately, fragrance. After becoming a licensed makeup artist, she opened makeup concessions at Caesar’s Palace and the Hilton in Las Vegas, where she became a beauty consultant to showgirls, nightclub performers, and celebrities, and was introduced to her future husband, Academy Award winning actor, Ernest Borgnine.

Tova Borgnine
The Tova Corporation began with a cactus-based masque she and her husband discovered on a trip to Mexico. The formulation proved successful and the Cactine skin care line expanded to include moisturizer, toner, eye makeup remover and a moisture masque to complement the original masque. Within four years, annual sales had grown to $3,000,000, with full-color catalogs, toll-free ordering, and specially trained Beauty Counselors contributing to the brand’s success.

Breaking New Ground

In 1982, Borgnine broke new ground with the development of her first fragrance, the now American classic, Tova Signature, based on absolute jasmine and Italian bergamot; and in 1990 Tova began to appear on a “trial” basis on the televised shopping network, QVC, which proved to be the perfect vehicle to reach her intimate audience of 45 million viewers. Her fragrance, Body, Mind& Spirit, and her Beverly Hills salon of the same name, debuted in 1992, and Tova Nights, winner of the coveted FiFi award, launched in 1998. Tova Ambre D’Oro, inspired by her travels in Italy and family heritage, followed, and her latest launch, Tova Signature Platinum, a lovingly rendered new iteration of Tova Signature, debuted last month.

This fragrance, created by Belmay, includes nuances and textures of the original Tova Signature scent, however, it contains a higher level of premium ingredients, offers advanced production techniques, and a greater concentration of essential oils. The premium edition of Tova Signature Platinum focuses on the provenance and quality of the essential oils, utilizing the finest bergamot from the Reggio Calabria on the southern tip of Italy, as well as Crisp Citrus, for the top notes of the fragrance. Pure French Provençal lavender oil and premium jasmine absolute form the middle notes, while Indian sandalwood and seductive musk oils form the base.

Tova Signature Platinum
Mrs. Borgnine said, “The base is a hypnotic, aphrodisiac, white luminous musk, which builds the character of the whole fragrance.”

Utilizing an advanced “chill and filter” technique applied during the final stages of the maceration process makes Tova Signature Platinum crisper, brighter and clearer than before.

“It takes two months before the absolute even sees alcohol. It is then chilled to just about freezing and filtered, to give it clarity. The concentration of fragrance oils has also increased from 28.5% to 32.5%,” she said, noting it is one of the industry’s highest potencies for an eau de parfum.

In her suite at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, Mrs. Borgnine reflected on her career and her personal experience with fragrance.

“This is a timeless, ageless and universal signature scent. It becomes your signature, but people in every walk of life will invariably respond to it. If someone had told me 28 years ago that I was going to become a ‘perfumania’ person, I would have said it’s impossible, because I was a novice then," she said. "But now, I’ve got so many exquisite fragrances, and people are enjoying them from generation to generation. There’s a continuing lineage. It’s a wonderful thing to have accomplished something that makes someone happy.”

Tova Signature Platinum will retail for $36 for a 3.3oz. eau de parfum, and is available through QVC at 1-800-345-1515 or