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Beauty Beat: Marionnaud Founder Hit With Fine… Calmia Poised to Expand…

Marcel Frydman, the founder and former chief executive officer of Marionnaud Parfumeries, has been fined 1 million euros, or $1.37 million at current...

PARIS — Marcel Frydman, the founder and former chief executive officer of Marionnaud Parfumeries, has been fined 1 million euros, or $1.37 million at current exchange, by France’s securities regulator for having falsified the perfumery chain’s accounts.

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers fined Frydman’s son Gerald, Marionnaud’s former vice president and financial director, 500,000 euros, or $686,160. Marionnaud Parfumeries, now owned by A.S. Watson, a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, was also fined 500,000 euros. A 100,000 euro, or $137,232, fine was handed down to KPMG, Marionnaud’s auditors at the time of the falsification, and Yves Gouhir, an associate of KPMG, was fined 40,000 euros, or $54,893.

The securities regulator’s decision follows an investigation begun in October 2005 regarding Marionnaud having delayed the publication of its financial results three times in 2004, plus irregularities in its financial disclosures in 2004, 2003 and 2002. Marcel Frydman and his two sons, Gerald and Jean-Pierre, left Marionnaud in September 2005, seven months after selling the perfumery chain to A.S. Watson.

All the concerned parties can appeal the decision. — Ellen Groves

Calmia Poised to Expand

LONDON — Beauty and well-being brand Calmia is limbering up for expansion after being acquired in April by Singapore-based The Wellness Group, which is owned by the Murjani family.

The brand’s founder, Lucy Wakefield, and her husband, Nick Coleman, who have reprised their roles as creative director and managing director, respectively, will spearhead growth in markets including the U.S. and Europe starting this year. The couple left the five-year-old firm last year after failing to agree on strategic direction with then-investor Li & Fung, based in Hong Kong.

“They wanted to take Calmia down a more conventional beauty route,” said Wakefield, adding that its original concept was a holistic approach to beauty and lifestyle. “The whole point of difference for Calmia was that it was a well-being brand. It was about inspiring people rather than giving them products that they could get from other brands.”

Expansion plans include opening markets such as Benelux, Scandinavia, Australia and South Africa this year, while the U.S. is in the cards for 2008. Calmia products currently are distributed by The Wellness Group in the U.K., the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East.

In the U.K., Calmia products are carried in a selection of department stores, including Harrods, John Lewis, Liberty and Fenwick, as well as Whole Foods doors. The brand’s flagship boutique and spa in the tony Marylebone neighborhood here was shuttered in March. However, Wakefield said a smaller store with treatment rooms is planned for the spring in central London. An e-commerce site also is scheduled to launch by the end of the year, and Wakefield said an at-home spa service could be a possibility by this fall.

Today, the brand comprises a 22-unit skin care line dubbed Pure Skin; Home Spa, a nine-unit collection of spa-oriented treatment items; 16 scented candles and room sprays for the home, plus apparel line Relaxation Clothing and a yoga accessories range.

Pure Skin prices range from 17 British pounds, or $34.80 at current exchange, for a 100-ml. tube of Hand & Nail Therapy to 45 pounds, or $92, for a 50-ml. bottle of Skin Rejuvenator.

Industry sources estimate the brand will generate turnover in excess of 2.5 million pounds, or $5.1 million, this year. — Brid Costello

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