I'm not sure how I feel about this.
The good news first: after a long wait and a process that lasted the better part of a year, CB I Hate Perfume gallery will open in a new space: 318 Maujer Street, 3rd floor (between Waterbury & Morgan), Brooklyn. It's further away, in Bushwick, in what seems like an even more industrial area (the previous location in Williamsburg went through a gentrification and hipsterizaion right in front of our eyes). You'd think this would have made CB I Hate Perfume into more of a Brooklyn thing, right?
This is directly from the press release:
"Along with the new address comes a new strategy for how the luxury perfume brand intends to engage and interact with their customer. With a desire to give his clients the most exclusive and personal shopping experience possible, Christopher Brosius, the company’s namesake perfumer, has decided that from Tues-Thurs the shop will receive customers by appointment only.The press release adds that while the gallery will be open for walk-ins on Friday and Saturday they still suggests making an appointment. This comes in the wake of the news about the newest offering from CB, a set called "The Box" that contains the entire current line in 15ml bottles of the absolute concentration, signed and numbered, with a booklet, customized blotters, and a certificate of authenticity. To own this beauty you'll have to shell out $6,500 without RARE FLOWERS or $10,500 with RARE FLOWERS. (RARE FLOWERS is a mini collection of even more rare and pricey absolutes).
Customers will receive personal attention as they shop the store for CB’s cult scents, and concierge services will be available for those who book appointments, including perks such as refreshments and a car service to and from Manhattan."
Out of respect for Christopher Brosius who's one of my favorite contemporary perfumers I'll try not to make fun of the statement that The Box is
"an exclusive luxury item which has never been seen before in the perfume industry."I'll just remind you of this (yes, extraits of all the classic Guerlains):
And mention that even the tacky Bond No.9 had something similar around the holidays.
In any case, it's clear that Brosius is aiming for a different clientele than the die-hard fragonerds. It seems to be less about the perfumes and more about a certain image and experience. I have a feeling the new gallery won't be as welcoming to a group of us who wander in, try stuff on every last patch of exposed skin (including behind the knees), sniff each other, analyze the notes and make comparisons before buying a bottle.
Is it a smart business decision? Maybe so. I have no data about the perfume spending habits of people who require concierge services. I'm more of a get into the car and drive to the boutique kind of gal and prefer no fussing and hovering when I sniff things. But what do I know? I only own six or seven CB I Hate Perfume bottles and have no intention to purchase The Box.
What do you think?