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Le Classique

September 27, 1997|CYNDI Y. NIGHTENGALE

The timeless elegance of French crystal is now sparkling bright in Orange County, with the opening of the Lalique boutique earlier this month in Costa Mesa.

Lalique offers a diverse line of products, from its signature crystal pieces to silk scarves, jewelry, porcelain and a new line of leather goods, exclusive to the South Coast Plaza store.

Among the boutique's unique items: the Bacchantes crystal vase ($3,195), designed in 1927 by company founder Rene Lalique. The vase, originally made of glass, has been a popular item since its creation.

Other striking pieces are the Deux Fleurs crystal perfume bottle ($205) and the Bougainvillea bud vase ($285), in clear, blue or amber.

The boutique is a work of art. Hanging from the center of the store are two handcrafted chandeliers with an intricate melange of crystal leaves.

The walls are carved crystal panels that feature such designs as the silhouette of a woman surrounded by ferns, a female mask and a cluster of grapes.

The facade of the store has six crystal panels in three designs created by Rene Lalique for the Orient Express.

For information on the Lalique boutique, call (714) 540-5951.

Talk Radio

Talk is cheaper when you use FreeTalk radios instead of cellular telephones to reach out and touch family.

The personal two-way radios have been created for communicating on the Family Radio Service, a free band of radio spectrum set aside by the FCC. The FRS is meant to be used for direct, personal voice communications between two or more people.

The radios (about $300 a pair), manufactured by Kenwood Communications in Long Beach, have 14 channels, 38 talk groups and a scramble mode to help maintain privacy and avoid interruption from other conversations.

The radios, available in yellow or black, have a range of two miles and can be kept on standby for 120 hours. Accessories for the radios include headsets, earphones and voice-activated speaker-microphones.

For the nearest retailer, call (800) 950-5005.

Squeeze Play

When it comes to germs, don't throw in the sponge.

3M makes a Scotch-Brite line of sponges ($1 and up) with the company's patented antibacterial protection, which claims to kill bacteria throughout hundreds of uses. A sponge will last longer without getting smelly.

The company says the antibacterial protection only kills germs in the sponge; it will not disinfect or sanitize other surfaces.

"By adding . . . this protection, we're giving consumers the options and information they need to choose their cleaning tools wisely," says Don Hollinger, brand manager at 3M.

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