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Fragrance and personal care

Maison Margiela takes stab at sustainable status in new content for ‘Replica’ refill debut

January 6, 2023

Photo of Maison Margiela Paris' refillable technology The brand’s lucrative fragrance collection is getting a boost, as “Replica” refills arrive for Maison Margiela Paris’ four bestselling scents. Image credit: Maison Margiela Paris


Parisian fashion brand Maison Margiela is aiding olfactory operations with a new invention, in an attempt to make memories last a bit longer.

The brand’s lucrative fragrance collection is getting a boost, as “Replica” refills arrive for Maison Margiela Paris’ four bestselling scents. The Maison claims that, as compared to purchasing four separate bottles of those included in the new sets — either “Lazy Sunday Morning,” “Beach Walk,” “Jazz Club,” or “By the Fireplace” — branded refills reduce glass, plastic, paper and metal consumption by a total of 32 percent.

Reduce, reuse, recycle, refill
“Replica” is getting an upgrade in the one area where solutions could most aptly apply.

Packaging remains one of luxury’s largest problems. The issue extends into consumer packaged goods of all kinds and, on a macro level, almost all corporate entities functioning in today’s business landscape.

ESG road maps and sustainability initiatives abound, 90 percent of companies are projected to fail in meeting their 2025 sustainability goals, due in large part to an industrywide dependence on fossil-based plastics and single-use packaging (see story).

A number of companies are trying it a different way, the Maison among them, which comes as no surprise — its founding designer knows a thing or two about taking the road less traveled by.

Margiela’s proposed solution out of its fragrance department stands out from many market options in shape. Though waste-replacing design contrasts other refillable packaging versions spotted across the industry to date, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Perhaps the variance in function is what sparked the brand to upload “how-to” campaign content on Instagram. Thankfully and in addition, the “Replica” line’s outer packaging features detailed instructions regarding how one should work the apparatus.

Selling for $170.00 per online listings — the brand notes each unit holds a $220 value — the 100ml refill provides enough liquid product to fill a 30ml glass perfume bottle over three times.

Regionally, the UK is first in line for “Replica” refills — sales have begun across the region, and will go worldwide at a later date.

Since its 2009 founding, Maison Margiela Paris has delivered fragrance under the L’Oreal Group (see story) portfolio.

Inclusive of the four folded into the brand’s latest execution, all “Replica” scents carry an experiential title, playing into the line’s popularity.

Photo of Margiela refillables Inclusive of the four folded into the brand’s latest execution, all “Replica” scents carry an experiential title, playing into the line’s popularity. Image credit: Maison Margiela Paris

The “Lazy Sunday Morning” eau de toilette offers a mix of Lily of the valley and orange flower accords. Ambrette seed absolute brings in a musky warmth.

A more floral selection, “Beach Walk” likely strikes its smeller with bergamot and lemon notes upfront, before revealing the cedarwood essence and white musks to be found deeper within.

“Jazz Club” stays true to its name, referencing the scent of cigars with touches of tobacco leaf absolute and pink pepper.

In December 2022, the company revealed “By the Fireplace” as its bestselling “Replica” variety, per reports from Clique Media’s WhoWhatWear.

The vessel holding each milliliter of “liquid gold” now falls even further in line with the company’s values and Belgian founding designer’s ethos, as Maison Margiela is consistently in search of innovative breakthroughs, even across sectors oft-overlooked (see story).

Industry of innovators
A category notorious for driving fashion’s total sales volume each year, alongside handbags and other accessories, perfumes are relatively lower in price than, say, ready-to-wear lines, allowing most-all consumers a bite-sized slice of the luxury experience.

A bevy of luxury brands both within the personal care category and beyond have moved to adapt to new eco-realities, transforming packaging.

At the top, French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has collaborated with partners like specialty material provider Eastman to implement sustainable packaging options across the conglomerate’s brands, Christian Dior being the first to introduce Eastman Cristal Renew copolyester, which features 30 percent certified recycled content (see story).

Peers like beauty group Estée Lauder Companies have teamed up with packaging technology company Pulpex in crafting the group’s first widely recyclable paper bottle (see story), while those outside of the cosmetics space are even hopping in. That same year, Italian fashion house Valentino announced the rollout of new recyclable packing, including shopping bags, boxes and tissue paper made with sustainable materials.

White shopping bags were to be produced with 55 percent recycled paper, of which 40 percent was to originate from post-consumer waste and 15 percent from the recycling of refused production materials. Its cardboard boxes and tissue paper were said to begin being made using raw materials from sustainably managed forests (see story).

While methods, effectiveness and timelines may vary across the board, clear in its own value proposition, Maison Margiela Paris' launch of “Replica” refills approaches the packaging problem a bit differently.

In a move that, ironically, mirrors down-market philosophies to be found on the floors of U.S. big-box retail stores, the brand parlays a concept central to, say, a Costco or Sam's Club, adding a high-fashion sheen.

When in doubt? Buy in bulk.