TOP NOTES

PENHALIGON’S PURCHASE: Intimate Brands, an affiliate of The Limited Inc., has sold English perfumer Penhaligon’s to businessmen Glynn Manson and Peter Kedge for an undisclosed sum.
Manson was a founder of the British women’s apparel company Fenn Wright & Manson in 1976 and for 12 years has been chairman of the GJM group of lingerie companies.
In 1980, Kedge founded SFE, a warehousing and distribution systems company, and sold it to the Interlake Group three years ago.
Penhaligon’s has four freestanding stores in the U.K., as well as shops-in-stores in Harrods and Liberty in London.
The brand is sold exclusively in the U.S. in the Saks Fifth Avenue stores in New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco and Greenwich and Southampton, Conn.
Sheila Pickles, who has run Penhaligon’s since 1975 and sold it to The Limited seven years ago, will continue as its managing director.
Industry estimates have put annual sales at $16.2 million (10 million pounds).

THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE: The Estee Lauder Cos. and Cosmair were big winners on Wednesday when Cosmetic Executive Women hosted its annual Beauty Award at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel.
Two divisions from each beauty company took home trophies.
Lauder’s Prescriptives division earned the award for Best New Cosmetics Product in Limited Distribution with its Virtual Skin foundation, and Origins won for Best New Skin Care Product in Limited Distribution with its Night-A-Mins Mineral Enriched Moisture Lotion.
Cosmair’s L’Oreal division got the nod for Best New Skin Care Product in Mass distribution with its Plenitude Revitalift Eye Anti-Wrinkle & Firming Cream, while the Maybelline division garnered the Best New Cosmetics Product in Mass Distribution distinction for its Lash by Lash Waterproof Mascara.
Other winners included Bulgari, which captured the prize for Best New Bath, Body or Sun Product in Limited Distribution with its Eau Parfumee Tea Bags; Neutrogena, which swept the Best New Bath, Body or Sun Product in the Mass Distribution category with its Daily Moisture Supply, and Frederic Fekkai, who was lauded for his Apple Cider Clearing Rinse with the Best New Hair Product award.
Fekkai was obviously surprised as he accepted his award, muttering, “Thank God I’m having a good hair day.”

SUI’S SCENT: Is Anna Sui on the verge of launching a fragrance? The designer with a rock-star following has been telling Courtney Love as much.
A spokeswoman at Sui’s public relations firm, KCD, was quick to put matters into perspective on Thursday, though.
“There is no product at this point,” the spokeswoman said. “Anna has been in informal development on a scent for several years. There is no story right now.”

BODY HEAT: Pretty soon, the question will be, “What temperature are you wearing?” As reported in these pages, Molton Brown is launching two men’s scents this month: Warm and Cool. Not to be outdone, Benetton is introducing its first fragrance entries in 11 years: Hot and Cold. Dstributed by French Fragrances, the bottles have faucet-style tops.

QUARTERLY REPORTS: Perfumania Inc. fourth-quarter earnings fell 12.9 percent to $2.7 million, or 37 cents a share, from $3.1 million, or 44 cents, a year earlier.
Sales for the three months ended Feb. 1 gained 19.1 percent to $52.3 million from $43.9 million.
Full-year earnings rose 30.1 percent to $2.6 million, or 34 cents, from $2 million, or 28 cents.
Meanwhile, at Avon Products Inc., first-quarter earnings are expected to increase 9 to 11 percent, in line with analysts’ estimates of 31 cents a share. Sales were up about 6 to 7 percent.

GOING TO COURT: The Procter & Gamble Co. filed suit Thursday in Miami federal court against Blue Cross Laboratories to stop it from selling a shampoo and conditioner that P&G says copies the design and packaging of P&G’s Pert Plus shampoo.
Cincinnati, Ohio-based P&G is seeking monetary damages and the removal of infringing shampoo and conditioner products from store shelves.
Blue Cross is based in Santa Clarita, Calif.

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