NEW YORK — Latin songstress Thalia Sodi has given new meaning to the term lip sync.

In an unusual packaging twist, her first signature fragrance comes in a custom designed bottle made from an imprint of her lips. The Thalia scent, described as a fresh, modern oriental, is available exclusively at select Kmart stores beginning this month.

The effort is the first beauty offshoot of the Thalia collection, which launched at the discount chain in August with women’s and children’s clothing, accessories and home goods.

A Kmart spokeswoman said Thalia worked with Kmart buyers to “develop a fragrance that she felt best expressed herself. She was looking to create a significant scent with all her favorite scents.”

The fragrance has a top note of fresh green florals, lily of the valley and hyacinth. The middle is jasmine, rose and geranium and is finished with sandalwood and touches of cinnamon and clove. A 1.7-oz. eau de parfum is priced $19.99 and a 1-oz. is $12.99. A fragrance mist and body lotion are also available. For holiday, gift sets will be offered featuring a customer-made charm in the shape of a heart — Thalia’s trademark symbol. A Thalia cosmetics line is also under consideration.

The scent will be advertised in Kmart’s flyers and Thalia will be making in-store appearances. A launch event for the clothing line in Miami in August — where Thalia met with fans and signed autographs — helped get the line off to a strong start. “Afterwards, we couldn’t get the clothes out on the racks fast enough,” reported the spokeswoman. After only six weeks, sales of the line have been “phenomenal,” she said, noting that one T-shirt in particular “just blew out of the stores. We have been pleased with the sales.”

At the end of August, Mike Lewis, Kmart’s division vice president of women’s, said the line had been producing sell-throughs averaging 20 percent. At its midtown Manhattan store, one of its best, sell-throughs were as high as 50 percent.

For now, the Thalia scent is available in 335 of the chain’s some 1,500 doors, which also carry the clothing line. While Kmart declined to offer sales projections, the spokeswoman said, “We hope it becomes a top-selling fragrance in those doors and piques the interest of customers who like her clothing.” Industry sources projected it could do between $500,000 and $2 million its first year.Kmart has been building up its fragrance sales with other exclusive offerings. Earlier this year, Joe Boxer ventured into fragrance with men’s and women’s scents.

— Laura Klepacki

Beauty of a Book


NEW YORK — The launch party for a new biography of the celebrated makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin drew a crowd. The event, which took place Tuesday night at The Maritime Hotel, was given by Harper’s Bazaar and hosted by Glenda Bailey, Isabella Rossellini and Amber Valletta.

Also on hand to sign books and greet guests — which included an array of people from beauty industry executives to Aucoin’s family — was Harper’s Bazaar beauty director Kerry Diamond, the author of “A Beautiful Life: Kevyn Aucoin: The Success, Struggles, and Beauty Secrets of a Legendary Makeup Artist.” The 200 books brought to the event sold out before the night was over. The 235-page tome, and the first published since Aucoin’s death in May 2002, is published by Atria Books. It will retail for $30 and is filled with approximately 250 full-color photographs and illustrations.

“The photography is as important as the words in the book,” noted Diamond. “Kevyn’s whole existence was so visual,” she said, referring to his work with music videos, books, magazines, runway shows and television. “So, it was important that the book was visually impactful. The number of photographers who gave us work was amazing and there are a lot of pictures in there that his fans have never seen before. You couldn’t do a book about Kevyn and not have big, beautiful full-color images.”

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to one of Aucoin’s favorite charities, the Hetrick Martin Institute.

— Kristin Finn

Lauder Sells Notes


NEW YORK — The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. said Wednesday it sold an aggregate of $200 million of unsecured 30-year senior notes in a public offering led by Citigroup. The notes will mature in 2033 and were priced at 98.645 percent with a yield of 5.846 percent.

Lauder said it will use the net proceeds from the sale for general corporate purposes, including the eventual redemption of its outstanding redeemable preferred stock. The New York-based beauty firm said it was taking advantage of the historically low prevailing interest rate environment to lock in rates that Lauder believes will mitigate future interest rate volatility. The sale is expected to settle on Monday.— Dan Burrows

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