By  on February 3, 2006

NEW YORK — Logistics faced off with new products as the most talked about topic at Extracts, the biannual trade show focusing on personal care and wellness, which kicked off Saturday and went on until Tuesday.

For years the show has raised the profiles of smaller entrepreneurial companies by shining a spotlight on their brands.

"Extracts has always represented the most innovative and cutting-edge companies in the personal care industry," said show manager Rita Malek.

However, frustration among Extracts' 70 exhibitors, and buyers, grew as Extracts' location at the Penn Plaza Pavilion separate from the New York International Gift Fair, held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, proved an inconvenient commute for buyers.

Some didn't even make it to Extracts.

"Lots of big retailers just didn't show because they didn't want to take the time to get over there," said one buyer.

Another buyer added, "It would be better to be part of the main show rather than being a satellite to the show."

Adding to the confusion was the exhibition of products. Personal care products could be found at both shows, and attendees said that it would be easier if they were just placed within one show.

However, with a variety of buyers present at Extracts, exhibitors were able to gain exposure from both large retail chains and independent boutiques. These smaller stores offered exhibitors entry into the spa and yoga markets. Several large retailers, including Macy's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdale's, Bliss and QVC, were in attendance. European distributors and buyers also attended, rounding out the total attendance to approximately 2,800.

Malek said this year's more trendy categories included apparel with inspirational slogans, home fragrances, candles and home spa treatments.

In August, Extracts is realigning with its former trade show partner, the New York Home Textiles Show, to be housed at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Both will run concurrently with the New York International Gift Fair. Extracts aims to triple its number of exhibitors by switching venues and partners.

"We are excited to be back with them. There is a good synergy between the two shows and crossover appeal to buyers of both markets," said Malek. "This co-location will add value for both exhibitors and attendees, creating a dynamic marketplace alongside the New York International Gift Fair [which will be at the Javits Center] that spans all product categories of the personal care industry and related textiles industry. It's a much more elegant location for the types of shows we're putting on, especially for the high-end companies and buyers we are trying to attract."This season Extracts held its Best Products contest. Winners were divided into five categories, including Bath & Body, Natural/Organic, Beauty Accessory, Cosmetic & Fragrance and Packaging, plus Best of Show. Out of the 60 products submitted, Hush Fragrances won Best of Show, Two Square Meters LLC took the Bath & Body category, Tezsa International won Natural/Organic, D.L. & Co. came in first in the Cosmetic & Fragrance category and Sohum Cosmetics won both Beauty Accessory and Packaging. Here, several other product standouts at the show.

Australian company Sohum made its U.S. launch at Extracts and plans to be in stores this March, featuring two of their best-selling fragrance lines — Parlour and Tropical Spa. The three-year-old cosmetics company has caught on with Australians with its colorful yet sophisticated packaging. Parlour, a line inspired by flower store scents, consists of four products: a candle, crème de la crème, soap cakes and perfumette. All products come in 10 different scents, ranging from the popular pink frangipani to sugar musk and grenadine, and retail from $7 for a soap cake to $35 for a candle. "For us, product is key — the unique fragrance formulations in our products along with the glamorous packaging really sets us apart," said Jenny Alex, Sohum's co-founder. In Australia, Sohum's five lines are currently distributed in over 500 doors, including Cole Myer. Sohum has been courted by U.K. retailer Selfridges along with Lord & Taylor and Bed Bath & Beyond. By yearend, Sohum plans on opening four more apothecary-style freestanding stores and launching a color cosmetic line along with a full-size perfume this August.

After the success of her colorful, floral-printed Chester Handbags, London-born designer Tiffany Lerman branched out and created two playful lines of sweetly scented bath and body products. Tiny Tillia, a children's personal care line, launched last month to high-end boutiques, including Fred Segal and Palmetto. It consists of 10 products — from body cream and hair detangler to bubble bath, diaper cream and even a sun-protection stick. The all-natural products are paraben-free, each featuring its own individual scent. Each of the colorful character illustrations featured on the bottles is named after a family member. Prices range from $6 for bandages to $14 for a 16-oz. bubble bath.HUSH FRAGRANCES
Canadian-based Hush Fragrances is set to launch its new automated home fragrance spray in the U.S. in April. Through its advanced technology, the spray, via diffuser, delivers a long-lasting oil fragrance that is programmable by time, frequency and even intensity. "The aerosol can creates a calibrated fragrance throughout the room, which lasts longer," said David Garon, Hush's brand manager. The spray, available in four scents — Mediterranean Fig, Laundered Linen, Summer Blooms and Thai Coconut Lime — retails for $40, with refills at $12. The spray will be carried at Fred Segal, along with several other large retailers and spas.

L.A.-based candle company Voluspa introduced three additional spring candles to their Seasons line this year, expanding the home fragrance collection to six products. The candles, in colorful pastel boxes plated in decorative gold patterns, come in three scents: Limoni Frosted Biscotti, Yuzu Rose Bubblebath and Fleurs de Fete. Co-owner and creative director Traci Hinkley said that the "provocative packaging" and "value-oriented price point" sets them apart in the luxury market. From bringing in approximately $86,000 their first year in 1999, the company has expanded internationally and now estimates sales of $5 million by yearend. While Voluspa is distributed internationally in approximately 2,500 doors, Seasons will be available in about 1,000 doors including Fred Segal, Nordstrom and Kitson. The candles are available in three sizes and range from $12 to $30, with the standard 10-oz. priced at $20. With a busy year ahead, Voluspa expects to launch two new lines this July with 35 to 45 stockkeeping units.

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