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INTERNATIONAL
66 PARFUMS: LE LUXE
Julia Grandvuillemin

TATS-UNIS USA

EST DANS LA NICHE PERFUMES: LUXURY IN THE NICHE...

70 LA CONQUTE DE LOUEST

HOW THE WEST IS BEING WON

FORMES DE LUXE - MAI - MAY 2012

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PARFUMS: LE LUXE EST DANS LA NICHE


Aux tats-Unis, les marques de niche revisitent les fondamentaux du luxe : zoom sur une haute parfumerie exigeante, slective et audacieuse. La nouvelle vague cultive dlectives accointances avec le vieux continent. Pour mieux sen manciper ?

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LUXURY INTERNATIONAL PERFUMES:NICHE... IN THE


Une valse trois temps dont les premires mesures remontent Floris, Creed, Penhaligons et, plus rcemment, aux maisons Diptyque, LArtisan parfumeur, Goutal ou Etro, pour ne citer queux. Des noms qui sont rests europens et, pour la plupart, franais, jusquaux annes 1990 avec lavnement, Boston, de Fresh, lune des premires maisons alternatives de parfums made in USA. Un tournant dans lhistoire des parfums de niche puisque, depuis, la tendance sest si bien acclre, outreAtlantique, que New York

ans sa bible des parfums du monde1, Michael Edwards en recense pas moins de soixante. Soixante marques alternatives qui, de Paris New York et de Los Angeles Milan, rinventent la parfumerie de prestige au gr de fragrances ciseles comme autant duvres dart olfactives. propos de ce segment qui sest considrablement dvelopp dans les annes 2000, Michael Edwards est catgorique: Si la France a invent la parfumerie de niche, cest lAmrique qui la construite, et lItalie qui sest charge de la commercialiser.

In the USA, niche brands are revisiting the fundamentals of luxury: we focus on a perfumery which is resolutely demanding, high end and audacious. The new wave is cultivating selective links with the old continent: how better to emancipate themselves?

n his bible of the perfumes of the world1, Michael Edwards counts sixty. Sixty alternative brands which from Paris to New York and from Los Angeles to Milan are reinventing prestige perfumery with fragrances which are crafted like pieces of olfactory art. It is a segment that grew considerably in the 2000s and on which Michael Edwards is adamant: While France invented niche perfumery, it was America that built it up and Italy which marketed it. It is a three-step waltz whose origins date back to Floris, Creed, Penhaligons and, in the more recent past with the houses of Diptyque, L'Artisan parfumeur, Goutal and Etro, to name but a few. They are names which remained European and mostly French until the 1990s with the advent, in Boston, of Fresh: one of the first made in USA alternative perfume houses. It was a turning point in the history

MAI - MAY 2012 - FORMES DE LUXE

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semble en passe de ravir Paris un statut de chef de file jusqualors incontest : Si les Amricains continuent de considrer le made in France comme le nec plus ultra, le made in New York est devenu un srieux concurrent, sinon un gal, observe Frederick Bouchardy, crateur de la trs prcieuse ligne Joya et cofondateur de lElements Showcase, jeune salon new-yorkais spcialis dans les parfums de niche. Ce crneau, dsormais, ne manque ni dacteurs ni dadeptes, ce qui confirme, si besoin tait, la loi selon laquelle plus les marchs sont matures et saturs, plus les consommateurs recherchent de lauthentique et du singulier : Le marasme du march institutionnel a ouvert une voie royale aux parfums de niche et leurs personnalits singulires, a fortiori aux parfums amricains, souvent plus irrvrencieux que ceux dEurope, commente le designer amricain Marc Rosen2.
Le dtour amricain Lavis est partag par cette autre figure lgendaire du design quest Pierre Dinand, lequel signe, en 2012, le nouveau flacon du plus franais des parfums amricains moins que ce ne soit le plus amricain des parfums franais , Fracas de Piguet: Avec le march de masse, les mainstreamers ont perdu de leur prestige. La faute qui? la qualit de produits dits de luxe qui, pour certains, ne tiennent plus leurs promesses. En raction, une nouvelle vague de crateurs revient aux sources mmes du luxe en misant sur la qualit des jus grce des concentrations et des maturations optimales.

