Friday, March 22, 2013

Changes at Guerlain & Goutal: Repackaging & New Boutique Image

Two well-known French brands belonging to bigger business groups are doing a twist on their presentation and in some cases possibly a rethinking of their products. Guerlain and Goutal need no introductions, as any perfume lover is familiar with their well-loved iconography. Yet, this seems about to change in some ways.

 To take first things first, Guerlain is changing the pattern of making and selling one of its lower sellers, Jardins de Bagatelle (reviewed on these pages). "As of 2013, the original Jardins de Bagatelle bottle is taken out of production. It is being replaced by the bee atomizer, with a green label. It will only come as Eau de Parfum, while the Eau de Toilette is being discontinued." [source]

Jardins de Bagatelle eau de toilette is therefore no more and the revamping into an Eau de Parfum in the bee bottle can only mean one thing: a single size and a spiked price. [Lady Jicky, if you're reading, please stock up on Jardins de Bagatelle in Eau de toilette]. Well, at least they didn't move it into the Les Parisiennes line which is boutique-exclusive and much more expensive. Cessation of the production of a difficult and unique bottle for the fragrance in favor of a more generic and easily recognizable one is probably adequately reasoned by the cost vs. profit equation.

On the conceptual front, Peter Marino is in the midst of renovating the legendary 68 Champs-Elysées headquarters in Paris; works are in full swing as the reveal is set to be revealed July 2014. The last renovation of the flagship Guerlain was completed in 2005 by Andrée Putman, right when the sponsoring from LVMH practically signaled a new era for Guerlain (even though the take-over was in mid-1990s, it took some years for the new direction to start showing). Perhaps with Putman recently deceased, the renovation is indeed a new leaf.

Annick Goutal, on the other hand, is enjoying a renewed expansion thanks to solving its distribution problems a while ago under new patronage. The first step of renovation comes with Les Colognes Goutal. Not entirely new, since the Colognes reprise the beloved scents of Eau d'Hadrien, Neroli and Vetiver, all classics in their own right, yet the repackaging of Les Colognes Annick Goutal proposes a more distinctive and more generous presentation: the bottles become larger, at 200 ml of liquid, more elongated, with a simpler, solid matte gold cap and a white label with the Annick Goutal insignia in gold and a curvaceous gold edge.The colognes will retail at 135 euros.

The whole line will be color-coded anew for a more distinctive look and the boutiques will follow the new look, come April 2013. According to Christina Möller-Theulle, international marketing director for parfums Goutal, the new concept will be for the shops to become an experience in their own right through a facelift of the displays and the color-coding of the collections. The Saint-Sulpice shop marries the ironwork staircase with the butterfly wings which have become an emblem for Goutal, while the rue de Castillogne boutique juxtaposes the concrete floors inlaid with gold ivy with a carved, semi-fluted gigantic display. The company is very much interested in the Asian market, seeing as Goutal is the leader in niche fragrances in Japan with their Petite Chérie, and are accordingly planning on opening "selling booths" in both China and Thailand.

With thanks to Mr.Guerlain and AlbertCAN for the Guerlain info and pic.


  1. Dear Shrine

    One does hope that this isn't the beginning of a general trimming back and marking up of the range at Guerlain!

    It would be a sad day if this saw the cutting of a range of different concentrations and a retrenchment of the availability of entire fragrances.

    Guerlain have always been amongst the most careful guardians of perfume's heritage I sincerely hope this will continue.

    The news from Goutal does look quite promising though!

