TOP NOTES

STAR WARS STYLE: Who knew Yves Saint Laurent was a fan of “Star Wars”? The inspiration for YSL’s 1999 holiday cosmetics collection is none other than Queen Amidala from “The Phantom Menace,” this past summer’s installment of the blockbuster “Star Wars” series.
The eight-piece collection, called One Love, includes a lipstick called Amidala’s Red and a nail polish named Naboo Pink, after Queen Amidala’s planet. It will hit stores in November.

FIRMENICH RETIREMENT: Firmenich has announced that its chairman, Fred-Henri Firmenich, will retire at the end of February after 40 years with the company. He will remain a member of the board of directors and chairman of Sentarom SA, the Firmenich family’s holding company.
Jean-Marc Bruel, the former chief executive officer of Rhone-Poulenc, will succeed Firmenich as chairman.

LACROIX CONNECTION: Boucheron (USA) has been picked by the Inter Parfums Co. as the U.S. distributor for the American launch of Christian Lacroix’s eponymous new fragrance.
Inter Parfums, which licensed the Lacroix name from LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, will launch the women’s scent in Europe on Oct. 1 and plans call for a U.S. followup in the spring. Gerard Pichon-Varin, Boucheron president, said the launch plans have not been finished.

TONY & TINA FETE: Hundreds of friends and fans of Tony & Tina partied the night away Wednesday to celebrate the signing of the company’s first spokesmodel, Rev. Jen — a short brunette with a penchant for Vulcan ears. While she’s not a model in the Cindy Crawford sense, Tony & Tina choose her because Rev. Jen’s credentials as a downtown performance artist and poet mesh with the company’s indie sensibilities.
The party was held in the Grand Street loft in which Tony & Tina recently moved its office space. A large, temporary, Plexiglas-enclosed stage was constructed in the middle of the office for the night’s entertainment — Fischerspooner, a singing, dancing troupe with a post-apocalyptic New Wave, Native American look.

SHISEIDO RUMOR: Shiseido has denied a French report that the Japanese cosmetics giant was in negotiation with LVMH over a possibility of takeover.
According to Shiseido, the Sept. 6 issue of the Japanese economic newspaper Nikkei Weekly misquoted president Akira Gemma about the possibility of LVMH acquiring Shiseido, then the comment was reported in the French economic newspaper Les Echos and picked up by Bloomberg.

BEAUTY BASEMENT: Jeffrey New York isn’t the only hot new retailer with a tiny beauty department. Kirna Zabete, the Greene Street shop with an eclectic mix of clothing, candy and flowers, has a small beauty concession in the basement run by distributor Julius Eulberg.
The product mix consists of little-known brands like New Creations, a line of fragrances from poet and perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, and the Spanish aromatherapy collection Alquimia. Later this year, Eulberg will add his signature line of ayurvedic products.

BANKRUPTCY UPDATE: The Cosmetic Center Inc. Chapter 11 bankruptcy case was converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation this week. As reported, the retailer said in July that it would begin winding down its operation. Going-out-of-business sales have been ongoing since then, and are expected to continue until mid-November.
As part of the Chapter 7 proceeding, a trustee will be appointed to administer the case. Cosmetic Center filed for bankruptcy court protection in mid-April.
The Columbia, Md.-based company operates retail stores under the banner of The Cosmetic Center. The outlet stores operate under the names Prestige Fragrance & Cosmetics and Colours & Scents.

HEADED FOR COURT: Michael Rubenstein is suing Cosmopolitan Cosmetics, seeking at least $20,000 for a compensation fee allegedly owed to him under a 1997 employment agreement.
Rubenstein said in the New York state court suit that he is owed the fee for work done in connection to a purported licensing agreement between Cosmopolitan and model Naomi Campbell.
Werner Hoffman, regional vice president of Germany-based Cosmopolitan, a licensee for various fragrances and a division of Wella, said Thursday that he is not aware of any suit, nor is he aware of any employment agreement. He added, “I only know Michael through his previous position as financial manager of Stern Fragrances. We have never discussed the name Naomi Campbell.” Stern Fragrances, which folded its tent in May, once held the distribution rights of Gucci Fragrances through an arrangement with Cosmopolitan’s U.S. subsidiary, Intercosmetics Inc.