Today I bring you glad tidings of the most joyous olfactory news since the invention of Febreze: department stores have decided to call off their fragrance spritzing goons. Those zombie-like product demonstrators that attack you with puffs of Paris Hilton's new Scrumtrelescence will soon relent in their endless attacks.

According to the New York Times, the practice of perfume demonstrators squirting passersby in department stores started in the 1950's as something fun for shoppers and has evolved into the out of control state it's currently in, which is that demonstrators are sort of like live action pop up ads.

At a handful of department stores, fragrance demonstrators who pounce, spray and sell hard are being tamed. They may still flood the floor for debuts and other special events, but they are being gradually replaced by salesclerks who actually ask customers what scents they prefer and - gasp - listen to the reply.

Nordstrom plans on phasing out "fragrance models" in the next few months and replacing them with people behind the counter who try to suss out what customers want.

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While it sounds like a great idea, I'll sort of miss the harrowing experience that has been cutting through the first floor of Macy's on State Street. After I emerged from the revolving door on the other side, I always felt like I'd survived something. I smelled like the inside of a closet at a sorority formal, but I'd survived something.


Stores Decrease Use of Fragrance Spritzers [NYT]