NEW SMELLS FOR STANFORD ... The Stanford Shopping Center just got a tad classier with the addition of a retailer that started in business 146 years ago. Penhaligon's, an award-winning British perfume house, hung its shingles in what may be one of the tiniest retail spaces in the mall. "Yes, it's small, but this is about the size of most of our shops," said Joelle Fluhmann, a regional manager, adding that the modest space makes for a more comfortable and engaging atmosphere. "It's not overwhelming for the client," Fluhmann said. Penhaligon's has certainly made the best use of the 350-square-foot space. The centerpiece is a large round table, displaying the company's 42 bottled perfumes, all exquisitely placed around the circumference of the table. Each perfume has a story behind it, and Fluhmann, who is new on the job, already can recount the history of each of the 42 fragrances. The brand's bestseller, according to Fluhmann, is Empressa, a patchouli-scented little number that has a rich history. Fluhmann describes how 19th Century British sailors traveled to different ports of call and would bring home, among other items, beautiful silk, which was wrapped in dry patchouli leaves to protect the fabric. That wrapping would leave a beautiful patchouli scent on the silk, and that was the inspiration for Empressa, or so the story goes. The cost of a fragrance with a story behind it is not cheap. Average price for a 3.4 ounce bottle of Penhaligon's perfume is between $145 to $170. "That's on par with other designer, high-end fragrances," Fluhmann said, emphasizing that Penhaligon's is different from other brands because, "Fragrance is all we sell." Penhaligon's has its own rich history. It has received two prestigious Royal Warrants -- these are honors that recognize UK companies who have supplied goods for at least five years to the Royal Family. Penhaligon's replaces an equally aromatic shop, Teuscher's Chocolates & Cafe. Known among chocolate connoisseurs for its rich truffles and creamy hot chocolate, the Swiss-based, tiny, tony store closed after nearly 10 years in the shopping center. Note to chocolate lovers: Just around the corner from the new Penhaligon's is See's Candies.
POSH DUDS FOR KIDS ... A children's version of the popular Lululemon, an upscale store that sells athletic clothes for yoga, running, and working out, is scheduled for a fall opening in the Stanford Shopping Center. The store's name, ivivva, is a made-up name, and for those who are confused how to pronounce it, ivivva's website conveniently provides a pronunciation guide, ih-vee-vah. The clothing store, created by Lululemon, is marketed to girls who range in age from 6 to 15 years old. "Palo Alto is well known as an active and athletic community ... (It) is the perfect location for an ivivva store," said company spokesperson Allison Forsyth. While the clothing at ivivva costs less than its pricier parent, Lululemon, it still falls on the high-end for girls' active wear. A quick online check showed ivivva pants and tights priced mostly in the $60 range, which is about one-third less than the Lululemon adult women's pants version. The approximate 1,800-square-foot store takes over a portion of the space that formerly housed Tommy Bahama, a clothing and accessory store inspired by the island life. It recently moved to a newer part of the shopping center, and coincidentally, is near Stanford's Lululemon, which also opened in the new section of the mall. Part of ivivva's mission is to involve itself in the community. It offers a variety of complimentary athletic classes and a 'Dreams & Goals' program, according to the website, where girls are encouraged to connect and celebrate each other.
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