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Cest le cas de la maison Bond N 9, pionnire inconteste du luxe alternatif lamricaine : A contre-courant des parfums commerciaux, nous renouons avec la parfumerie dart en utilisant exclusivement de hautes concentrations (18 22 %), celles des lgendaires fragrances vintage des annes 1920 et 1930, affirme-t-on chez Bond N 9. Clin dil de lhistoire : si les parfums Bond N 9 sont fabriqus New York et inspirs par cette ville chaque fragrance a t conue pour capturer lnergie et la sensibilit dun quartier , cette maison, fonde en 2001, la t par une Franaise, Laurice Rahm. Et ce sont des nez franais qui officient dans les coulisses de la collection. Alors, pourquoi New York? Cette ville ressemble au Paris de la fin du XIXe sicle, assure Laurice Rahm. Mme vibrante nergie, mme charisme. Comme Paris il y a cent ans, New York se rinvente sans cesse, cest la pointe de lavant-garde. Dessin par Laurice Rahm, le flacon des Bond N 9 est limage de Big Apple, minemment multiple et pourtant unique : Une bouteille emblmatique fabrique par Luigi Bormioli et conue pour voquer une lgante silhouette new-yorkaise : notre flacon ressemble une personne, et nos bouteilles sont habilles sur mesure. Comme la composition de chaque fragrance, le traitement graphique de chaque flacon est un vtement faon haute couture, tout entier consacr lvocation dun lieu particulier, de R
(1) Fragrances of the World 2012, 28e dition. Michael Edwards. (2) Glamour Icons. Marc Rosen.

> Le Studio Joya signe la collection FvsS, des essences penses pour entrer en rsonance avec la peau. La cramiste Sarah Cihat cre les flacons yin et yang de ces huiles de parfum : des vanits en porcelaine mate facettes non polies, dotes dune dague vernisse, dore lor fin 22 carats. > Studio Joya have produced a collection of essences designed to be in resonance with the skin. The ceramicist Sarah Cihat created the yin and yang bottles for these perfume oils: vanity boxes in matte porcelain with unpolished facets, each with a glazed application wand, gilded with 22 carat gold.

of niche perfumes because since then the trend has accelerated so much on the other side of the Atlantic that New York appears poised to take over from the hitherto unchallenged Paris as leader: While Americans still consider Made in France as the nec plus ultra, Made in New York is now a serious contender if not an equal, says Frederick Bouchardy, creator of the very precious Joya range and co-founder of the Elements Showcase, a young New York fair dedicated to niche perfumes. It is a niche which is lacking in neither actors, nor followers, confirming the law which states that the more markets are mature and saturated, the more consumers will seek out authenticity and singularity: The slump in the institutional market has opened up an avenue for niche perfumes and their singular personalities. This has been demonstrated by American perfumes which are often more irreverent than European perfumes, says the renowned American designer Marc Rosen2.
The American route It is a view shared by that other legendary figure of design Pierre Dinand, who this year signed a new bottle which is the most French of American perfumes - unless it is the most American of French perfumes - Fracas by Piguet: With the mass market, mainstreamers have lost their prestige. Whose fault is it? The quality of so-called luxury products, some of which no longer keep their promises; in response, a new wave of designers is going back to the very origins of luxury by producing quality fragrances via concentrations and optimal maturation.

And this is precisely the case of the house Bond No.9, the undisputed pioneer of alternative luxury in the US. By going against the grain of commercial perfumes we have re-connected with the art of perfume, using only high concentrations (18 to 22%); concentrations which are those of the legendary vintage fragrances of the 1920s and 1930s, Bond No.9 says. In a nod towards history, while Bond No.9 perfumes are manufactured in New York and inspired by New York - each fragrance is designed to capture the energy and the sensitivity of an area of town - this house was founded in 2001 by a French woman: Laurice Rahm, and there are also French nose behind the scenes of the collection. So why New York? New York today is like Paris at the end of the 19th century, Laurice Rahm says. The same vibrant energy, the same charisma; just like Paris one hundred years ago, New York reinvents itself constantly, and this is the cutting edge of the avant-garde. Designed by Laurice Rahm, the bottle for Bond No. 9, like the Big Apple, is highly R
(1) Fragrances of the World 2012, 28th edition. Michael Edwards. (2) Glamour Icons. Marc Rosen.

