• Mixing sleek design and bespoke augmented reality experience.

    Mixing sleek design and bespoke augmented reality experience.

    Mixing sleek design and bespoke augmented reality experience.

    Tom Ford opens its first standalone beauty store in London

    How your skin is aging a selfie at a time.

    How your skin is aging a selfie at a time.

    How your skin is aging a selfie at a time.

    Why taking selfies is bad for your skin?

    Shiseido is redefining beauty.

    Shiseido is redefining beauty.

    Shiseido is redefining beauty.

    WASO the new skincare line for millenials by Shiseido
    Feminine Fine Fragrance Trends in 2017

Tom Ford opens its first standalone beauty store in London


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Located in the in Covent Garden neighborhood,  at 3 The Market Building, Tom Ford Beauty first-ever standalone boutique offers exclusive Tom Ford beauty services.

With its sleek design and state of the art digital tools, the store offers an immersive experience to its guests. Each category of products (color, fragrance and make-up) has its dedicated room.

Close your eyes, trust your senses and let the iconic fragrances transport you to the Scent Laboratory.  With its  dramming bar you can discover the Private Blend Collection or book in  for a scent styling session.

The store is equipped with mirrors featuring augmented reality allowing guests to virtually try different lipstick shades. These mirrors can also record the makeup consultation you had with a make-up artist. The video is later on sent to you so that you can recreate the look once you are back home.




5 reasons to join the Beauty Insider community of Sephora

Sephora is always one step ahead in the game.

Most of the key beauty retailers implemented digital tools in their online strategy enabling them to create an in-store experience for their consumers and visitors.

According to Michele Scannavini, former CEO of Coty, brands and retailers can no longer rely on developing/selling  products people want to buy. The big challenge nowadays is to create content consumers want to share. 2/3 of millennials are skeptical regarding big corporations. Therefore it is essential for brands and retailers to find a way to reconnect with their consumers.

Consumers don’t want to talk to bots, they want to talk to people who look like them , inspiring people, real people. They want answers and they want them now. Sephora clearly understood it and recently launched its new platform Beauty Insider.


5 reasons to join the Beauty Insider Community


Just a few click and you are in. This first step is quite engaging. Every information you enter will enable to find the product that are tailored-made for you. For Sephora it is a great opportunity to draw a clear picture of who you are and address your every need whilst showing you content that truly matter to you.


  1. Personal Advice

Tired of browsing through hundreds of products , reading reviews not being sure if the people share the your beauty traits or needs. Well now you can, this feature allow you to sort product reviews based on your skin tone, skin type, hair color … No more bad surprises.


      2. Chat



But it doesn’t end here. Let’s say you saw a review but you want to know more. You can simply start chatting with the consumer who wrote it. Not only you can start a discussion you can also have a look at her profile to see how similar your profiles are.


Every time you help someone you earn points. As you get more and more involved in the community, you become to be noticed by others. Who knows you could be the next influencer brands are asking for collaborations. Obviously if you give bad advice you will be dealt with accordingly.

     3. Get inspired


This is probably the next best feature. Here you an see how other girls achieve their look thanks to tutorial videos,pictures featuring the products used. You can also join groups based on your beauty traits or interests.

     4. Events


The platform offers opportunity each month for their consumers to enter challenges like The Fall Look #Sweepstakes, live chats with their favorites brands…    

        5. A great source of insights for brands and retailers

Now if we look at it from a brand point of view, this is a goldmine of information that one could leverage to their advantage. This could be a great source of insights brands can tap into. Brands can see first hand how their products are doing  and who are their consumers. They can identify new trends and influencers that could promote their brand.


One thing for sure I see a great platform for brands that are willing to take a step closer to their consumers. In the next version I can clearly professional brand profiles being created, a new channel to exploit in order to create bespoke customer experience.



