The perfume of booze: strategy, story, packaging
Partnering in Paris, Tokyo and NYC with Pierre Dinand,
we talked about — and worked together on — the idea of enchanted containment, ideating iconic containers of
concretized, luxurious value as being a symbolic, even an archetypal and
The bottle can say it all.
a man who could rightly claim to
have designed the containment for at least 50% of
the best perfume bottles in the world, the essential and emblematic [nay, iconic] packaging
at shelf for fragrance.
Content is housed, encased —
in a manner that is both strategic and magical;
and perfume bottle design stands as
a kind of exemplar in being a core statement of
the heart of the brand, its story and
the memorability of its resonance to audience,
the customers that will buy into, be held by, the idea of the scent.
Entire campaigns have been built around the body of the bottle, and what wonderment could be held within.
That theory applies elsewhere.
There’s a story there — heritage, new legacy, fashion power and the staging of pure stylistic statement — each, a possible bridge to relationship. And brand sharing.
The core selling power of any brand is the story told, the holding of that story, and the willingness of the audience to share.
Perfume, yes — but what about distilled spirits?
So too, the nature of distilled essences.
I believe there is layering in the message of the distilled “spirit,”
the potent, the compressed power that is, in many ways, very much like the value of perfume.
Distilled perfection of essence:
In my traveling and working history, I go back, in time and place, to this icon,
that Girvin advanced for Suntory —
the classic working salari-men,
club + bar-man’s whisky, Japan.
The best, the most classic, the most memorable
Size, scale and shoulder height
There is a valued luxury crossover for
the idea of distilled spirits and
the “distilled” formulation of perfumes.
Scent plays dramatically into both arts.
The making of perfume [and “spirits” making] is
a progressive and marvelous [marvel-making,] filtered-compression of essential character:
scents [and spirits] that emanate from the highest quality or distinctively unusual ingredients,
herbs, special plants and flowers being macerated, steamed, percolated, or amalgam- pressed into
a volute “journey” of scented experience — for the expert sniffer, or sipper,
a progressive revelation of the layering of the scent / flavour story and
the essences and ingredients and
the procession of their revelation.
It is a journey; and who tells, holds and shares the telling of that journey?
Perfume is immediately associated with fire — etymologically,
per-fume, par-fum = it is “through smoke.”
So too, the distilling — the process of heating,
the alchemy of the ingredients, the standing nature of time and bottled maturation. And, like perfume, cost + value ratio — does the design strategy parlay the sense of value implied in the deepened character of production?
What now, the state of the art of distilled “spirit” impressions?
My question, in looking at these [below] — gathered and sent to me by a friend in the F&B trade —
“do they tell me a story of
deepened value, ingredient quality, legendary making, magic and alchemy,
the sense of the hand-wrought and
the depth of care in ingredient gathering?”
Question to you: do they?
When you study them, you’re attracted to…?
I believe that we’re [and they’re] missing the bridge to the legendary, the hand-wrought and crafted detailing to the complacent,
invented storytelling, poshness without detailed “wowness.”
What in the string above, does the job, to your take — anything, unforgettable?
I do like bees, and their home-making skills,
so that’s a clear mnemonic for me.
Tim | GIRVIN Decatur Island Studios