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TENDANCE STANDARD STANDARD TREND
Aux tats-Unis, le retour lessence de lessence saccompagne dune nette tendance lpure du flacon. Contrainte budgtaire ou nouveau code marketing ? Le designer Marc Rosen porte un regard critique sur cette volution : Je dteste cette tendance qui consiste adopter un mme flacon en en modifiant simplement lornementation. Cest le contre-exemple de la vocation dun packaging de luxe. Le designer Pierre Dinand ajoute : La tendance au minimalisme est un parti pris quasi anti-design. Mais soyons clairs : si lon achte souvent un parfum pour loriginalit de sa bouteille, cest pour son jus quon le rachte. La tendance actuelle traduit des choix financiers : crer un flacon original constitue un investissement considrable. Do une rorientation vers les standards des verriers. Un choix au profit de la sauce, comme lappelait Guerlain, qui se fait parfois au dtriment du flacon Au dtriment du flacon mais lavantage, bien rel, des verriers franais et italiens In the United States, a return to the essence of the essence is accompanied by a marked tendency towards purity in bottles. Budgetary constraint or new marketing code? Marc Rosen, designer, takes a rather critical view of: I loathe this tendency which consists of using the same bottle and simply changing the ornamentation. It is the very antithesis of the vocation of luxury packaging. And the designer Pierre Dinand adds: The trend towards minimalism is an almost anti-design stance. But lets be clear: while you may often buy a fragrance for the originality of its bottle, its the fragrance that makes you buy it again. The current trend reflects financial choices: creating an original bottle requires a considerable investment; hence a shift towards glassmakers standard products. It is a choice that favours the sauce - as Guerlain put it - which is sometimes made to the detriment of the bottle... To the detriment of the bottle, but to the real benefit for French and Italian glassmakers... and a number, which corresponds to the number of ingredients in the formula. There is no mysterious name, no pretention: every fragrance is a testimony to the particular experience that the client has had in our boutique. They are shops born in New York, even though the Swiss Eddie Roschi also works with European noses, especially French ones (Roucel, Bugey, Mnardo...): Labo was going to open in Paris but after a market study we chose New York; it is ultra responsive and more eager for new products while Europeans seem to have more of a need to be reassured... In a change of scene but not necessarily of mindset, on the west coast, specifically in Venice, Alexandra Balahoutis created Strange Invisible Perfumes in 2000. Her credo? - a prestigious perfume of which certain models are made to measure - a direct descendent of herbalism and what designer defines as authentic, narrative and botanic: Our range is the result of a contemporary reflection on the original art of distillation and perfumery, says Alexandra. It is a return to the essentials in the form of an avant-garde alchemy which favours pure essences and with the purest respect for the environment: Strange Invisible Perfumes is an eco-conscious range even in terms of its packaging. This organic trend is now very much in favour in the United States. With bottles manufactured by Verreries Brosse - two lines corresponding to the ranges Pure Perfumes and Eaux de parfums, now presented in bottles which are etched and

R son histoire, de son atmosphre. Un travail graphique significativement diffrenciant sur un march o la mode packaging est au minimalisme: Le packaging doit tre au service de lhistoire que lon raconte, enchane Eddie Roschi, cofondateur du Labo. Chez nous, le flacon sefface pour donner entire expression au jus. Nous avons privilgi la fonctionnalit dun standard de chez Saverglass: son ct flacon dapothicaire collait parfaitement lesprit du Labo, qui consiste remettre le mtier de parfumeur au cur du process en donnant accs lenvers du dcor. Des parfums plus alternatifs que luxueux stricto sensu, penss la manire dun parcours initiatique puisque, de la mise en alcool la mise en bote, tout est ralis devant le client, dans le laboratoire mme du Labo : Sur ltiquette qui porte la date de fabrication et le nom du client, rien dautre napparat que le nom de la note matresse et un chiffre, correspondant au nombre dingrdients de la formule. Pas de nom fumeux, aucun effet de manche : chaque parfum est le tmoignage de lexprience particulire que le client a vcu dans nos boutiques. Des boutiques nes New York, mme si le Suisse Eddie Roschi travaille aussi avec des nez europens, notamment franais (Roucel, Bugey, Mnardo): Le Labo devait simplan-

ter Paris mais, aprs une tude de march, nous avons opt pour New York. Cette ville est ultra-ractive et plus avide de nouveauts, alors que les Europens semblent avoir plutt besoin dtre rassurs Changement de dcor mais pas forcment desprit: sur la cte ouest, plus prcisment Venice, Alexandra Balahoutis a cr Strange Invisible Perfumes, en 2000. Son credo ? Une parfumerie de prestige dont certains modles sont confectionns sur mesure , directement hrite de lherboristerie, et que la cratrice dfinit comme authentique, narrative et botanique : Notre ligne est le fruit

