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Hermès embraces concrete for H24 contactless fragrance sampler

Katie Nichol

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Hermès embraces concrete for H24 contactless fragrance sampler

Hermès’ retail sampler for its new men’s fragrance, H24, was redesigned to be contactless in light of hygiene constraints linked to the health crisis. We take a look at the inner workings of this innovative sampling solution.

Combining gray concrete and green LED lights, Hermès’ futuristic fragrance sampler for its new men’s scent echoes the design codes of H24’s fragrance packaging, from the flacon’s lozenge-shaped plate to the green and gray secondary pack.

Luxury consumer experience agency Byzance was behind the design of the fragrance sampler, which uses dry air diffusion technology. Originally conceived with a capacitive trigger — meaning that the fragrance was released by touching the sampler’s concrete surface — the design was modified in light of the current health context to become contactless thanks to the addition of an infrared sensor.

When the sensor or capacitive trigger are activated, a set of LED RGBW lights — intended to evoke the rising of sap in spring — are triggered along with the diffusion of the scent thanks to a cartridge, clipped over a fan, that contains polymer beads encapsulated with a pure perfume concentrate.

Weighing in around two kilograms, the device is made by pouring concrete into a mold – the work of a French company – with the resulting imperfections in the material making each piece unique. The H24 on the facing is engraved in the mold, while a second mold was used for the lozenge-shaped plate on the top of the sampler where the fragrance is emitted.

“The diffuser’s innovative form was a real challenge; from creating the front gap using a single-part mold to producing the lozenge-shaped plate, which is also made of concrete,” Byzance co-founder Julie Gesnouin tells Luxe Packaging Insight.

The hollow concrete shell houses the inner workings of the fragrance sampler, including the lights, diffuser and cartridge. The device is mounted on a wooden plinth and can be plugged in or powered using a rechargeable battery offering between 48 and 72 hours autonomy.

The fragrance sampler launched early February in France at Hermès shop-in-shops at retailers including Printemps, BHV and Galeries Lafayette. It is set to roll out to around 30 points of sale.

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