NEW YORK — In one fell swoop this fall, home fragrance marketer Slatkin & Co. will cross into four new product categories — fine fragrance, skin care, bath and body care and hair care — with the launch of a 24-item beauty collection called Slatkin Body Therapy.

Slatkin & Co., which has strictly produced candles, room sprays and potpourri since its founding 10 years ago, has slated a September launch for Slatkin Body Therapy. The line specifically features a trio of eaux de parfum, hand creams, body creams, body washes, bubble soaks, body scrubs, shampoos and conditioners.

The beauty initiative is key to an expansion plan that president and chief executive Harry Slatkin thinks could double the firm’s total business over the next three years. Although Slatkin refused to discuss numbers, industry sources estimate the firm’s total sales reached $23 million worldwide last year. International expansion, especially within the U.K., is seen as another key growth-driver moving forward.

“This will be a very big expansion for us,” Slatkin said of the new product line. “We’re not treating this as an add-on to the home fragrance brand. We’re treating this as a separate, stand-alone line.”

Sources estimate that Slatkin Body Therapy could garner first-year retail sales of between $3 million and $4 million in the U.S. The collection will initially launch exclusively at all Neiman Marcus stores. Slatkin noted there are plans to carve out enhanced space in four stores to accommodate the line. Bergdorf Goodman will also carry the collection off the bat, as will a few independent beauty boutiques including Fred Segal Essentials. The line will stay in this preliminary U.S. distribution network for six months, after which it will roll out to fewer than 200 doors, including Saks Fifth Avenue. Slatkin Body Therapy will also initially launch in the U.K. in 18 Space NK stores and at Harrods.

Each Slatkin Body Therapy item comes in one of three scents: “Black Fig & Absinthe,” “Persian Lime & Mimosa,” and “Muguet & White Jasmine.” The eaux de parfum are named “Absinthe,” “Mimosa” and “Muguet.” International Flavors and Fragrances blendedthe first two, while Robertet did the third. The collection ranges in price from $22 for a 4.4-oz. Oxygenating Hand Cream to $60 for a 3.4-oz. fragrance.Aside from the eaux de parfum, all products are based on a key ingredient called Oxymulti V, a proprietary complex derived from corn that contains vitamins A, C and E for antioxidant effects. It is designed to protect, nourish and replenish the skin. In the shampoos and conditioners, the ingredient is said to deliver similar benefits to the hair.

Additional products are in the works for Slatkin Body Therapy, and depending on the initial success of the line, new body products and even facial treatment products could be launched down the road. “We’ll continue along these lines [in beauty] and we’ll remain loyal to the home fragrance side,” Slatkin remarked.

BOTOX IN A BOTTLE: Avon will launch ANEW Clinical, a new segment within its ANEW Skincare brand, with the introduction of Line and Wrinkle Corrector, scheduled to launch in September. The product will retail for $32 for 1 oz. and is designed to plump up and fill in deep lines and wrinkles with its patented Derma-3X Technology. The technology targets three areas of the skin —collagen, elastin and hydro proteins. Additional introductions to ANEW Clinical will follow in 2004.

THE DOCTOR IS IN: Dr. Mary Lupo has been named spokesperson for The Andrew Jergens Company skin care brands. Dr. Lupo is a teacher of dermatology at Tulane University Medical School and has a private practice based in New Orleans.

EILEEN MCCARTHY DIES: Eileen McCarthy, a former beauty journalist, has died at age 75. McCarthy wrote for Beauty Fashion and worked at The Fragrance Foundation, where she edited the Fragrance Forum. According to Annette Green, President Emeritus of The Fragrance Foundation, McCarthy spent her adult life in the cosmetics industry. A service was held last Tuesday at St. Vincent’s Ferrer Church in Manhattan.

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