    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  2. TPD,

    if you have watched the developments for some years now, you will have noticed that beginning in 2005 there were already some curious moves on Guerlain's part, specifically marking up previously competitively priced fragrances by revamping their packaging/distribution and discontinuing products routinely.
    The path is a perilous one, but Guerlain has an even more precarious position than most, being so historical (and much more expansive than Caron, which isn't as ruined as recent bibliography would want it to be! -ahem)

    So far there has been a bad turn around 2007-2010 (too many reformulations and a few silly expensive launches) and a rather good turn lately, which I hope continues. But it's an incontestable truth that the house has by now separated very distinctly between the mainstream market and the more "discerning" audience. ;-) (oh well Chanel does the same)

  3. There was some talk that the Goutal vetiver would have a lower concentration than the current (which is quite good and rooty)-we'll see. Eau d'Hadrien had been damaged by restrictions, so turning it into an eau de cologne fresheneer could actually be a good thing.

    And you mention Caron... well, sooner or later I will have the chance to smell the fabled vintage parfums.


  4. OK - I have taken my heart meds! LOL
    I love Guerlain and Goutal so I sort of felt "sick" when I started to read this morning.
    Jardins in EDP is good and a different bottle is OK but I am worried about Goutal .
    I have noticed they love this "limitied edition" thing now! rrrrr
    A change in bottle shape for Goutal could be a good thing but I just hope they do not drop this and that in their range - Eau du Ciel, Camille, Violette etc.
    My Parure is gone from Guerlain but - who knows - they just might bring it back with the "new look" at Guerlain !!! Stranger things have happened Helg :)

  5. Little Red03:38

    Jardins de Bagatelle in eau de parfum is nice but it is disappointing that the more distinctive bottle is disappearing.

  6. Anonymous09:55

    Revamping a brand can be a good thing in some instances , look at the reformulated Jicky... oops bad example. Never mind LOL

  7. Anonymous10:00

    I'm glad to hear Annick Goutal are updating bottles, but is it only the eau de cologne? I've always thought the appearance of the bottles let the perfume down - those big shiny gold effect caps and graceless ribbed bottles - they remind me of children's drawings!

  8. M,

    the classic Vetiver is so quirky it needs its own post (will do!). ;-) Hope they don't mess with it.
    The new Hadrien should be quite better, since I'm sure they worked around the restrictions.

    The vintage Carons are a very interesting thing: I can't do the rosy stuff they've been bringing out but the older carnation stuff, that I can do :-)

  9. M,

    it's YOU I'd been thinking of all the time I was thinking about these news.

    I fear that Parure is out of this world for good. I loved it so it's a pity...They just can't produce it anymore with the restrictions at a decent, recognizable level, so they have gracefully let it rest. (perhaps it's best we're left with our memories of it intact).

    We'll see about the Goutals. No reason to be negative. ;-)

  10. Little red,

    I'm afraid that the cost of production of an individual glass mold wasn't worth it to the company balanced with the relative low sales. So the more "generic" (not generic, you know what I mean) bee bottle will do.

    It was a nice Guerlain bottle too! (Preferred it to Champs Elysees' for instance)

  11. In the nose,

    ah, we think alike!
    But let's wait it out. For now.

  12. Rosestrang,

    the whole line is being repackaged as per my info. They're also color-coding it. There's some sense behind this as it had become confusing up to a point (see Les Orientalistes, 4 identical bottles but for the names).

    Funny though, many people state the old Goutal bottles among their favorite designs (I did like the men's versions very much myself, the labels and artwork). But I suppose they're unifying to cut down on confusion and present a more unisex factor to the colognes.

  13. Anonymous00:19

    Jardins has great memories for me-I read British Vogue, and they described a sophisticated woman who wore it, and red lipstick as the epitome of chic. So i wore it, and could not quite live up to it-it was so chic and so french! I still have a tiny bit, and it just floods me mind with memories of those times.

    Goutal has a very special place in my heart, too. A friend of mine wore Hadrien, and she smelled so good i just had to have some too. They had decent distribution in canada-I hope that does not change. Tubereuse is a great favourite of mine. I used to spray it on with abandon with Rose Absolue. It was probably a bit much, but it seemed like a good idea at the time!

    Thanks for another good read, and for the food for thought,


  14. Thank you Carole for your comment.
    I admit your combination sounds forceful, but who's to say it couldn't work? I should try it out and see for myself!!


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