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Brief Published: 8 Nov 2019

Haute Beauty: Luxury Beauty Flagship Launches, Paris


Paris’ reputation as a beacon for luxe beauty is renewed this month with the opening of two wow-factor flagships. French fashion giant Celine has established a haute parfumerie selling a suite of scents created by artistic director Hedi Slimane, while avant-garde Japanese boutique Dover Street Market transfers its curatorial gaze from fashion to beauty for the first time.

Celine: The Rue Saint-Honoré haute parfumerie, which opened at the beginning of November 2019, marks a notable return to the fragrance fray for Celine, which hasn’t launched a perfume since 1964. The homecoming arrives with 11 – all of which are unisex and considered both day and night scents. These are housed within an extraordinary yet compact boutique, aesthetically echoing the Art Deco design of the perfume bottles.

Each amber-coloured vessel is displayed regimentally on mirrored plinths, which creates the illusion of infinitely multiplied product (the brand refers to it as the “perfumer’s organ”), while the monochromatic drama of Grand Antique marble dominates the walls. There’s also a metal sculpture by Canadian artist Rochelle Goldberg, commissioned especially for the space.

Dover Street Market (DSM): The very first DSM flagship dedicated to beauty is located in the Marais district, stocking both big luxury behemoths including Gucci, as well as cult players such as French hair artist Julien d’Ys. The minimalist, neutrally coloured interior displays product inside a forest of tactile pillars embedded with oval shelves. True to DSM’s idiosyncratic visual merchandising, some are decorated in woven coverings, while others are clad in clay tiles or feature protruding bumps.

As luxury beauty growth outstrips fashion sales, an increasing number of premium players are launching beauty-only flagships – as evidenced by Chanel’s clubhouse-like Atelier Beauté in New York, launched in January 2019 (see our Retail City Guide). Parisian points of sale account for 5% of the global luxury market (Business of Fashion, 2019).

See also Selling Scent: New-Wave Seduction and Beauty Flagships

Celine, Paris
Dover Street Market, Paris