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Sephora has responded to MiN New York's complaint over its use of the term "fragrance flights." To recap: Since 2010, Soho boutique MiN has offered customers the chance to sample several scents at the same time, not unlike the way whiskey tastings offer customers four or five small shots of whiskey in a row. MiN calls this process a fragrance flight, so they were unhappy to hear that Sephora is now offering a similar experience under the same name.
Yesterday, MiN owner Chad Murawczyk emailed us a statement saying that Sephora had "blatantly disregarded copyrighted and trademarked content owned by MiN New York." Sephora has now issued a statement regarding the controversy.
Today's press report on racked.com is the first we heard of any problem with MiN NY. Sephora is also a brand owner and take claims of infringement very seriously but in this case, there seems to be a misunderstanding on MiN's part. MiN is not the first retailer to offer personalized fragrance sampling and will not be the last.
MiN's use of "fragrance flight" dating back to 2010 seems to be a generic use, using "fragrance flight" in the same manner that a wine bar uses "wine flight," and not as a brand. Sephora used Fragrance Flight and Fragrance Flight Bar in connection with its Sensorium exhibit in 2011, without any protest from MiN and without generating any confusion.
We have never received a notice and don't understand what it is that MiN believes MiN "owns" to the exclusion of others.We're not exactly qualified to assess legal arguments, but maybe some of you are. Obviously it's a bad idea to take legal advice from the comments section of a fashion blog, but if you're a lawyer and you're reading, let us know what you think.
· Get a Lesson in Perfume at Sephora's Fragrance Flight Bar [Racked NY]
· Fragrance Fracas: MiN New York Says Sephora Stole Its Idea [Racked NY]