NEW YORK — Don’t tell Allen Burke that fragrance is a mature business.
“Just when you think that maybe you’ve pushed it pretty far, you have a season like fall 1994 and along come some special entries,” said the divisional merchandise manager of Dayton’s, Hudson’s and Marshall Field’s.
He then ticked off a list of hot introductions, headed by the “phenomenal” CK One from Calvin Klein.
“We haven’t even begun to reach our potential,” he added. Burke made the remarks after accepting a Sense of Smell Award from the Olfactory Research Fund at the organization’s first fund-raising dinner Tuesday, which drew 320 scientists and fragrance suppliers and marketers to the Delegates’ Dining Room of the United Nations. The event raised $80,000.
During his speech, Burke stressed Dayton Hudson’s commitment. “In the last 10 years, our fragrance business has more than tripled, which means we now reach well over one million more fragrance customers every year than we did in 1983.”
Among the other speakers was Donna Hanover Giuliani, wife of New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The Fund gave its first Richard B. Salomon Golden Nose Award to the WETA public television station in Washington and Diane Ackerman, the poet, nature writer and author of “A Natural History of the Senses.” WETA is a producer of a NOVA television miniseries, “Mystery of the Senses,” based on Ackerman’s book and hosted by her.
The series, which will be broadcast from Feb. 19 through 22 on PBS, is sponsored, in part, by the Fragrance Foundation and the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association. CTFA hosted a luncheon for Ackerman here three weeks ago.
By dinnertime Tuesday, the author was getting used to the cosmetics banquet circuit, which amused her. “Poets aren’t leading the lives they used to lead,” she said, “and it’s sweet mercy for that.”