TOP NOTES

PX FOR SKIN: Prescriptives might have a hit on its hands with its Magic collection, but the company isn’t resting on its laurels. It has big expectations for its newest product, Unmakeup, a lightweight foundation currently hitting counters.
A cross between a tinted moisturizer and a sheer foundation, Unmakeup will retail for $25 and is available in 14 shades. It is a shorter shade range than other foundation lines, said Anne Carullo, vice president of marketing and product development worldwide for Prescriptives, but it covers a wide range of skin tones because it is a sheer product.
Unmakeup has an SPF of 15 and is oil-proof and oil-controlling. “We used a special enzyme similar to what was used to clean up the Exxon Valdez spill,” said Carullo. “We wanted something that would be truly active and disperse the oil to where you need it.”
According to industry sources, Unmakeup is expected to do $28 million at retail in 2000.

REVLON ADDS PRESIDENT: Laurence Aronson has been named president, North America sales, customer marketing and business development at Revlon, a new position. Aronson, vice president of sales at Adams USA, a confectionery subsidiary of Warner-Lambert, will join Revlon in May reporting to Revlon president and chief executive officer Jeffrey Nugent. Before joining Adams in 1996, he had been with Procter & Gamble for 16 years.
In other news, Victor Gaudet, executive vice president, sales at Revlon, has resigned to pursue other interests, said the company.
Revlon also announced Thursday it completed the sale of its Worldwide Professional Products business to The Colomer Group for $315 million before adjustments, plus $10 million in contingent consideration. Revlon said it will apply 60 percent of the net proceeds to pay down debt. The rest will go to general purposes.

AUSTIN EMPOWERED: Paul Austin has been promoted to the new post of vice president of marketing and new business development for Quest Fine Fragrances North America. Austin will also lead the marketing efforts for the U.S. fine fragrance business. Firmenich executive Julie Pruett has joined Quest as marketing director, fine fragrances North America. Pruett succeeds Felix Mayr-Harting, who has been promoted to the position of fine fragrance category development director and is now based in Paris.

AUGROS NUMBERS: France’s luxury cosmetics packaging firm Augros Cosmetic Packaging reported a 1999 net loss of $677 million on net earnings of $2.2 million one year earlier. All figures are converted from the euro at current exchange. According to the company, this was due to a general slowdown of activity in the packaging sector and the devaluation of the real, which resulted in higher costs at Augros’s Brazilian subsidiary. Although the company rebounded and obtained a profit of $1.1 million in the second semester 1999, these gains were not sufficient to make up for the loss of $1.9 in the first half.
The company’s sales rose 20 percent last year to $52.7 million. It expects to post a profit in 2000, according to a statement.

NEW NAME: Gregroire Cabri-Wiltzer, 42, has been named managing director of the Ales Groupe. In the newly created post, he will be in charge of the commercial development of the company’s brands, which include Phyto Solda, Lierac and Caron. Prior to Ales, Cabri-Wiltzer was managing director of Clinique Germany.

ABBATI RETURNS: Since leaving his post as managing director of Versace Profumi last year, Luciano Abbati has started his own distribution company, called Beauty Ventures; signed a license agreement to launch the first fragrance for Italian designer Marina Spadafora, and this week announced a deal to become managing director of the four- year-old Gaen makeup company. The Milan-based Gaen produces two makeup lines — the high-end Mabi and the mass market Savana Wild. Still in limited distribution, the company reported sales of approximately $1.5 million in 1999.
Abbati says he aims to revamp the company’s distribution, bringing the lines to North and South America and the Far East. “We should be able to get the sales to at least $5 million in the next two years,” Abbati said. As for the Marina Spadafora scent, look for it to make its debut for Valentine’s Day 2001.

TASTY SCENTS: Smell THIS, a company known for its fragrance for the body and home, has taken the next step in sensory experiences with an edible scent.
The company’s new product, Flagrance, is an alcohol-free fragrance spray that is completely edible. One-oz. bottles of four food-inspired flavors — like Sugar Cone and Raspberry Jam — retail for $15 and are available now at Sears and Target.

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