Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Stop and smell . . . the Charmin

P&G display offers aroma 'experience' at Flower Show

By Joy Kraft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] John Angelo helped design the Charmin Wildflower Fresh Pavilion.
(Gary Landers photo)
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Who would have thought toilet paper could be so fascinating?

Or liquid cleaner?

Or laundry detergent?

Procter & Gamble for one. But that's to be expected.

And John Angelo, longtime consultant to the Cincinnati Flower Show.

Together they used everyday P&G products - including Charmin, Mr. Clean, Gain - and designed the Charmin Wildflower Fresh Pavilion for the flower show. It's a fascinating sensory exhibit that explores the fragrances of flowers, fruits and herbs and puts them at the tip of your nose.

"This was something we wanted to do as a concept for a while but couldn't get a sponsor before," says Angelo as he stood surrounded by buckets of heavily scented lilies.

"We wanted to do a fragrance experience, not just something you look at, but something that would engage visitors, get them involved."

What: Cincinnati Flower Show, presented by Provident Bank
When: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. today-Saturday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Coney Island, Kellogg Avenue and I-275.
Tickets: $15 adults, $3 ages 3-12. After 4 p.m. at the gate: $11 adults.
Information: 872-5194, (800) 670-6808,
Miscellaneous: End-of-show sale of some props and plants will start 6 p.m. Sunday.
With P&G on board, three zones were created in adjacent areas - the Fragrance Gallery, the Fragrance Zone and the Fragrance Challenge.

• The Fragrance Gallery is centered by three floral displays. But you won't see stuffy pedestals or antique urns. The displays sit atop giant toilet paper tubes of varying heights "because you know that's where the scent is - in the toilet paper," says Angelo.

Rimming the tent are several household products, each with a glass stand filled with wheat heads soaked in the product's "keynote" fragrance. Guests can sniff a sample and see two accompanying arrangements: one of the flower, fruit or herb matching the fragrance (Gain's is the Stargazer Lily, Mr. Clean is citrus orange and Charmin's is phlox), the other an artist's interpretation of the product packaging, a twist on the "Art in Bloom" displays of flower shows past.

• The Fragrance Zone, the star of the exhibit, is an 80-foot-long tunnel divided into five fragrance zones where visitors pause - eyes closed for the best effect - and sniff, sniff, sniff. Like a wine or food tasting, each section is separated from the next. One has tobacco cloth curtains and mounds of coffee beans, Millstone of course.

"It was found that the fragrance of coffee acts as a cleanser, like sorbet, during a multicourse meal," says Angelo.

Citrus Zone is two walls of lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges with a baby's breath ceiling. The Herbal Zone is filled with whiffs of rosemary, lemon geranium and kitchen herbs. The Exotic Tropical Zone is bright with color from orchids, birds of paradise, ginger and a plumosa fern ceiling. Then comes Floral Fantasia, with caladium; hydrangea and lilies, that will open as the show progresses; gerbera daisies; azaleas and roses. A Wildflower Field of daisies, baby's breath, heathers, Queen Anne's lace and salidago grows from a life-size photo of a country field.

Don't miss the blanket of velvety, lush grass - "wheat berry grass," says Angelo, "and it's only 9 days old."

• After all the sniffing, visitors can put their gray matter - and noses once again - to work at one of the testing tables in the Fragrance Challenge area. Each table has five color-coded sachets. Sniff and guess the fragrance, or cheat and get on to the flower show Gardener's Market around the corner.


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