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Fragrance and personal care

Guerlain leverages the past to look into the future

December 17, 2018

Olfaplay, Geurlain's new platform. Image credit Guerlain


French perfumer Guerlain is tapping into the strong relationship between scent and memory with a new application that hopes to convey emotion through audio.

Guerlain is engulfing fragrance fans into its world with a variety of stories centered on perfume. The perfumer has created a new digital platform, dubbed Olfaplay, that invites a variety of speakers to share their stories in relation to scent, looking to make an audio impression in a time where social media has created shorter attention spans.

Scent and memory
In the hopes to make a lasting relationship with fans and consumers, Guerlain has created the Olfaplay platform, known as a digital radio “where fragrance stories come to life.”

Perfume lovers of all kinds are invited to speak on Guerlain’s podcast series, including its perfumer Thierry Wasser, Princess Esther Kamatari, employees of the Moulin Rouge and chef François.

Mr. Wasser discusses his work and the secrets behind it. Princess Esther Kamatari talks of her memories in Africa in relation to perfume.

The Moulin Rouge shares aromas of its backstage and costumes from the show. Meanwhile the chef talks of the scent of his vanilla cakes.

At press time, Geurlain has published a total of eight episodes, with each guest telling a personal story driven by perfume in French.

Each episode is under 30 minutes and is in the style of an interview, with each guest discussing their stories with the Guerlain host.

Users can listen by downloading the mobile application or going to the desktop site, both named Olfaplay.

In addition to listening to content, consumers can record and share their own stories. After creating a clip of up to nine minutes, the user can submit it to the platform.

After a moderator approves and edits the story, it will be publicly available to other users in the community.

Podcast and luxury
Guerlain’s take on content creation is future thinking, and follows a few other luxury brands looking to make stronger connections with luxury consumers.

For instance, department store chain Barneys New York added entertainment to its repertoire of offerings earlier this year.

Barneys took on podcasting with a new series dedicated to a sophisticated, yet lively discussion. Fashion, culture, style and design are all topics covered in “The Barneys Podcast,” which launched on May 2.

LVMH-owned Champagne house Veuve Clicquot also delved into the history of one of its most influential leaders in an extensive audio narrative.

“The Veuve Clicquot Tales” tells the story of Madame Clicquot, nicknamed the “Grande Dame of Champagne,” who took the reins of the brand at an early age and left a mark with innovation and ambition. While most luxury podcasts have centered on interviews with today's movers and shakers, Veuve Clicquot has instead leveraged the format for immersive heritage storytelling (see story).