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Beauty Beat: Inter Parfums Ups 2004 Guidance … Avon’s New Mark: Men … H&M, Caboodles in Talks …

<B>Inter Parfums Ups 2004 Guidance</B> <BR><BR>NEW YORK — Strong first-half sales volume prompted prestige perfume and cosmetics manufacturer Inter Parfums Inc. last week to raise its full-year 2004 sales guidance to $225 million from $222...

Inter Parfums Ups 2004 Guidance

NEW YORK — Strong first-half sales volume prompted prestige perfume and cosmetics manufacturer Inter Parfums Inc. last week to raise its full-year 2004 sales guidance to $225 million from $222 million.

Sales for the second quarter rose 13 percent to $46.8 million from $41.4 million. The company will report second-quarter operating results on Aug. 11. For the first half of the year, sales were $105.2 million, a 33 percent gain over $79 million in the same year-ago period.

The new full-year sales guidance includes incremental sales from the Lanvin fragrance license that Inter Parfums recently acquired. Net income guidance will remain at $15.8 million, assuming the dollar remains at current levels.

Inter Parfums SA, the Paris-based subsidiary of Inter Parfums Inc., said its consolidated sales for the first half of the year rose 31 percent to 69.2 million euros, or $84.9 million at average exchange, versus the prior-year period. At constant exchange, the uptick was 38 percent.

The subsidiary said its overall sales for fiscal 2004 will fall between 147 million euros and 148 million euros, or $182.9 million and $184.2 million, respectively, at current exchange. The company closed fiscal 2003 with sales of 124.6 million euros, or $141 million at average exchange. — Carrie Melago and Jennifer Weil, Paris

Avon’s New Mark: Men

NEW YORK — Mark, the beautybrand Avon Products Inc. unveiled last August to target 16- to 24-year-old women, hopes to make its mark in the men’s category.

Mark will introduce its first men’s product — a fragrance called Mark.blu — in the November issue of the brand’s “Meet Mark” magalogue. The scent will also be available via meetmark.com, not to mention the company’s field of 20,000 Mark-dedicated sales representatives and those among Avon’s 490,000 U.S.-based sales force who also represent the Mark brand.

Industry sources estimate Mark.blu, a 1.7-oz. cologne spray that’s priced at $18.50, could generate between $1 million and $2 million during its first year on the market. Executives are expecting most of the scent’s purchasers to be young women but didn’t rule out the potential for a male customer base, given that 2 percent of Mark’s sales force is made up of men. The scent targets males aged 18 to 34 years old.

“We listened to the forum on Mark,” said Michelle McCabe, manager of product development, who cited a monthly conference call the firm hosts with key regional Mark representatives. “They wanted something to give to the man in their life.”

A white grease pencil is included with Mark.blu because messages can be scrawled on the flat, specially designed surface of the bottle. The scent, which mixes top notes of citrus and lavender, a heart of black pepper and white cardamom and a base of mahogany and vetiver, was blended by Givaudan.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, a 16-foot bar, chockablock with Avon’s newest items, is the centerpiece of the firm’s Let’s Talk Beauty Tour. The award-winning marketing program, which kicked off at The Block at Orange in Orange, Calif., this weekend, is in its third year. The tour will visit 16 cities, ending in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 7. Along with complimentary consultations and a chance at the Bahamas sweepstakes, consumers can also preview the fall colors at the Color Play Station. And a buck for a paper “kiss” will contribute to the Avon Kiss Collage, benefiting the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. In the last decade, the Avon Foundation program has raised more than $300 million toward care and a cure. — Matthew W. Evans and Rose Apodaca Jones,Los Angeles

H&M, Caboodles in Talks

NEW YORK — Teen color cosmetics brand Caboodles is looking to align itself with Hennes & Mauritz, according to sources, to get in good with the ‘in’ crowd. Caboodles Cosmetics president Jim Heim traveled to H&M headquarters in Sweden late June to discuss the possibility of outfitting H&M stores with Caboodles cosmetics. The whimsical teen line has already found a home in mass retailers and chain drugstores. Presence in H&M stores, which are heavily trafficked by a young, hip clientele, would give the beauty brand more visibility with its core customer group, teens aged 12 to 17 years old.

Lancôme to Tap Kruger?

PARIS — It looks like Lancôme is adding another actress to its star-studded cast of faces. According to reports in the industry here, Diane Kruger of “Trojan” fame, will soon appear in an advertising campaign for one of the L’Oréal-owned brand’s fragrances. A Lancôme spokeswoman had no comment on the speculation. — J.W.