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Babalú Miami Unveils Perfume Genie

Babalú Miami to launch a digital interactive fragrance finder.

It might be a small company (the retailer has just three locations in Florida), but Babalú, a concept specialty store in Florida consisting of cult beauty items, has created an innovative installation that many beauty stores are paying close attention to.

One of the ways the retailer is carving its own space in the market is by launching offbeat concepts such as Perfume Genie. It is a digital interactive fragrance finder that lets customers search for their signature scent. This launches Thursday, in Babalú’s Miami location, in partnership with KBS, a global marketing agency.

“We’re really celebrating perfume,” said Greg Melvin, cofounder of Babalú. “We’re taking the whole concept of perfume and making it the most important thing for the consumer.”

Located in Babalú’s Departure Lounge, a room that currently showcases Alexandra von Furstenberg’s acrylic home furnishings and a revolving selection of perfume brands, the Perfume Genie installation offers a two- to three-minute experience. After answering a few questions, a shopper chooses a perfume family of his or her choice and selects corresponding fragrance notes. Then the Perfume Genie offers users a customized list of new or classic scents to choose from.

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To enhance the Perfume Genie experience, a perfume butler — a Babalú sales associate — will be on hand with the selected fragrances for the client to experience firsthand.

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“Moving toward the end of the experience, you put your e-mail into the iPad next to the experience, and it will send you a shopping cart of your choices,” noted Melvin.

And the concept seems to be working. The store is currently testing the technology, and sales have already increased by 20 percent. “We anticipate larger percentage increases during the high travel season, beginning in October, to April,” he added.

Additionally, Melvin noted that he could potentially license the technology in the future, if it can benefit other businesses.

Meanwhile, all the fragrances are available at Babalú in-store and online at

“There is a lot of animation in the actual program,” added Melvin. “We worked with an agency for almost a year, with a mission to make perfume more open and more accessible for the user.”