By  on December 30, 2005

NEW YORK - What's old is new again at Antica Farmacista. The Italian fragrance brand, 25 years old, is experiencing a rebirth led by Shelley Callaghan and Susanne Pruitt, longtime friends and partners who became owners of the brand in early 2005.

Pruitt is a former investment banker; Callaghan has worked in marketing and special events for the Seattle SuperSonics and as a sales representative for Fast Clothing, a subsidiary of Union Bay Sportswear.

Both have small children, and Pruitt is also a breast cancer survivor - and both were itching to run their own show. "This was really an amazing opportunity for us both," said Pruitt.

Callaghan runs the creative side and Pruitt handles the finances. Earlier this year, Pruitt sold her 50 percent share of PCS Securities Inc. - a stock brokerage firm that she owned, operated and managed that did over $15 million in sales in 2005 - to concentrate on Antica Farmacista with Callaghan.

The duo released two fragrances for holiday selling. Casablanca has a signature casablanca lily note, and the flower is a favorite of both Callaghan and Pruitt. Pomegranate and Current, named for its key ingredients, is also new. Body moisturizers, and bath and shower washes will join the brand's lineup in spring 2006.

By spring, each of the brand's scents is expected to be available in five forms. "While Antica Farmacista is loved for its packaging and its innovations in home ambiance, the heart of the brand is the fragrances themselves," said Callaghan.

Existing fragrances include Acqua, scented with musk and marine algae, and intended to evoke the Mediterranean Sea; Amber, a single-note scent, as well as three trios: Magnolia, Orchid and Mimosa; Tuberose, Hyacinth and Lily of the Valley, and Vanilla, Mandarin and Bourbon. A 50-ml. perfume retails for $58, while an 8-oz. body lotion will retail for $28 and an 8-oz. bath and shower wash will retail for $26. Perfumes for Pomegranate Current and Casablanca are in development.

One signature product is Home Ambiance Fragrance, a scent housed in a glass apothecary bottle and disseminated by wooden reeds, which fit in the neck of the open bottle. Home Ambiance fragrances retail for $58 for 250 ml. and $88 for 500 ml. Room and Linen Sprays are $28 for 100 ml. and are designed to offer consumers an alternate way to scent their homes, said Callaghan.Antica Farmacista will also market four limited-edition home ambiance scents: Earth, a green scent with notes of green musk, lavender, vanilla and bourbon; Wild Fruits and Florals, a blend of florals, Mediterranean citrus fruits, neroli and orange blossoms; Orange and Cinnamon, which blends citrus and spice, and Fig, a single-note scent of wild figs.

The brand's current 300 specialty store doors in the U.S. include Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, nordstrom.com, Takashimaya and upscale boutiques.

Neither executive would comment on projected sales, although industry sources estimated that the brand, with the new additions, could do about $3 million at retail in 2006.

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