NEWYORK — Can anything be too good to eat? Sure, when it’s a food-based beauty line.

The Bakery, a 22-stockkeeping-unit line of bath and body products and candles from the Brooklyn-based beauty company, will debut in April at Henri Bendel.

“I wanted to create a natural, cruelty free product that truly represented the desserts at some of the finest restaurants and bakeries in the world,” noted Dominica Baird, owner of The Bakery. “People really relate to these sort of fragrances because they evoke a special memory.”

The bath collection includes an 8-oz. Two-in-One Body Wash and Bubble Bath, which retails for $16; Gingerbread Peach Cobbler Hot Salt Scrub, 9 ounces for $30; Frosty Mint-Chocolate Sugar and Oats Scrub, which comes in a 9-oz. glass jar complete with a wooden sugar spoon for $30, and a box of eight White Chocolate Mousse Bath Bon Bons for $15. The products contain natural ingredients such as Hawaiian Turbinado sugar, Caribbean sea salt and jojoba oil.

The Body collection, also formulated with natural ingredients, contains cocoa and shea butter to soften skin. The lineup consists of an 8-oz. Shimmer Lotion for $22, available in Gingered Peach Cobbler for a bronze shimmer and White Chocolate Mousse for a light shimmer; Body Butter in Crème Brulee or Sugared Grapefruit, 4 ounces for $20; Gingered Peach Cobbler Hot Buttered Lip Balm, $14 for 0.25 ounces, and Lip Butters in Crème Brulee for a gold shimmer, Frosty mint-Chocolate for a dark shimmer and Raspberry Almond Torte for a pink shimmer, respectively. Each retails for $10 for 0.25-oz.

The Bakery’s hand–blended candles are available in six flavors: Crème Brulee, German Chocolate Cake, Gingered Peach Cobbler, Raspberry Almond Torte, Tiramisu and White Chocolate Mousse. Each 10.75-oz. candle retails for $28. There is also a votive set for $42 that contains six 3-oz. votives, or Sweet Citrus Slices, a collection of three 6-oz. candles for $40.

Industry sources estimate the line could do as much as $450,000 in 2004.

Baird, who has a background in both fashion and graphic design, noted this helped her to create the collection’s packaging. “New York is one of the few places where traditional bakery boxes are still used, and that was the key inspiration for the packaging,” said Baird.The Bakery is expected to roll out to 50 doors by year-end, as well as launch several new products in the next six months — including a high-end pet line in June and a non-dessert food-inspired collection in September.

Another new food-inspired beauty brand that has recently come onto the scene is Fresh Body Market. It is currently rolling out to all Nordstrom doors on the East Coast and hit shelves at Bendel’s in January. The brand is expected to be in about 300 doors, including spas and specialty stores, by the end of 2004. The products are also being tested in Whole Foods in Texas, and founder Delma Hernandez hopes to be in Whole Foods stores in the Southern region of the U.S. by year-end.

“I have a tremendous passion for animals and I am working to become vegan, so I wanted a personal care product that was not only friendly to animals but Mother Nature, as well,” said Hernandez. “All of our packaging is recyclable and instead of using animal by-products we use nature’s fruits and vegetables to give us the skin food our body needs to survive.”

The Fresh Body Market skin care products are made with produce — fresh fruits and vegetables — and are also vegan. Organic fruits are used whenever possible with mild or no preservatives added.

A few of the brand’s top sellers are Coco Banana Slush, a bath slush made with fresh bananas, which are high in potassium and vitamins, and shredded organic coconut as a gentle exfoliant; Cocoa Milk Bath, made with 100 percent organic cocoa and Rise N’ Shine Lotion and Bath Gel with organic grapefruit juice to energize. Products in the 27-stockkeeping unit line range in price from $6 for a Q-cumber Facial Bar to $20 for the Cocoa Milk Bath.

Industry sources estimate the line could do over $2.5 million at retail in 2004.

The environmentally friendly packaging mimics actual food containers to emphasize the “freshness of the products,” which is reinforced by an expiration date that is on each label. With real fruit and vegetables being incorporated into the product, Hernandez explained that the shelf life could be as long as two years “but on our labels we have 18 months. We don’t make a product with tons of preservatives that can last until the next ice age.”Plans for the brand include skin care and mineral-based color cosmetics.

— Kristin Finn

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