Page 1

Retail - Alluring Perfumeries

13/07/2011 13:49

13 July 2011 Vision

Create Interiors

Create Fashion & Beauty


Amanda Carr / Logout / My Stylus








News & Analysis



Jul 13 2011

Alluring Perfumeries


Those leading the way in the perfume business have become masterful in their ability to sell us scents – almost invisible but highly emotive products. Stylus investigates how the most beautiful perfume stores in the world are tapping into associated emotions via a combination of artful displays and sensual store interiors.

Related Reports

Shiseido Superstore: Beyond Beauty STORE CONCEPTS / 05 JUL 2011

When dealing with such an emotionally fuelled purchase as perfume, creating an atmosphere of desire and sensory stimulation is essential. Indeed, perfumers from around the globe describe their products in highly emotive terms: ‘Liquid emotion’ (Penhaligan’s), ‘Memory’ (Campo Marzio) and ‘Life Essence’ (Roja Dove). And when it comes to display, such expressive descriptions also dictate artful, sensorially attuned solutions.

Rare Perfume: Jovoy Paris

So what makes a good perfume store? According to Kate Shepherd, beauty store specialist and director of insight and strategy at design agency Checkland Kindleysides: “The best perfume stores offer a completely multi-sensory experience, enabling consumers to fully immerse themselves in the product offer. Perfumes displayed with clarity are brought to life. Much of the emphasis [from new stores] is placed on discovery and experimentation.”


In a market sector exploring the very perimeters of beauty and wellbeing (see the recent report: Shiseido Superstore, Japan: Beyond Beauty), Stylus looks at how the most beautiful perfume stores are tackling store design and display.


Checkland Kindleysides Jo Malone Guerlain Intertrade Europe Roja Dove Serge Lutens Campomarzio70 Fueguia Jovoy Paris Olfattorio Penhaligon's Santa Maria Novella

Retail Thread

Modern Decorative While historically perfume stores have often been dark and somewhat cavernous, a new direction in perfume presentation is revealing a fresher, more contemporary approach – with lightly decorative and witty touches that are

Page 1 of 7

Retail - Alluring Perfumeries

13/07/2011 13:49

designed to attract consumers via a sense of intrigue and wonder. In celebration of the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show in London, British perfumer Jo Malone decorated the exterior of its luxuriantly pristine London store with a full-size cherry tree and windows piled high with petals. Inspired by its new, limited-edition Sakura Cherry Blossom perfume, branches of the tree – which was ‘rooted’ inside the store – appeared to pierce the windows, splaying out to form a delicate, ethereal canopy over the heads of passers-by on the street. Stunning and dramatic, it set a new precedent for perfume stores.

Voyager, San Fran: The Makeshift Mentality 12:00 / 12 JUL 2011

New San Francisco art gallery-cum-clothing boutique Voyager – overflowing with witty interior touches – has been designed with the kind of makeshift... »

McQ Pops-Up at Selfridges 11:30 / 11 JUL 2011

McQ – the younger and slightly more renegade diffusion line from fashion house Alexander McQueen – will have a pop-up store in London department... »

Très Bien Shop, Malmö 13:30 / 08 JUL 2011

Showing that beauty and function needn't be opposing forces, independent Swedish fashion retailer Très Bien Shop has renovated its Malmö boutique –... »

Louboutin’s Men’s Store, Paris 09:00 / 07 JUL 2011

Dandies (and quite possibly other gents) across Paris will be rejoicing at the news that footwear maestro Christian Louboutin will be opening his... »

Pop-Up Retail Hits the Road 09:00 / 06 JUL 2011

As pop-up stores continue to prove their promotional value, a growing number of brands (such as Tommy Hilfiger, with its gigantic Prep World pop-up... » VIEW ALL

Avery, a perfume concept store from Intertrade Europe – distributors of niche perfumes – opened its newest store in Modena Italy in November 2010. UK and European manager Clorinda Di Tommaso explained that the concept, which boasts an open interior and quirky miniature wall shelving display: “Creates a space that allows for a true olfactory journey, an intimate and personal experience.” In the London Avery store, for instance, perfume tests are sprayed on real feathers. Les Ateliers Guerlain – a pop-up concept that appeared beside the Maison Guerlain flagship store on the ChampsÉlysées in Paris, in spring 2011 – similarly presents, according to the brand: “A touch of humour and fantasy.” Designed by Guerlain’s long-standing architect Patricia Grosdemange, the store was constructed using unvarnished

Page 2 of 7

Retail - Alluring Perfumeries

13/07/2011 13:49

wood, pale shades and perfume-industry props. Fluted perfume filters hang from the ceiling and traditional glass domes are updated with silicone gold embroideries. The chandeliers were made from the brand’s bee-design perfume bottles (the honeycomb-shaped bottles, a Guerlain trademark, are engraved with a constellation of bees – referencing the preferred emblem of the Emperor Napolean). While the store even has its own, specially commissioned music devised by interior designer Nathalie Auzépy – playful and imaginative it embodies a newfound direction of wit verging on the surreal.


