At Last There's Something More for the Pooch Who Has Everything (Including Odor)—Doggie Perfume

updated 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Meet Martine," coos Lisa Gilford, welcoming a visitor to Le Chien, her swanky pet salon on Manhattan's Upper East Side. To hear Gilford tell it, the best thing about Martine, her 4-year-old toy poodle, isn't her carefully coiffed coat. Nor is it her $1,000 heart-shaped locket studded with 30 diamonds, or her bronze-painted nails that glitter. No, the best thing about Martine, observes Gilford, is that she has "no doggie smell. She's wearing the perfume I named for her."

Dog odor may not rank up there with, say, crime as a matter of public concern, but Gilford knows it's the petty nuisances that can get you down. So last November, Gilford, who has pampered the pooches of Liz Taylor, Diana Ross, Raquel Welch and Rodney Dangerfield, introduced the first designer collection of his and her doggie fragrances. "I was aware that dog deodorants were on the market, but I felt there was a need for classy dog scents," she says. "Quite honestly, the perfumes are mainly for the owners. They don't want to have a dog that smells like a dog. I hate that smell." (Veterinarians say the scent won't harm dogs, though it may throw off their sense of smell temporarily.)

So far Gilford's well-heeled patrons have spent around $35,000 on Martine, a perfume blend of jasmine and tuberose for female dogs ($38.50 for 3.3 ounces in a crystal spray bottle) and Christophe, a cologne mix of wild-flowers, sandalwood and citrus rind for male dogs ($30). Canine reaction, too, has gone through the woof. "I've heard of cases where two dogs [wearing the fragrances] wouldn't leave each other alone," reports Gilford.

The same may hold true for humans. Kathleen Regina, 24, a groomer at Le Chien (French for The Dog), says she often wears Martine. People say, 'Oooh, what's that perfume?' They laugh when I tell them." Then there is hip New York author Tama (Slaves of New York) Janowitz, who splashed on Martine after receiving samples for her two terriers. "Guys started looking at me differently," reports Janowitz, who is single. "It's every woman's fantasy that she'll hit on a scent that will make guys chase after her." Go for it, Tama, but prudence suggests a safe distance from kennels.

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