Fortnum & Mason has a promotion entitled “Sensorium” at its Piccadilly flagship that enables visitors to consider the world of the senses, from taste to smell.
It is certainly diverting, but the real star of the show is the perfume department on the second floor, which has just reopened following a substantial makeover.
The new space has everything from a scent chandelier, the centrepiece, to a circular room flooded with natural daylight where some of the most upscale perfumes can be sampled.
Life for retailers of top-end fragrance is tough at present because this sector has become a very crowded arena. In order to succeed it is no longer enough to have branded counters with white-coated, heavily made-up members of staff: there has to be a real sense of difference.
Fortnum & Mason has eschewed all of the usual tropes and created an interior that will have shoppers digging deep. Oh yes, and the piped music was Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Go Your Own Way’ played by a string quartet… well, the Queen does shop here.