First Steps to Comply With New EU Regulation Begin in January 2012

Under the European Union’s (EU) Regulation No. 1223/2009—making the EU the most highly regulated beauty industry in the world—the notification of cosmetic products will begin in January 2012. For beauty companies, it is the first step to comply with regulation that will go into effect in July 2013 and fully replace the current Cosmetics Directive. Until now, there was no such centralized process; each EU member state had its own system.

The European Commission has created an electronic system called the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP), and it will be free of charge. Brand owners, through a designated and legal representative, will have to submit various information related to each product on the market. It is foreseen that hundreds of thousands of products will be impacted—estimates vary between 300,000 and 800,000 notifications. A transition period of 18 months will allow companies to get ready for the July 2013 deadline.

Specifics of the regulation and its requirements are available by searching “1223/2009” on

Le Printemps Revamps Its Perfume Section

Parisian department store Le Printemps Haussmann has finalized the renovation of its space dedicated to beauty. Dubbed “La Belle Parfumerie,” it occupies the entire ground floor of the store (2,000 square meters) and offers about 120 brands. The idea is to restore the reputation of perfumery, and put a special focus on the tradition and savoir faire of French perfumers. For instance, The Scent Room, launched in 2007, has more than doubled its space, from 150 to 500 square meters, and is home to 34 brands.

Among them, five are newcomers to the retailer’s shelves: Tom Ford Private Blend, La Collection Privée Christian Dior, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Penhaligon’s. In parallel, Serge Lutens has created Choc Noir, a new architectural concept specially designed for Le Printemps, while Guerlain will be featured. (Previously, the brand was sold in Printemps Mode, one of the three buildings on Boulevard Haussmann that comprises the department store and is the main store for women’s fashion and accessories). Hermès has also opened a private space, displaying its entire collection for the first time outside its own boutiques.

In the makeup section, Bobbi Brown and Nars are now sold, while Clarins has redone its counters and opened a new spa, ClarinsSkinSpa@Printemps.

Gattefossé Opens New Labs

French ingredient supplier Gattefossé spent €6 million to build a new block in its Saint-Priest headquarters, located in the suburbs of Lyon. The “Blanche Gattefossé Formulation Biopole” is named after the wife of the founder, a strong-willed woman who managed the company during World War II and again from 1950 to 1968.The 1,600 square meters of environmentally friendly space, with a roof covered by 120 square meters of solar panels, is dedicated to innovation. It includes a cell culture lab (to open in January 2012), a research lab for pharmaceutical inactives that carry active ingredients and two application labs. The company’s sales is split 50/50 pharma/cosmetic and is expected to reach €75 million in 2011 (up from €70 in 2010) according to managing director Olivier Midler.

An independent family business since it was created in 1880, Gattefossé now has 250 staff members (170 in France), and has a presence in 60 countries, with 10 subsidiaries. Seventy-two percent of the business is in exports, while 99% of the production is in France.

Based on its sound financial situation, Gattefossé is considering external growth. “We do have ideas, but the five projects we recently studied have not succeeded. We could spend approximately €30–40 million, most likely to buy a foreign company,” company chairman Jacques Moyrand told visitors at a recent press day event.

Laboratoires Expanscience Engages in CSR

As part of its sustainable development strategy, French maker of leading EU baby care brand Mustela has undertaken a strong commitment to bolstering its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives before 2015. Among them, all new cosmetic products will be eco-conceived by 2015. Karen Lemasson, in charge of sustainable development at Laboratoires Expanscience, explained that the company has started by working on packaging, following the “3 Rs” of reduce, replace, recycle. On the environmental side, the goal is to reduce its energy and water consumption by 20%, while also addressing waste production. “A company must focus on CSR, otherwise it will be imposed on [the company],” said company CEO Jean-Paul Berthomé.

Claire Thévenin is a freelance journalist based in Paris. She has covered the beauty industry since 2005, specializing in European Union regulations.

More in Consumers & Markets