> De ses deux passions pour les fragrances et la photographie contemporaine est ne une ligne de parfums-images quUlrich Lang a voulu minimaliste et intemporelle en ce qui concerne les flacons, mais dont les coffrets invitent des voyages grand angle > From his two passions for photography and contemporary fragrance came a range of perfumeimages which Ulrich Lang wanted to be minimalist and timeless in terms of bottles, but the boxes were an invitation to wide angle travel...

R diverse and yet unique: An iconic bottle manufactured by Luigi Bormioli and designed to evoke an elegant New York silhouette: our bottle resembles a person and our bottles are dressed in made-to-measure. Like the composition of each fragrance, the graphic design for each bottle is like haute-couture clothing, entirely devoted to the evocation of a particular place, its history, and its atmosphere. Graphic design is a significantly differentiating factor in a market where the trend in packaging is for minimalism: Packaging must support the story being told, says Eddie Roschi, cofounder of Labo. For us, the bottle disappears into the background leaving the fragrance to express itself fully. We preferred the functionality of a Saverglass standard: their apothecary bottle goes perfectly with the spirit of Labo which is to the put the profession of perfumer back at the heart of the process by making what goes on behind the scenes backstage accessible. They are perfumes which are more alternative than luxury in the strictest sense, designed with an initiatory approach from the alcohol right up to bottling, with everything being done in front of the client, in Labos laboratory: On the label which carries the date of manufacture and the customers name, nothing else appears except for the name of the master note

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dune rflexion contemporaine sur lart originel de la distillation et de la parfumerie, commente Alexandra Balahoutis. Un retour aux sources en forme dalchimie avant-gardiste qui privilgie les essences pures dans le plus pur respect de lenvironnement: Strange Invisible Perfumes est une ligne co-consciente jusque dans ses packagings. Une tendance organique trs en faveur aux tats-Unis.
Laboratoire(s) de tendances Sagissant des flacons fabriqus par les Verreries Brosse deux lignes correspondant aux gammes Pure Perfumes et Eaux de parfums, dsormais dclines en bouteilles graves et peintes la main lor fin la cratrice ajoute : Nous songeons repenser nos flacons, mais llgance et la discrtion resteront des critres de choix premiers. Je nai jamais t partisane dun flacon portant tout le caractre prcieux de la fragrance quil renferme. Cest ce qui est lintrieur qui est important Mme cho de la part de Carlos Hubber, le fondateur dArquiste : Pour chacun de mes parfums, cest lhistoire qui est fondamentale. La bouteille constitue le vecteur par lequel cette histoire atteint notre sicle. Et pour cause puisque, chez Arquiste, chaque parfum est prcisment un moment dhistoire : lItalie mdivale, avec LEtrog, la rencontre entre Louis XIV et linfante Marie-Thrse, avec Fleur de Louis, la Russie tsariste, avec Aleksandr Des parfums conus comme autant de voyages dans le temps et dans lespace: Il fallait forcment une bouteille intemporelle: un flacon-vaisseau qui puisse se mettre au service de tous ces moments historiques que nos formules recrent. Je lai trouv dans la collection Bormioli. En tant quarchitecte, le choix dun flacon unique sest naturellement impos Carlos: La bouteille cre un lien identitaire fort en mme temps quelle exprime notre approche contemporaine de chaque histoire. Le logo et la typographie soulignent ce concept fondateur dinstants rescaps du pass. Des fragrances qui, comme celles du Labo et de nombre dautres parfumeurs alternatifs savrent tre unisexes Unisexe, donc, et uni-flacon, la parfumerie amricaine indpendante aurait-elle vocation avancer masque ? Certes non. Botes et coffrets
> Une bouteille italienne qui sefface devant le jus, fonctionnelle avant tout. Nos parfums sont destins exalter la personne qui les porte et non lui imposer leur loi, commente Larry Paul. Une philosophie qui a valu Odin de remporter, en fvrier, le FiFi Award 2012 des fragrances indpendantes pour Amanu 06. > An Italian bottle melts into the background, letting the perfume shine through, and is functional above all else. Our fragrances are meant to exalt the wearer and not to impose their rules on them, said Larry Paul. It is a philosophy which February earned Odin the 2012 FiFi Award for independant fragrances for Amanu 06.

