TOP NOTES

HONORED GUESTS: Yoshiharu Fukuhara, honorary chairman of Shiseido Co. Ltd. was honored by the French Government, which appointed him a grand officier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur on April 17. The Legion d’Honneur is France’s highest-ranking order and decoration. Fukuhara was honored for his contribution to promoting economic and cultural exchange between Japan and France over an extensive period. On the same day, Akira Gemma, chairman of Shiseido Co. Ltd., was also honored by the French government, being appointed an officier de l’Ordre National du Merite. The awards ceremonies were held at the French Embassy, Tokyo. General d’Armee aerienne Jean-Phillipe Douin, grand chancelier de la Legion d’Honneur and chancelier de l’Ordre National du Merite, bestowed the honors on Fukuhara and Gemma.

PACK IT UP: While the FiFi awards ceremony is quite a few weeks away, the judging has already begun. The Best Packaging of the Year was judged last Tuesday at The Fragrance Foundation located at 145 East 32nd Street. Judges — which included photographers, artists and professors — examined more than 60 bottles and their outer packaging. “There were some interesting [entries] this year,” said Annette Green, president of the Fragrance Foundation. “Some years, it’s just vanilla.” Advertising was judged last Thursday. Winners will be announced at the FiFi Awards June 4th at Lincoln Center.

BOTOX BOOST: The business of Botox injections by dermatologists and plastic surgeons to temporarily smooth wrinkles got a boost this week from the Food and Drug Administration. For years, doctors have been legally using Botox to relax facial and neck muscles that cause wrinkles, although the FDA had only approved its use for certain neuralgic disorders. But Botox’s anti-wrinkle magic couldn’t be touted in advertisements. That’s all changed now that the FDA has given its imprimatur for Botox as a beauty treatment by licensed physicians. However, don’t look for the treatment to become a mass-market beauty item. The agency still classifies Botox as a drug, not a cosmetic.

DRAGOCO NEWS: Gail Guilbert has joined Dragoco’s North American Competence Center as vice president and general manager of the fragrance division. Guilbert was previously employed with Firmenich.

BAH BAH BURBERRY: Some of the guests at the launch of Burberry Baby Touch, the company’s new fragrance for infants, behaved like animals. Well, sheep to be more exact. The fragrance launch, held earlier this month on the second floor of the Burberry store at 10 West 57th Street, featured live sheep decked out in Burberry scarves. Attendees, most of which were under six years old, were delighted with the sheep and activities that included cookie decorating and sundae making. Donald Loftus, president of Adipar USA, the American distributor of Burberry fragrances, was on hand as well as Nicholas Munafo, vice president of marketing for Adipar. The party, hosted by Gigi Mortimer and Tory Burch, benefited The School for Language and Communication Development.

SPRING BEAUTY: Paula Dorf made a public appearance at Henri Bendel last week to introduce her spring-summer collection. “I am very consistent,” noted Dorf. “I think women should always look pretty and my makeup reflects that.” This season, Dorf’s lineup includes sheer shades of pink and coral. In other news, Dorf is preparing to work on “Smack in the Kisser,” starring Michael Douglas and Kirk Douglas. Her makeup will get product placement in the film in addition to being used on the set.

EDITORIAL BEAUTY: The U.K. department store chain Debenhams is launching an exclusive skin care range next month, called Capsule. The line, cocreated by the British beauty editors Emma Bannister and Kate Shapland — who have worked for titles including W and the U.K. editions of Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Vogue, Tatler and Harper’s and Queen — is classified by individual skin needs rather than by age or specific skin types. There are creams, for example, for women who work late nights, fly often or party until dawn. Some products are vacuumed-packed in plastic, others come in travel-sized capsules. Prices start at about $6 for cleanser tissues to $33 for a face cream.

LAUREN PROMOTION: Lara Modjeski has been promoted to vice president of creative services of Ralph Lauren Fragrances Worldwide. Modjeski will oversee design direction ad development for all Ralph Lauren Fragrances, including the Romance and Glamourous brands, as well as new projects.

NEW HIRE: Michelle Williams has been named general manager of Paula Dorf Cosmetics Inc. She will oversee the company’s expanded distribution to the East and West Coasts, the launch of the company’s e-commerce site and develop additional categories of business within the brand. Williams was formerly president and chief operating officer of Kevyn Aucoin Cosmetics.

CHECKING IN: Jean Ford Danielson of Benefit Cosmetics paid a visit to former mayor Rudy Guiliani last week. And she didn’t come empty-handed. The beauty maven had a check for $49,034 with her to be donated to the Twin Towers Fund. Through “Operation Kitten,” net proceeds from the sale of every Kitten Shops New York City sparkle powder puff went to the fund.

WINNER’S CIRCLE: The winner of L’Oreal’s second annual E-Strat Challenge online business strategy game was the Polish team from Nicholas Copernicus University. Awards were granted Thursday. Second place went to the Brazilian team from UFRJ Instituto Coppead de Administracao. The Polish Karol Adamiecki University team came in third. In other company news, L’Oreal has endowed a chair in marketing at Said Business School of the University of Oxford — an investment of $2.6 million “that will guarantee the chair in perpetuity,” the company said in a release. A L’Oreal professor in marketing will be announced “in due course.”

LANCOME IN LIGHTS: Lancome has been named the exclusive beauty partner of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. As such, Lancome will provide advice on trends, colors and collections for all the primetime Emmy season events. In August, Lancome will cohost the 2002 Hair and Makeup Peer Group Nominee Reception in Los Angeles. In addition, Lancome will be the only beauty brand featured in the Emmy presenters’ gift baskets.

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