TASTE OF ITALY: Italian fragrance manufacturer ITF has set up shop in the U.S. and is in the midst of launching fragrances. A women’s scent by Roberto Cavalli made a quiet splash in specialty stores last fall. Now the budding group — composed of Massimo Cappini, chairman and chief executive officer of ITF USA; Sharon Connolly, president of marketing and sales and chief operating officer, and two field sales managers — plan to launch a new Romeo Gigli women’s fragrance in the U.S. in the spring. A Cavalli men’s scent and a new Gianfranco Ferré women’s fragrance are planned for fall.

L’OREAL USA MOVES: L’Oréal-owned brand La Roche-Posay this week named Maeve Coburn as its new general manager. Coburn, who had been senior vice president of marketing for Lancôme USA, will report to Stephane Wilmet, general manager of L’Oréal USA’s Active Cosmetics Department. Coburn has been with the L’Oréal Group for 12 years and has also served as general manager of L’Oréal Ireland. In a related move, Odile Roujol has joined Lancôme as deputy general manager and senior vice president of marketing, succeeding Coburn. She will report to Dalia Chammas, senior vice president and general manager of the division. Roujol, who moved to the U.S. to take the position, was most recently general manager of Lancôme France. Both executive changes will become effective in mid-February.

PAIR PROMOTED: Procter & Gamble has promoted two executives within its beauty business. Virginia Coleman Drosos, formerly general manager of skin care and global design for North America, has been elevated to vice president over the same areas. As in her former post, Drosos will continue to manage P&G’s Olay and Noxzema businesses. Additionally, Anne Martin, formerly manager of global cosmetics and marketing, has been appointed vice president of global cosmetics and marketing for Cover Girl and Max Factor. She will continue to report to Marc Pritchard.

TAYLOR MADE: Smashbox Cosmetics has a new president. Budd Taylor, who’s served the brand extension of the celebrity photo studios by the same name (founded by Max Factor’s grandsons Dean and Davis Factor) since November 2002, took the top spot Monday at the Culver City, Calif.-based company. Taylor’s cv is extensive: 22 years at Estée Lauder as senior vp of sales and operations; senior vp of worldwide marketing at Freeman Cosmetics, then executive vp and gm at Victoria’s Secret. The move comes as the company gets set to stage the runway shows March 31-April 4 of locally based designers Eduardo Lucero and others at its studios under the banner Smashbox Presents Los Angeles Fashion Week.

DECKER DESIGNS: Dennis Decker has joined Maybelline as its vice president of global design. Decker, who has 13 years of packaging and industrial design experience, will be responsible for global packaging design and merchandising in his new position. Decker will report to Ketan Patel, Maybelline’s worldwide general manager. Decker most recently worked for The Estée Lauder Cos., where he oversaw packaging and display designs for Prescriptives, Donna Karan, Kate Spade, Jo Malone and Crème de la Mer.

L’OREAL MOVES: L’Oréal has appointed Laurent Attal to its group executive committee. Attal, 45, will also remain the managing director of the company’s active cosmetics department. A 16-year L’Oréal veteran, he was formerly managing director of Laboratoires d’Anglas and managing director of Vichy International. "Laurent Attal has made a fantastic contribution to the development of the international active cosmetics department throughout the world, both for the Vichy brand and for the La Roche-Posay laboratories," said Lindsay Owen-Jones, chairman and chief executive officer of L’Oréal, in a statement.

FRAGRANCE FIGURES: French beauty products rang up wholesale pretax sales of $14.4 billion in 2002, according to the Federation des Industries de la Parfumerie. Dollar figures are converted from the euro at current exchange rates. French beauty items’ wholesale sales were up 4.9 percent on a like-for-like basis. Export business represented 53 percent of the industry’s whole. Beauty sales in France’s pharmacies and parapharmacies were up 9.7 percent; mass-market sales were up 7.6 percent and sales within selective distribution rose 3.3 percent. Direct sales dipped 6.8 percent. The federation reported that French consumers spent on average $185 per person on beauty items in 2002, up from $175.50 in 2001.

AND THE FIFI GOES TO: Elizabeth Arden and Annette Green, president emeritus of The Fragrance Foundation, were two of the honorees at the German FiFi awards ceremony, which was held by the German Fragrance Foundation in Frankfurt on Jan. 26. Green received the "Ehren-FiFi" award and Arden’s Ardenbeauty fragrance took the German FiFi for Best Female Prêt-à-Porter Fragrance Launch in 2002. The American FiFis are slated for June 9.

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