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hand painted in fine gold - the designer adds, We were looking to redesign our bottles but elegance and discretion remain first level criteria. Ive never been a fan of a bottle that has all the preciousness of the fragrance which it contains; its whats inside that matters...
A laboratory of trends The same thinking can be heard from Carlos Hubber, the founder of Arquiste: For each of my perfumes, its the story which is fundamental. The bottle is the vector through which the story has reached our century. And rightly so, because at Arquiste each fragrance represents a moment in history: medieval Italy with LEtrog, the meeting between Louis XIV and the Infanta Maria-Theresa with Fleur de Louis, and Tsarist Russia with Aleksandr. They are perfumes conceived as voyages through time and space: We absolutely needed a bottle that was timeless: a bottle-vessel that can be put to the service of all these historical moments which our formulas recreate; I found what I was looking for in the Bormioli collection. As an architect, the choice of a unique bottle was natural to Carlos: The bottles create a strong identifying link whilst at the same time expressing our contemporary approach to every narrative. The logo and typography emphasise the founding concept of moments from the past. The fragrances such as those from Labo and a number of other alternative perfumers are also proving to be unisex... Unisex and uni-bottle, do American independent cosmetics have a hid-

qui nen finissent pas de prendre du galon sont l pour lattester. linstar des parfums-images dUlrich Lang, les Series du projet artistique global caritatif Six Scents ouvrent la voie une exprience olfacto-visuelle intgrale: fabrique en France et srigraphie Los Angeles, la bouteille (unique), est un standard envisag comme un champ de possibilits graphiques, une toile vierge, estime Kaya Sorhaindo, lorigine, avec Joseph Quartana, dun projet imagin comme un terrain de jeu olfactif visant croiser les disciplines pour explorer les frontires de la perception et de nos motions. Des variations graphiques codiriges par Metaproject (lagence de Kaya) et les Australiens de 3Deep Design, qui spanouissent au cur mme des coffrets: Le principe des Six Scents Series quatre au total avec celle qui sort en avril est le suivant : une thmatique gnrique donne que six stylistes diffrents interprtent pour donner naissance six fragrances ralises en collaboration avec des parfumeurs, lesquelles seront chacune restitue visuellement par un artiste diffrent chaque anne. Le photographe Justin Edward John Smith, pour la Serie 2, lartiste Robert Knoke, pour la Serie 3 et le collectif AG11, pour la dernire Serie en date: chaque srie est une dition limite (2000 exemplaires numrots). Le succs du projet ne sest pas fait attendre puisque, ds sa premire dition, Six Scents a remport le Lion de bronze du meilleur packaging de cosmtiques aux Cannes Lions 2008 p Christel Trinquier

den vocation? Certainly not, and boxes and box sets constantly attest to this. Like the image-perfumes of Ulrich Lang, the Series of the global artistic - and charitable - project Six Scents open up the way for a total olfactory-visual experience: made in France and screen printed in Los Angeles, the bottle (which is also unique), is a product envisaged as a place for graphic possibilities, a blank canvas, says Kaya Sorhaindo, who was at the origin, along with Joseph Quartana, of a project envisioned as an olfactory playground aiming to cross disciplines in order to explore the boundaries of perception and emotions. They are graphic variations co-directed by Metaproject (the Kaya agency) and the Australian 3Deep Design, which are at the very heart of the box sets: The principle of Six Scents Series - four in total including the one coming out on April - is the following: a generic theme given to six different designers who then interpret it, giving birth to six fragrances made in collaboration with perfumers, which are each then interpreted visually by a different artist every year. The photographer Justin Edward John Smith for Series 2, the artist Robert Knoke for Series 3 and the collective AG11 for the latest Series to date: each set is a limited edition (2,000 numbered copies) and success for the project was not long in coming since from its first edition, Six Scents won the Bronze Lion for the best cosmetic packaging at the Cannes Lions in 2008. p Christel Trinquier

FORMES DE LUXE - MAI - MAY 2012