“I love you…you…you,” echoed a whispering voice from nowhere in particular.
The room was red from floor to ceiling – not in a hellish way – but rather what you would imagine to find in an old mill tunnel of love. The room was empty other than a few people waiting to greet me, all similarly dressed in crimson cuts.
I was at the Glossier You Experience in Soho, New York, the pop-up promotion for Glossier’s new perfume. What I was expecting, and the events that followed were two very different things.
When I walked through the red doors, a woman with a gentle voice waved me over.
“Hello my darling, welcome to Glossier You. You look beautiful today. I have a gift for you,” she said presenting a thin, millennial pink ribbon with the word ‘Glossier’ printed on it. She tied it on my wrist and waved me along to continue walking through the room.
On the way, a series of mirrors multiplied my reflection to show my body from a dozen different angles. The sounds of whispering grew louder.
A second woman dressed in red was waiting for me. She was gently tapping her long fingernails on a table. I wondered if this was supposed to be some kind of real-life ASMR experience.
“Pick a jar, any jar,” she said, waving her hand in front of five red bottles of perfume. She leaned in towards me and placed a hand up to the corner of her lips.
“Hint, they are all the same,” she whispered.
I pointed to one at random. A feeling of discomfort grew within me. She presented one of the bottles for me to sniff. The fragrance wasn’t my cup of tea. She proceeded to go on a tangent about how the perfume was heavy on base notes so that it lasts longer.
“Do you know what the missing ingredient is?” she concluded, tilting her head towards me with a smile.
“Is it me?”
My voice rang with sarcasm and agitation. I felt bad, but I couldn’t contain how uncomfortable I felt. Somehow, the experience was not yet over.
Next, I was directed to a room small enough that I could not extend my arms on either side. It looked like a confessional that was crafted out of mirrored walls. There was a little, (you guessed it) red button that I was instructed to push once the door was closed behind me.
One of the mirrors slid upward and a red glove danced out of a hole in the wall, holding a bottle of perfume. I lifted my wrist, which was then misted with the same fragrance I had inhaled before. The hand disappeared momentarily, but quickly returned to present me with a white card.
It read: “Tell me something nobody knows about you.”
I am a very private and reserved person. Even if the card had asked me for my coffee order, I would be reluctant to share.
I politely said, “No thank you.”
The weird hand continued dancing in front of my face, and the voice through the wall whispered, “Come on, I won’t tell anyone.”
“I don’t have anything to say.”
I turned around and opened the doors. I wanted out. The nail-tapping woman waited for me outside of the door.
“How was it?” she purred, reaching down to sniff my wrist. “Oh wow, it smells very sweet on you.”
At the end of the experience there was an opportunity to purchase the perfume, but truthfully I just wanted to leave as quickly as possible. The “Glossier You Experience” is extremely intimate and personal, and can only be well-received by the right personality type. I was not a good fit.
“I’ll miss you my darling,” whispered a voice as I walked briskly out the door.
Have you been to the Glossier You experience? What did your card say?