TOP NOTES

MAC GOURMET: MAC makeup artists dressed in kimonos served Sashimi Mimi, Soba and Electric Eel to Henri Bendel patrons in the store’s atrium recently. Rather than feasts of fish and noodles however, customers were served makeup atop sushi plates to help celebrate the brand’s spring color collection, Cuisine, featuring products named after Asian foods. Rounding out the theme were Tai Chi performances in the Bendel windows, which “stopped traffic on Fifth Avenue,” according to Teril Turner, the retailer’s director of marketing. Despite rumors of the performance going on tour, Gunnar Jordan, executive director for retail events at MAC, said that only Bendel’s “landmark location lends itself to creating pure theater.”

OF THE CLOTH: Pond’s has added dual-purpose cleansing and moisturizing towelettes to its Age Defying product lineup. Using two sets of fibers, the towelettes are designed to deep clean pores and exfoliate while leaving behind alpha hydroxy acid and botanicals. Pond’s executives claim the towelettes are as effective as some leave-on cremes in improving skin health if used twice daily for a month. Thirty-piece containers priced at $6.99 and same-count refills priced at $5.99 will land on shelves in June.

HONOREES: Oleg Cassini was awarded the American Society of Perfumers’ Living Legend Award during the organization’s 47th annual symposium luncheon. Cassini, 88, quipped that instead of taking an offer from John F. Kennedy to become commissioner of Indian affairs, he opted instead to become commissioner of Jackie’s affairs. He added that serving in the U.S. Cavalry in World War II was his proudest achievement. Retired perfumer Elie Roger received lifetime achievement honors. Speaker Vincent Presepe, vice president of quality assurance and product regulatory affairs for J. Manheimer and IFF’s global creative marketing director, and vice president Martine Fougeron de Mones were speakers at the event.

NEW LIFE: Following a comeback year, the Foragers Cosmetic Industry Associates recently held the first of four beauty-industry gatherings slated for 2001 at Manhattan’s Harmonie Club. An audience 130-strong heard Donna Barasch, Revlon’s senior vice president of global product development; Jennifer Balbier, Estee Lauder’s senior vice president of corporate product innovation; and James Gager, MAC Cosmetics’ senior vice president and creative director talk about current color cosmetics marketing initiatives. A screening of Gager’s dreamy, MTV-like promotional video, which was played at MAC counters during the launch of its spring shade collection, Cuisine, generated the most buzz.