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GUERLAIN TURNS INTO INTERNATIONAL RETAIL CHAIN


In a recent interview on French television, Guerlain’s CEO, Laurent Boillot, announced what is the most radical change within the brand’s soul since the LVMH takeover in 1994, saying that the launch of Mon Guerlain marks "a new phase in the development of the house”. He explains that the brand is now gearing itself to become a major player on a huge, international market, and that La Petite Robe Noire was only the beginning. "La Petite Robe Noire was a revival, and Mon Guerlain is a manifesto to the world," Boillot says.

The great ambitions of Guerlain entail a new way of looking at fragrance creation. "We're fighting against the big houses with the same weapons, and we sometimes use the cinema term 'blockbuster'. Mon Guerlain is certainly designed as a blockbuster,” says Boillot. He describes how the scent was first composed in accordance with a marketing brief outlining a fragrance that would appeal to women all over the world, after which it was tested with customers at Guerlain boutiques (under the name Mon Exclusif). “We chose this fragrance because it was very well received,” says Boillot, and Guerlain then developed the ideas for the bottle and the marketing campaign. “After five years without a celebrity face, we have surprised the luxury industry by choosing someone who has rejected to be the face of many houses before signing with Guerlain.”

Already last year, Guerlain’s perfumer, Thierry Wasser, questioned the traditional Guerlinade concept, saying that it is stereotypical and reductionist, like "a thing, plop, plop, that we more or less put into every bottle." He advocates a looser interpretation of the Guerlain style that integrates contemporary fragrance trends, like caramel, cotton candy, fruity-florals, soft white musk accords, and mainstream fresh-woody men's scents.

Laurent Boillot further reveals that Guerlain will turn into a sort of retail chain, with more than 100 new Guerlain boutiques opening worldwide over the next ten years. In 2017 alone, six new Guerlain boutiques will see the light, the first one being in Brussels in May. See interview
(March 2017)


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