LE Jardin du Parfum is the intriguing name of a four-day perfume exhibition scheduled to be held in Pacific Place in May. The event, jointly organised by the French Trade Commission, the Federation of Perfume Industries of France and leading French perfume houses, is designed to be as ''non-commercial'' as possible. None of the wealth of fragrance types will be on sale. Visitors will just be encouraged to try as many perfumes as they like and sample and learn as much as they can about the history of the industry. The co-ordinator of the project, Mrs Christine Rodrigues, said some of the most prestigious names in the perfume business would be involved in the exhibition. Guerlain, Chanel, Christian Dior, Jean Patou, Hermes, Lancome, Boucheron, Rochas, Balenciaga, Nina Ricci and Paco Rabanne have joined forces to give visitors to Pacific Place an opportunity to sample different perfumes in a relaxed, no-pressure atmosphere. The event, to be held in the Park Court area of Pacific Place from May 6 to 9, is bound to attract hundreds of people. ''While there will be a good turnout, we just want to tell people that the perfumes will not be on sale at the time. Instead, they will be free to discover and learn something new, [and to] try to test as many as they want,'' said Mrs Rodrigues. The co-ordinator said the theme for the event would be flowers and gardens and visitors would feel like they were ''entering a garden''. ''In the middle, we will have citrus, Oriental and floral themes,'' she said. ''Inside, people can come and stroll around at leisure. They can see how perfumes are made, as well as a lot of photographs on the history of perfumes. ''People should be able to browse freely and smell fragrances at leisure without having a salesperson following them around. There will be a different section for men's fragrances, but the idea will be the same.'' Education will be a big part of the exhibition - what to do and what not to do with perfumes. She said: ''We want to let people discover what perfume is. The problem is that in Hongkong, there is no such thing as a parfumerie , with the exception of Guerlain at the Hilton Hotel, which has just opened. ''So many people don't know what to do with perfumes - how they are used, when or why they should be used and the best types to suit different people.'' Mrs Rodrigues said most perfume houses wanted to be associated with the promotion, which was the first of its kind to be organised in Hongkong. The French Trade Commissioner, Mr Yves de Ricaud, said: ''They are all aware that perfumes are made to convey a sense of beauty, refinement and culture. ''It is not just something invented by marketing people; perfume is a very real thing and people have to know how to use it.'' He said perfumes were no longer considered luxurious or exclusive but many people still did not feel completely secure when using such products. ''We want them to feel secure, which is what they will be once they know more about perfumes,'' he said. ''I hear of many people who attempt to wear perfumes but don't know how to, or which one to buy, so they don't dare to. Once they are comfortable, they will use it more and more as a daily product.'' Fragrances were no longer exotic or superfluous, but were considered necessary by many people, he said. ''While this is the first time we are doing something like this, we hope to plan similar things elsewhere, perhaps in the New Territories. The idea is to take the concept of perfumes into the community.'' He said China was a massive market, just waiting to be educated, and that exhibitions in Shenzhen and Zhuhai would serve communities there well. ''The Chinese are starting to know more about consumer and luxury products and I think this method will be a good introduction to perfumes,'' he said.