Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rochelle, Rochelle: The Farce

During her eight years at the helm of The Fragrance Foundation, Rochelle Bloom has developed a peculiar talent for talking down the industry that pays her salary. This was on display when she launched One Mighty Drop—the lamest cooperative ad campaign evah. 

Then, in a December, 2010 Wall Street Journal puff piece on MAD’s new Center for Olfactory Design, Bloom managed two unforced errors: badmouthing her industry and its retail customers all in the same breath.
But there aren’t a lot of ways to learn about [perfumers] or the making of perfume without feeling like you have to buy something. Even Ms. Bloom puts that down to a shortcoming of the industry. 

“The industry has been so ambitious in bringing out new fragrances that they have walked away from the magic and stories,” she said. “The consumer has also walked away.”
This week Marylynn Uricchio of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured Bloom’s latest verbal stumblings in an article on celebrity fragrances.
Ms. Bloom estimates there are between 100 to 200 celebrity fragrances, though the international Fragrance Foundation doesn’t really keep track.
They don’t? Then what the hell do they do? In her article, Ms. Uricchio names 30 smellebrities who have launched at least 81 fragrances between them. You’d think with a little effort The Fragrance Foundation could come up with a comprehensive count. As a constantly updated factoid, it would be a tempting story hook for journalists, no?

Instead, Bloom seems overwhelmed by the whole phenomenon.
[Celebrity fragrances are] like the Energizer bunny. They just keep coming . . .”
Well, Ms. Bloom, thanks for finally promoting a product . . . even if it is in a different industry.

Uricchio notes that the most popular celebrity scent in the world is Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds. Bloom’s response?
“If you ask a young person who Elizabeth Taylor is, I bet you about 90 percent won’t know who she is. They love the fragrance. That is a good fragrance that outlasts the celebrity.”
Wait! You mean Elizabeth Taylor’s dead? Or that she’s just a has-been?

Exit question: Can media training even help at this point?


Katie Puckrik said...


Congratulations on this submission to the 2011 FiFi Awards. ;-)


Avery Gilbert said...

Katie Puckrik:

I hope I get nominated, I do, I do, I do.

I’ve already decided what to wear to the FiFi Awards: Après le Boeuf by Jean-Claude Ellena, my Brooks Brothers dinner jacket, and cufflinks made from the freeze-dried anal scent glands of the Adirondack Pole Cat (Mustela jasguri).

I can't wait!

NathanBranch said...

I may be late to this party but . . . Snar-Key, Mr. Gilbert. You're on a roll.

Can I borrow your cuff-links sometime? They sound quite, erm, individual.

Has Katie reviewed Après le Boeuf yet? I'm all aquiver!