As the New York Times sinks slowly out of sight behind its new, fee-based subscriber wall, this story caught my eye: “Fragrance spritzers hold their fire”. It’s a straight report on the industry’s move away from brand-sponsored salespeople and roaming spritzers, and toward advice-dispensing “fragrance advisors” who are on the store’s payroll. (This has been Sephora’s business model all along—any clerk is happy to sell you any brand.)
There are quotes aplenty from the usual suspects: Pam Vaile, Karen Grant, and Ann Gottleib. And then, like clockwork, appears this typically off-key quote from Rochelle Bloom:
“A lot of people avoid the [fragrance] department,” said Rochelle Bloom, the president of the Fragrance Foundation, which has a certification program to educate fragrance sales specialists. “It’s this kind of hustle.”Ms. Bloom has a talent for sounding the negative note. She could have said “people were avoiding the fragrance department and reduced spritzing is a welcome change that will bring the customer back”. She could have said “customers offended by the old hustle will find the new emphasis on fragrance advice very appealing.” But no—she just smeared her own industry and waddled on.
Is the Fragrance Foundation’s board of directors even paying attention?