By  on May 10, 2013

The month of May usually brings a flurry of holidays in France, the first reluctant blossoms in New York and an inescapable outpouring of new fragrance propositions everywhere.

For the last few years, this has been a time of swelling confidence. But the signs are harder to read this year, judging from the latest figures from the NPD Group, which indicate that the U.S. department-store fragrance business is still shrugging off the aftereffects of its anemic holiday performance, which was saved from oblivion only in the last couple days before Christmas. For the first quarter of this year, department-store fragrances were up 3 percent, according to NPD figures adjusted for the extra week in January.

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