You may recall from one of my earliest posts that we have two department stores in Tunbridge Wells. Hoopers is situated right across from the train station in a prominent position. It is in a lovely, old-fashioned Victorian building, and inside, although modern in product, it retains an atmosphere of a slightly earlier age. Although there are obviously lifts and compliance with fire and health & safety regulations, the spaces are intimate, the corridors narrow and the stairways constructed of solid wood.
I pop into Hoopers quite often, as their service is lovely and they carry a good range of perfumes. They have the whole Amouage line, excluding attars, Grossmith, Creed, Lalique, Guerlain, Chanel, Dior, Hermes, Roget and Gallet, La Prairie and Rochas. In addition they carry all the usual designer fragrances. This past week Hoopers held a pamper party, which is basically a day where you buy a ticket, have access to free manicures, pedicures, demonstrations, receive a discount off any purchase and are given a goodie bag. I suppose this is pretty similar to the types of marketing events you encounter at the top American department stores like Bloomingdales, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks and so on, although I'm sure on a much smaller scale. A lady that I have become quite friendly with in the perfume section, Melanie, invited me to the most recent one. I accepted, but was a bit nervous because it isn't the sort of event men often go to. Incidentally, Melanie is very generous with providing me with samples, and if you are reading this, thank you so much! The event itself was really nice, although I was literally the only guy in the store, as I feared. However, Melanie befriended me and helped to make me feel less out of place. I wasn't able to stay very long, but I did purchase a 10%-off sample set of the Amouage men's line. It's not the entire line, but the six best-selling, which are Gold, Dia, Jubilation, Reflection, Lyric and Epic. I have had samples of all of these before but have sadly run out, so it was a good opportunity to stock up again. As always, Amouage's packaging is excellent and the set comes in a black box, with the samples set in a velvet template. Each sample is topped with a silver or gold (obviously not genuine) cap. Oh happy days! If they'd have had the women's set in stock I would have purchased it too, because I am as much a fan of the ladies' as I am of the mens' range. I was also given a lovely goodie bag that included minis of Prada Amber and L'eau Ambree, quite a few facial samples, a Cartier Declaration body wash, some other perfume samples and a travel and toiletry bag. Very generous I think, particularly in these troubled economic times in England. Again, a big thank you to Melanie for encouraging me to attend and for keeping me company!
If any of you reading this are from the Kent area and like perfume, I would encourage you to visit Hoopers' perfume department (and the whole store in fact). You might just find something there that will surprise you.
Just to set the record straight, I am not affiliated to Hoopers in any way and I am not plugging their store to earn money - it's purely because I like their friendly staff, they carry a good range of perfume and I think they deserve some word-of-mouth marketing.