Darkly Dramatic Still embracing a modern aesthetic, but anchored in a darker, richly sensual visual experience, this concept plays on the highly seductive nature of perfume rituals. Colours are dark, lighting is subdued and props are all drawn from the performance of demonstrating scents, such as the spills (the tester blotters) and glass cloches (to trap the scent). The overall effect – as seen at the new Los Angles showroom of Patagonian fragrance brand Fueguia’s – has more of the seductive feel of an intimate cocktail bar than a traditional selling space. Legendary English perfumer Roja Dove’s Haute Parfumerie in Harrods, with its low ceilings, dark walls and staged lighting, resembles a theatrical nightclub. Every surface is covered and the space is laden with mirrors that reflect the gold-trimmed bottles and sparkling ‘juice’ (as perfume is known professionally). The store displays exploit the beautiful bottles used at the luxury end of perfume, and selling takes place in an intimate cushioned alcove, more boudoir than sales counter. In the Palais du Royal in Paris, the Serge Lutens store is nestled in a side arcade – upon entering, visitors experience a dramatic change in atmosphere. Lighting is dark (and imbued with a regal, purplish hue) and the walls are full of decorative, almost ritualistic motifs. A thick but delicious fug of exotic scents, which constantly change, hang in the air. Although small, the store windows use hand-drawn illustrations created by Serge Lutens himself to add a personal visual detail.

Page 3 of 7

Retail - Alluring Perfumeries

13/07/2011 13:49


Lab-tastic Galleries of Scent Perhaps in order to add the gravitas of science to the mystical allure of perfume – a swathe of new stores are drawing design inspiration from art galleries in order to display perfume in a more ordered and considered way. When combined with the props and equipment found within the perfume laboratory, the styling denotes a sense of modernity and experimentation that is both intriguing and avant-garde. Making just this distinction is the Campo Marzio 70 store in Rome, which was refurbished in December 2010. Ordered shelving creates an interior calm and perfume bottles are presented as objets d’art. Marketing manager Lisa Bonfatti told Stylus: “We call it a Perfume Gallery, as it is much more than just a store. It is a modern temple dedicated to the art of perfumery in which every single fragrance gets the attention – the light, the atmosphere, the space – it deserves.” The decorative aluminium castings, used as display cabinets, were created by Italian artist Andrea Salvetti, and the store – designed by Design For Architecture – has a ‘conversation’ salon on the first floor where customers and perfume experts meet to learn more about the perfumes. Hints of perfume-laboratory rituals are equally evident at Jovoy Paris, a luxury perfume store, which launched in Paris in November 2010. Key features are its traditional parquet wooden flooring, lab-style benches that run down the side of the store and neat rows of bottles lined up as if ready for an experiment. At L’Olfattorio in Florence, its gallery style uses elaborate frames and shelving – made from an Italianate-style illuminated marble – to display adverts and group products together. The store samples perfumes from paper cupshaped testers stored in champagne flutes on the tester bar and boasts its own (unadvertised) museum in an adjoining back room.

Page 4 of 7

Retail - Alluring Perfumeries

13/07/2011 13:49


Steeped in History As a sector steeped in heritage, many perfume houses still embrace the longevity and history of their brand lineage – mining them for both artefacts and stories to consolidate display ideas. As consumers continue to respond to design concepts relating to heritage (refer to our report: How to Use Heritage), provenance told through exhibition style presentation, graphics and original packaging is still highly appealing. Often a traditional ritual, such as the dispensing of perfume juice from beautiful crystal glass urns, as seen at Caron stores in both its Paris flagship and in the perfume boutiques licensed to sell the brand, is a compelling visual anchor for display. Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in Florence is one of the oldest producers of perfume in the world, and it has been at its current location – once a Dominican monastery – since 1612. A true destination for scent enthusiasts, the store is a museum and retailer in equal parts with its inspiring antique perfume artefacts, original frescos and highly ornate cabinets presenting a master-class in atmospheric heritage.

Page 5 of 7

Retail - Alluring Perfumeries

13/07/2011 13:49

British brand Penhaligan’s, established in 1872, also works its heritage card extremely well via its compact but intoxicating ornate stores – which are littered with antique fixtures salvaged from the perfume-making industry. Its Covent Garden store includes a vintage sink to ramp up the sense of authenticity. Super-sized factice bottles (display dummies), which display the full perfume range add height, while the Royal Warrants for both Prince Philip and Prince Charles are framed on the walls, contributing to its historic credentials. Chandelier designer Madeleine Boulesteix – who specialises in lighting design created from salvaged objects – used Penhaligan’s own vintage bottles for a central chandelier, while a permanent exhibition area displaying original bottles and packaging seals the stores heritage-approved status.

Page 6 of 7

Retail - Alluring Perfumeries

13/07/2011 13:49


Stylus Summary Perfume selling is inherently wrapped in a sensorially oriented world. Consequently, design and display that embraces emotion via sight, sound and smell can help to clarify the picture more fully for customers.

Though heritage is still a strong trend, a new wave of designs – influenced by themes as diverse as science, nature and simple visual humour – are pushing perfume store design into exciting, modern territory.

There is room to be brave. Perfume evokes emotion and if your customer can handle it, then there’s room to be sensual, daring and fun.

ARTICLE REFERENCES Checkland Kindleysides Jo Malone Guerlain Intertrade Europe Roja Dove Serge Lutens Campomarzio70 Fueguia Jovoy Paris Olfattorio Penhaligon's Santa Maria Novella







Page 7 of 7


The best perfumeries