By  on April 28, 2010

Jim Roth, a beauty industry veteran who was a co-founder of the Giorgio Beverly Hills fragrance business, died of cancer April 23 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 77.

Roth, who grew up in the Bronx, began his career in the Sixties and sold ads in Glamour magazine. He then opened his own agency, where he handled advertising for the jewelry store on Madison Avenue owned by Jolie Gabor — mother of Zsa Zsa, Eva and Magda.

Roth subsequently took a post in international advertising at Revlon Inc., based in New York, before relocating in the early Seventies to Hollywood to work as senior vice president of communications for Max Factor.

But it was in 1978 that Roth got together with Joseph Forkish and David Horner and started a Los Angeles-based consulting firm called International Marketing Group. The company landed the contract to manage a fragrance business for Giorgio Beverly Hills, the boutique on Rodeo Drive owned by Fred and Gale Hayman, Horner recalled.

The scent was unveiled — in a tented parking lot across the street from the store — in November 1981 and it generated about $150 million in wholesale sales after five years on the market, according to industry sources.

After Avon bought the business in 1987 for an estimated $165 million, Roth and Horner started Roth Horner & Associates, a strategic marketing and sales consultancy for the beauty industry, and created a scent for Las Vegas-based Caesars World Inc. The Caesars scent was sold on HSN in the late Eighties.

In 1993, Roth became chief operating officer at H. Alpert & Co., where Forkish was chief executive officer. The company, founded by musician Herb Alpert, launched a fragrance called Listen and distributed several Italian fragrance brands, including Moschino.

“Jimmy was a wonderful guy,” Horner, who is president and ceo of beauty consultancy Strategic Marketing Solutions, said Tuesday. “He was very creative and extremely loyal. Nobody didn’t like Jimmy; he was nice to everyone.”

Roth is survived by his wife, Bunny, four children and a number of grandchildren. A celebration of life service is planned for a yet-to-be-determined date during the next few weeks in Los Angeles.

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