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Macy’s Offers Immersive Fragrance Experience at Herald Square

During the annual Flower Show, the retailer’s first pop-up installation is meant to give customers a 3-D olfactive experience.

In collaboration with the Fragrance Foundation, Macy’s first pop-up Scent Event installation at its Herald Square flagship is designed to give customers a 3-D immersive experience, thanks to six perfumed pods representing different moods, interactive graphics and videos. The event, custom created by RPG, is held in conjunction with the retailer’s annual Flower Show, where the installations are placed at the center of the cosmetics departments’ floral decorations.

“For the first time we’ve been able to really marry the Scent Event and the Flower Show,” said Muriel Gonzalez, executive vice president and general merchandise manager for cosmetics and fragrance at Macy’s. “[The Flower Show] is a signature experience that Macy’s is known for and, from the same point of view, fragrance is a signature category, so the two marry so nicely.”

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Macy’s and the Fragrance Foundation worked with four major fragrance houses — Firmenich, Givaudan, International Flavors & Fragrances and Symrise — to create three different installations for the pop-up event.

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The first installation takes customers through three scented booths that represent the top, heart and base notes of a scent to show customers what goes into creating a fragrance. The booths also contain information on each note and how it plays a role in the overall scent. An olfactive map is placed across the booths to show customers which ingredients are sourced from different parts of the world.

“Our research and our consumers were saying, ‘we want to learn more about fragrances and how they’re made,’” said Linda Levy, group vice president and divisional merchandise manager of fragrances at Macy’s. “We’ve created this environment that gives an opportunity very quickly to learn.”

The second installation is comprised of six perfumed pods each representing a mood: romantic and feminine, confident and sophisticated, sexy and glamorous, fresh and flirty, fresh and understated and powerful and masculine. The pods are accompanied by music and videos to capture the specific mood.

“We knew that the current experience wasn’t optimal just coming in and being sprayed,” Levy said on why Macy’s opened the pop-up. “The mission is to allow consumers to experience fragrance and learn the art of fragrance.”

The last section of the pop-up gives customers insight into the world of a perfumer by showing videos with perfumers — like Céline Barel, perfumer at IFF, and Honorine Blanc, master perfumer at Firmenic — who talk about the art of perfumery.

While no particular fragrances are being promoted during the event, the retailer has classified its over 200 men’s and women’s fragrances into the six moods to guide customers to a fragrance that fits the mood they enjoyed the most.

“The more that people understand fragrance, the more they’ll make selections for things that they really like rather than feeling like they’re in a pressured environment,” Levy said.

The pop-up event will be open Wednesday until April 9 at the Herald Square flagship. An olfactive quiz and other interactive experiences will also be available online and at other Macy’s locations.