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Obvious: sustainable luxury from perfume to pack

Katie Nichol
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Obvious: sustainable luxury from perfume to pack

Premium fragrances that embrace sustainable materials and at a price point which resonates with European consumers is the idea behind Obvious, a new brand from French niche label Différentes Latitudes. Launched last month, the brand already has further scents and a refill option in the pipeline

Obvious debuted with a range of seven EdPs created by perfumers Amélie Bourgeois and Anne-Sophie Behaghel (Flair). The fragrances are made in Grasse, France using mainly natural ingredients and sport simple names; 'Une Vanille', 'Une Rose', 'Un Musc'...

Keeping sustainability top of mind, the scents are housed in a transparent oval flacon—the Verdi reference from Bormioli Luigi/Coverpla’s Ecoline collection. A lightweighted model made with 30% recycled glass, it features a screw neck allowing for the elements to be separated and more easily recycled. This type of opening also means the bottle has the potential to be refilled. The flacons are fitted with a screw pump (Aptar Beauty & Home) with invisible dip tube; Obvious plans to introduce refills next year.

The bottles are screenprinted black (Sanddec) using VOC-free resin and are topped with a monomaterial cap devoid of a plastic insert (Quadpack) made from wine-cork production off-cuts. “The impact of the cap says a lot about the product,” comments Obvious founder David Frossard. “It’s disruptive, trendy, natural and modern at the same time.”

The secondary packaging (Pozzoli) is wrapped in Fedrigoni’s Materica Verdigris, an FSC paper made from cotton, recycled fibers and pure cellulose. Given that organic inks are only suitable for traditional machine printing, a process that cannot be used with Materica, the case was printed with UV inks.

In terms of price positioning, the scents are less expensive than the average premium niche brand, retailing at €110 for 100ml, despite the costs associated with the materials, some of which are new to the market. “Everything was more expensive than with a classic fragrance, as it was often the first time a certain material was used, such as Quadpack’s monomaterial cork cap,” explains Frossard. “With the juice, we opted for simplicity, but with high-quality ingredients and organic alcohol.”

Obvious is targeting a European clientele, although Frossard believes the brand could ultimately have a much wider reach. “Today, most niche fragrances retail in excess of €200, yet with diminished purchasing power in Europe as a result of globalization, very few people can afford this kind of price. These niche players will gradually turn towards a Russian, Middle Eastern or perhaps American clientele, who typically prefer ostentatious scents and packaging, leaving European consumers without a niche offer," says Frossard. However, Différentes Latitudes' partners in Russia and the Middle East are expressing interest in the brand.

Along with private funds, the brand’s launch was financed via a campaign on crowdfunding platform Ulule, which also served as a communication tool to grow awareness ahead of launch and communicate on its sustainable positioning.

Obvious is sold at perfume bar Liquides (owned by Differentes Latitudes) and Le Bon Marché in Paris, as well as online. The brand is in talks with retailers to expand distribution, including internationally. It plans to lauunch new scents next year and a range of candles is also planned for 2021.

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BottleBormioli Luigi/Coverpla

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PumpAptar Beauty & Home

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CapQuadpack

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DecorationSanddec

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BoxPozzoli

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PerfumerAmélie Bourgeois, Anne-Sophie Behaghel (Flair)

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