By  on April 18, 2008

PERFUME SHOP EXEC: Jo Walker has been named chief operating officer of The Perfume Shop, which is owned by A.S. Watson Group. Walker, who was formerly the perfumery chain’s retail director, took on the role last week, following Jeremy Seigal’s appointment as chief executive officer of A.S. Watson (U.K.). Walker joined The Perfume Shop in 1992 as a store manager and later held the roles of area manager, operations manager, operations controller, retail operations director and trading director. A.S. Watson, which is the retail arm of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., also owns Superdrug and Savers. The Perfume Shop counts 164 doors in the U.K. and Ireland.

SOFT SKIN: Soft & Beautiful is getting into skin care. The mass market hair care brand, which is owned by Alberto-Culver Co. and targets women of color, is set to introduce in July Soft & Beautiful Skin. The brand unveiled the line at a press event Tuesday afternoon in New York, which featured a mini fashion show with nine evening dresses from designers KLS, Baby Phat and Betsey Johnson — a nod at the brand’s positioning, which contends that good skin is fashionable. The treatment line comprises six items, including a firming lotion, and is priced from $5.99 to $6.99.

RODDICK DONATION: Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop and a human rights and environmental campaigner, donated her fortune to charity, according to reports in the British press, citing her will. Roddick, who died suddenly in September 2007 following a brain hemorrhage, reportedly on her death left an estate valued at 665,747 pounds, or $1.3 million, having given away 51 million pounds, or $100.7 million at current exchange, to charity. Her estate was consigned to taxes. When The Body Shop was sold to L’Oréal in 2006, it was valued at 652 million pounds, or $1.29 billion. Roddick had long been vocal about her plans for her assets, and at one point she responded to pleading requests for funds via her Web site. “I will be giving my money away — that’s a fact — but not at the moment,” her posting read. “I’ve always said that I don’t want to die rich — it’s mentioned in my book ‘Business as Unusual.’”SUMMERSENT ABROAD: Niche fragrance brand Summersent has taken an international turn. The two-year-old fragrance collection, which includes a perfume, an eau de parfum, a body lotion and body cream, was launched this week at Liberty in London. Summersent was inspired by founder Marjorie Kitzrow’s love of uncommon Hawaiian flora. The line ranges in price in the U.S. from $55 for the 4-oz. lotion to $150 for the 10-ml. perfume concentrate, which comes in a glass bottle adorned with Swarovski crystals. The scent is carried at about 30 stores in the U.S., including Takashimaya in New York.
SOHO NIGHT: The Soho House in Manhattan held its biannual Ladies Night Monday, showcasing the wares of cosmetics brand Stila, spa and skin care products from the Cowshed brand and hair care products from stylist Chrystoph Marten.
While Stila showed off lit compacts and numerous lip shades — and Cowshed also helped light up the room with bath and body products and candles — Marten highlighted a leave-in conditioner and soaps, new additions to his eponymous hair care line.

PIERRE FABRE NAMES PR DIRECTOR: Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique, the Paris-based pharmaceutical and skin care company, has named Diane Biancamano as director of public relations for René Furterer, Klorane and Galenic/Elancyl. Biancamano will work out of the company’s Parsippany, N.J., offices and will be responsible for all U.S. communications for the prestige hair and skin care brands. Prior to Pierre Fabre, Biancamano served as public relations manager at Clarins Group U.S. She has also consulted for leading cosmetics companies, including Unilever Cosmetics, and has served as director of public relations and advertising for International Flavors & Fragrances.

PLANKS SPLITS ASSETS: Plank LLC’s management has decided to divide the company’s yoga accessories brand from its luxury line of silver-based skin care products, Cor. The split will take place April 21. Separate marketing strategies and product operations led to the split.
Founder and creative director Doreen Hing will maintain control of the Plank name and yoga division, and general manager and partner Jennifer McKinley will own the Cor product line and skin care division.

EARTH DAY SWEEPSTAKES: In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, TotalBeauty.com, the online beauty product library, will launch an eco-awareness campaign called “Totally Green Sweepstakes.” To enter the sweepstakes, users simply need to write a review on any one of 60,000 products featured on the site. One lucky winner will win a 2008 Saturn Vue Hybrid car filled with a year’s supply of green and organic beauty products. The contest kicked off Wednesday and runs until June 5. Other prizes include a conflict-free diamond from Brilliant Earth and eco-spa trips from Spas of America.GUCCI MAN: Gucci announced yesterday that it hired actor James Franco as the face for its new men’s fragrance, scheduled to launch in September. The statement confirms a report published in these pages on Wednesday. Frida Giannini, Gucci’s creative director, said she chose Franco for the campaign because “...he represents my vision of the Gucci man: stylish, cool, modern and contemporary with an effortless air. At the same time there is something rebellious and sexy about him, in his attitude and style.” Franco, 29, starred in the “Spider-Man” trilogy and will hit screens in August in “Pineapple Express,” alongside Seth Rogan.

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