Palazzo is an Italian word meaning “palace,” and Fendi Palazzo Perfume is well-named, taking its inspiration from the traditional architecture of Italian cities like Venice, Florence, and Milan. This was obvious from the bottle design to the scent inside. What other perfume comes in a small glass rectangular vial embossed with the images of doors, windows, and other architectural features to that it looks like a miniature Italian palace? Only Fendi Palazzo.
The fragrance itself was meant to be just as aristocratic as the packaging, and call to mind the decadent pleasures of the Old World, at least for Americans who long to visit there. Designed by French perfume expert François Demachy in cooperation with Italian designer Annick Menardo, Fendi Palazzo was an intriguing mix of several European woods, along with:
* orange blossom flowers
* roses from Bulgaria
* and jasmine flowers.
This gave it an overall floral composition, but tempered with a heady scent reminiscent of a fine wood house under construction. Think of the blast of fragrance you get when you open a cedar lined chest, and you’ll get the right idea, as long as you remember that in this case, the chest is stuffed full of flowers.
As you can probably tell, I’m quite fond of Fendi Palazzo. There’s just one problem with it, and if you are an astute reader, you may already have guessed what that is. Did you notice the past tense I was using from time to time? That’s right — as of February, 2009, Fendi Palazzo began to fade into the past. The announcement of its discontinuation came that day as an item included in Women’s Wear Daily.
Not too surprisingly in a consumer-driven market, lower than expected sales volume was cited as the culprit in the demise of Fendi Palazzo. I find this troubling, however, because the sales in question were 2008 figures, and as everybody knows very well, the world, including both the United States and western Europe, were plunged deep into a recession beginning in 2007. Some economists regard 2008 as the worst year of the recession and saw the economy begin to improve in late 2009.
It would therefore seem reasonable to suppose that Fendi Palazzo suffered from low sales because discretionary purchases like perfume were suffering across the board throughout the fiscal year 2008. I’m sure that Fendi’s own research bears this out — they likely saw sales of all their brands suffer as people economized and saved their dollars for more essential purchases like food and rent. Let’s face it — I love perfume as much as the next woman, and Fendi Palazzo in particular, but if times are tight, perfume is probably the very first thing I will choose to cut back on. I can’t imagine other American women doing any differently, particularly because anybody who regularly buys perfume would already have a large number of fragrances available on her beauty table. I could probably go for three years before I would completely run out of perfume.
But I’m already out of Fendi Palazzo, and hoping that the company will be consumer-friendly and bring it back.