Syracuse, NY (Reuters) US consumers are finding that an air freshener that hit the store shelves recently is not your average air freshener that hit the store shelves recently.
Chesebrough-Ponds, the Greenwich, CT-based giant responsible for such products as Wisk detergent, Ponds facial cream, Lever 2000 soap, Q-tips, Calvin Klein fragrances and Suave shampoo, has hit on an air freshener as a part of its Home Fragrances Collection that has noses noticing and heads turning. "Spring Meadow" is apparently so authentic that it brings immediate and strong reactions to those who smell it.
"I was lost for several minutes," claims Jennifer Tudor, 28, of Ipswich. "I couldn't believe how real it seemed. I sat down in my living room for a while, spraying the freshener when it seemed it had gone away and believing that I was actually in a meadow somewhere in the springtime," Tudor said. "I was even sure that I had been stung by a bee."
When Tudor came to, she realized that her fiancee, Michael Dunsmith, had entered her apartment and was lying on the floor next to her asleep. "He smelled the fragrance before he saw me and was moved in the same way," she said. "He sat down and soon fell asleep, thinking he was in a meadow as well."
Consumers everywhere are having similar reactions. Retailers are reporting groups of people are commonly found in the areas where the product is shelved, frequently zoning out, sitting down, and behaving as one would in a serene spring meadow. "We were having difficulty closing our stores at night because of the number of people who were enjoying the fragrance and basically flatlining store personnel when alerted to the fact that the stores were closing," claims Sharon Carmack, regional manager for Target Stores. "Now we pull the stock every night approximately thirty minutes before locking our doors."
Company spokesperson Ron Edwards was aware of the "accuracy" of the product, but had no idea it would create such a reaction in so many people. "R&D nailed it, for sure, but we did not have the same results (catatonia) in any of our animal testing or subsequent consumer testing. None." Chesebrough-Ponds reports brisk sales of the product and is receiving feedback from retailers that individual consumers are buying several cans at once. Edwards said the Altoona, PA, manufacturing site may be converted to Spring Meadow production to support the demand if it should continue.
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