NEW YORK -- Jean Philippe Fragrances has obtained the rights to manufacture and distribute Cutex nail and lip color products in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Chesebrough-Ponds USA, which had been marketing Cutex, will retain ownership of the Cutex trademark, and will continue to distribute the Cutex nail polish removers.

Terms of the licensing agreement, which will go into effect on Aug. 1, were not disclosed.

"Cutex fits right in with our existing distribution," said Russell Greenberg, executive vice president at Jean Philippe. "What it can do for us is provide further entrance into the market with our other products, due to its own strength as a brand."

As of Wednesday, Terry Augenbraun, who had been general manager of Chesebrough's fragrance and cosmetics division, became executive vice president of Jean Philippe and president of its newly formed Premiere division.

The Premiere division will oversee Cutex along with the Chaz men's fragrance and Intimate women's scent, both of which were recently acquired from Revlon, and the Jordache cosmetics brand.

According to Augenbraun, the division will also develop new mass market fragrances, with the intention of launching new items next year.

"Cutex will now be the crown jewel of a company that believes in cosmetics and fragrances," Augenbraun said. "Chesebrough is planning to invest in skin care, oral care and deodorants, rather than cosmetics."

A Chesebrough spokeswoman said the nail polish removers fit into the company's "strategic priorities," while the remaining Cutex products would benefit by being licensed.

The Cutex nail care and lip color products division reportedly had a wholesale volume in excess of $20 million in 1993. The brand is distributed in approximately 22,000 mass market outlets.

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