NEW YORK — Tocca Beauty hopes to cook up a storm with its new Cucina Collection for the kitchen, coming in September.

“Tocca Cucina pays homage to the life that centers in and around the kitchen,” noted Silke Steinberg, vice president of sales and marketing for Tocca Beauty. “The kitchen is the center of activity and warmth in every home, and since Tocca Beauty draws a lot of inspiration from Italy, the kitchen offers an untapped market. Tocca has the strength to capture [this market] because of the romantic notion and scents reminiscent of the Italian kitchen.”

The Tocca Cucina Collection consists of Sapone Liquido Da Mano (Liquid Hand Soap) and Latte Da Mano e Corpo (Delicate Hand and Body Milk), both 8 oz., retailing for $14 and $22, respectively; Sapone da Piatti (Liquid Dish Soap), $9 for 16 oz.; Profuma Da Ambiente (Room Fragrance), $30 for 3.2 oz.; Candela, a 10.6-oz. candle, for $32, and Candelina, a 2.85-oz. travel-size candle, for $14. There will also be an apron “utilizing a signature Tocca embroidery borrowing from our strength in ready-to-wear,” noted Steinberg. The apron will retail for $90.

The products in the collection are available in two fragrances, created by Givaudan with the intention of combining both savory and sweet notes. Sofia is said to be based on the scent of a Mediterranean herbal garden and inspired by Sophia Loren, while Marcello, a blend of sweet milk and honey, is intended to fill the kitchen with warm, soothing scents.

While the packaging for Tocca’s candles is blue and yellow for the bath and body collection, the Cucina candles are packaged in white with blue and orange latticework for both the primary and secondary packaging.

Industry sources estimate the Cucina Collection could generate as much as $1.2 million at wholesale in the first year.

“We are always trying to extend Tocca Beauty in the direction that we feel is correct for our following and our customer,” said Gordon Finkelstein, president of Tocca. “Cucina takes us exactly in that direction. We are excited to focus on the home, and on a new room in the home; it is an extension of the success of our candles. Now we are getting into the kitchen and expanding that through the home to grow our business and grow our channels.”The collection is slated for about 200 doors nationwide, which will include Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York, as well as high-end kitchen and home stores. The launch will be supported by sampling, with deluxe miniatures of a selection of the products, and co-op advertising.

Steinberg also noted that Tocca Beauty is currently developing three new fine fragrances, scheduled to launch in April 2005 as the Stella, Florence and Cleopatra scents. These will be in addition to the brand’s sole fragrance, Touch, which launched in 1997. Additional fragranced candles are also in the works.

— Kristin Finn

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