NEW YORK — All aboard for the perfume counter.
In support of the second Fragrance Week this year — the one without the FiFis — a double-decker bus has been wheeling around Manhattan, chauffeuring scent lovers to participating retailers throughout the city.
And that’s just a piece of Fragrance Week action. Other activities have included fragrance personality typing at the Time Warner Center, supported by suppliers including Drom, Symrise, Givaudan and Firmenich; an International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.-sponsored scent exhibition at Trump Tower; extensive sampling at a number of retailers such as Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Sephora and Lord & Taylor, and a career guidance fair underwritten by CosmoGirl magazine.
According to Rochelle Bloom, president of the Fragrance Foundation, this new preholiday time slot essentially replaces the annual June festivities. Beginning next year, the FiFis will be moved to April.
“To put it a bit bluntly, Fragrance Week is all about driving retail,” said Bloom. “Fragrance Week was always attached to the FiFis, but in fact, nothing ever happened. And when you think, of it, why would you have a Fragrance Week in June, which is after Mother’s Day? It wasn’t really the best time to celebrate fragrances.”
The calendar shift has found a true fan in Laurice Rahme, founder of Bond No. 9, which hosted an elaborate “feast of the senses” at all three of its New York stores
“This is the first time that Fragrance Week has really been geared directly to consumers,” said Rahme. “And I have to say that the enthusiasm of the fragrance aficionados — the true fragrance lovers — was so high. It shows me that consumers are really starved for information.
“Plus we’ve had great sales,” added Rahme. “We did a gift-with-purchase and our sales have been up 15 percent this week.”
Earlier in the week, the industry gathered on the rooftop of the St. Regis Hotel for the Fragrance Foundation’s annual Circle of Champions dinner. Pete Born, vice president and associate publisher of WWD, was the evening’s honoree.