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NEW YORK — The third time proved the charm last week for Luxe Pack New York.

It was the prestige packaging show’s third year — and, to organizers’ delight, the crowd of exhibitors was up 20 percent to 60 companies, while attendance was up 16 percent to 1,414 visitors.

“The third year is the crucial year,” said Christophe Czajka, president of Editions Techniques de l’Automobile et de l’Industrie, which owns and operates the Luxe Pack series of trade shows, including Luxe Pack Monaco and Luxe Pack Sao Paulo, Brazil. In mid-April, ETAI acquired Idice Monaco, the parent company of Luxe Pack.

“We’re at a crossroads [in New York] but we’re on an upward trend and very happy,” said Czajka. “Growth is slow but steady.” On Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, at the Metropolitan Pavilion here, packaging executives from fragrance and cosmetics marketing companies hunted for innovations in packaging and delivery systems.

The bottles, tubes, pumps, cartons and labels made up a floor full of components in all of their shadings. Among the innovations was Alcan Packaging’s dual-ended, cylindrical container for skin care formulations. The item, which is produced by the company formerly known as TechPack, employs a small spatula on each end for the application of treatment product around sensitive areas like the eyes. Also, pump manufacturer Valois introduced different sizes of its so-called “airless” pump bottle, dubbed Titan. The package is designed for a masculine look and intended for men’s grooming formulations, according to account manager Lynn Schwartz, “because the men’s market is emerging.”

And, while 85 percent of glass manufacturer Heinz Glas’ business is generated by — you guessed it — glass, 15 percent of its revenues come from plastics, which it spotlighted last week. The firm presented newly launched, teardrop-shaped plastic bottles, featuring a three-color, beach-ball-like look achieved via a co-extrusion process.

Heinz also displayed the Curious Britney Spears bottle, a diamond-shaped piece of glass with an atomizer that’s based on a Heinz design from the Thirties, the company said. Heinz supplies about half of the bottles to Elizabeth Arden, which markets the red-hot Spears scent, while glass producer Pochet supplies the rest.

This story first appeared in the June 16, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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Meanwhile, exemplifying the color and adornment trends dominating the upscale bottle sector today, Heinz showed the Vera Wang Sheer Veil bottle, whose base was sprayed so that a lavender hue radiates up through the scent. Speaking of spraying, Pochet sprayed the base of the Island Michael Kors bottle to give the scent a hue of blue-green tropical water. Also, the glass is shaped in a wave pattern.

“A lot of things are being added to glass itself,” said John Marsden, vice president of sales at Pochet of America, “[like] weight, to give it a substantial [feel].” Other decorations include aerated glass, which features bubbles through the glass — think Tommy Bahama for Men — and metal nameplates, as in the case of Viktor & Rolf’s Flower Bomb.

Saint-Gobain Desjonqueres showed off its glass creations, including bottles for scents like Paris Hilton, Parfums Christian Dior’s Pure Poison, Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons and Tommy Hilfiger’s True Star Men. SGD’s director of sales, Sheherazade Chamlou, noted that major trends in glass production include “colored glass, hot stamping [of graphics] and spraying on of a lot of decoration.”

Pfeiffer of America introduced two new “super low profile” pumps, dubbed Inspiration and Progress, which are designed to prevent contact between metal parts and product formulations in order to help prevent contamination.

When it comes to plastics, Dapy Paris showed off the highly detailed, two-piece “corset” that dresses the Jean Paul Gaultier Rock Star fragrance bottle — but it’s not your typical corset, considering it’s made of a resin called acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. Texen showed off a plastic container it produced for L’Oreal’s Volume Shocking dual mascara, which the beauty giant markets in Europe. Rather than using the popular dual-ended cylinder design to deliver product, Texen’s dual mascara container employs a parallel design, whereby the mascara handle is removed and the rods are withdrawn in opposite directions.

Additionally, Technicaps, which is working with designer Thierry Debashmakoff to develop a range of compression-molded stock jars, displayed plastic closures that, thanks to a special printing process, resemble leather, denim and textiles. What’s more, the printing process boasts microencapsulated molecules, which when disturbed by, say, the act of unscrewing the cap, gives off the aroma of leather — or lemon, strawberry or chocolate for that matter.

France’s Ileos Group was well represented last week by its multiple subsidiaries. Alliora, for one, unveiled cartons featuring its new lenticular printing method, which gives the appearance of holograph-like movement. Yasmin F. Siddiqi, DuPont’s global cosmetics market strategy manager, noted that DuPont’s Elvaloy — a tactile, soft touch coating on bottles and paperboard “is newer in the [cosmetics] industry.”

Other highlights of the show included a presentation by Francoise Serralta, trend research manager and strategic planner at Pechlers Paris, the styling agency. She explored four trends, “Disturbing Appeal,” or experimentation with new combinations of colors, textures, eras and genres; “Holistic Humanism,” which is typified by silence, poetry and high-sensation tactile effects; “Performance and Elegance,” which she called visionary boldness through graphics, colors and designs, and “Exploring Hyper-reality,” or variations in volumes and infinite modularity.

Additionally, there was a panel moderated by Marc Rosen, president of Marc Rosen Associates, which was themed “Packaging: That’s Advertainment.” The session included panelists Kate Oldham, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of cosmetics and fragrances at Saks Fifth Avenue; Art Spiro, president of Liz Claiborne Cosmetics; Don Ziccardi, chairman of advertising firm Agency 212, and Susan Wells, vice president of sales and marketing at C Group, which produces promotional sets.

Panelists explored ideas for entertaining the customer at counter in order to ensure they’ll return. “The customer expects to be entertained, delighted and excited at counter,” said Wells. “It’s about the ‘ooh’ factor as she walks by.”

The executives agreed that while national and local fragrance advertising is key, packaging is integral, because it continually advertises the product within. Said Rosen, “Advertainment is a combination of advertising and entertainment. Packaging is the silent salesman of what’s within.”

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