Shiseido acquired Award-Winning Beauty App MATCHCo



In 2013,  David Gross and Andy Howell (personalization and technology experts) founded MATCHCo, a U.S.-based startup that enable customers to scan their unique skin tones through MATCHCO’s mobile application in order to create customized foundation perfectly matching their skin tone(your name and date it was made printed on the bottle).

The foundation  contains beneficial anti-aging and antioxidant ingredients like peptides, Green tea extracts & Vitamin E, as well as skin-conditioning and hydrating ingredients such as ceramides, Bisabolol (Chamomile flower) and Lilum candidum flower extract (White Lily flower).

Shiseido expansion

A part of its Vision 2020, Shiseido acquired MATCHCo in order to strengthen its positon on the market and jump on board with the cosmetic customization trend. Capitalizing on MATCHCo expertise, Shiseido will provide its consumers with digital technologies enabling them to analyse their skin and obtain customized cosmetics products.  Shiseido expects to improve its consumer marketing by gathering insights through direct contact.



New Year New Me ! Annick Goutal invites us to share our mantra with our loved ones

2017 just started and we are ready to enjoy every little moments of it. It’s the right time to set the mood for the year to come. Annick Goutal invites you to pick the mantra that suits you best and share it with your loved ones, your friends via Facebook, Twitter , Pinterest or e-mail with the hashtag #AnnickGoutal .

The world of fragrances invites itself at Saint Lazare train station in Paris

100% Illusion by Robert Stadler


Robert Stadler

 Robert Stadler is a talented Austrian designer. studied design at IED and at ENSCI in Paris. “He explores the exhibition space in order to scramble the usual categories of art and design. He questions the status of the object as a work of art or a product as well as the border between preciousness and lowliness, elegance and vulgarity, the serious and the absurd. Questioning the object’s identity or even provoking their dissolution, are fields of interest crossing most of his projects” – wikipedia. He collaborated with Hermès, the Cartier Fondation, the Cesar Academy and more recently with Le Grand Musée du Parfum (The Great Perfume Museum) in Paris for this pop_up exhibition “100% Illusion”.


100% Illusion (source: Le Grand Musée du Parfum

Le Grand Musée du Parfum collaborated with Robert Stadler, the SNCF (national train company) to celebrate the recent opening of the museum (16th December 2016).

In this very busy place, these bells offer to people passing by a moment of serenity, a journey to the world of fragrances. Just pop your head in one of these bells and you will discover 5 different fragrance raw material:

  • Amyl Vinyl Carbinol (earthy, green note)
  • Lynalyl Acetate (Herbal, green, spicy note, it’s found in many flowers and is a key ingredient for Bergamot and Lavender essential oils)
  • Camphor (green and pungent note)
  • Coumarin (Smells like a mix between almonds, vanilla and freshly-mown hay)
  • The last bell is the harmonious mix of these 4 ingredients to create a lavender accord.

100% illusion: Saint Lazare Train station from December 2016 to February 2017.


Find your dream fragrance with Nose

Thousand of perfumes are released each year, did you really pick your dream fragrance ?

According to a survey done in 2015 by the Fragrance Foundation, you did and you didn’t. Finding The One is not a thing for most of the consumers, 90% of French consumers use several fragrances. Depending on their mood or the seasons they will use one or another. If you look at extreme cases like myself, it’s like having your own Sephora at home.

The big question is how do we pick fragrances ?

 The Fragrance Foundation found out some of the key motivations behind our purchase.  Brands spend millions of euros in advertising but at the end of the day, it all comes down to how we feel when we smell the fragrance.

  • You want to feel good and your fragrance is doing the trick.
  • You want to feel unique and your fragrance is the embodiment of who you are.
  • That one spray boosts your femininity or masculinity.We can look at it from a seduction point of view or just consider its impact on your charisma.

How many of us could describe their dream fragrance? Can you describe the fragrance you love with words a retailer could understand? How well would you describe it?

Consumers are becoming  expert in fragrances. However perfumes are way more complex than you would imagine. Sometimes you may find yourself speechless, putting word on emotions is difficult.

What if I told you olfactive diagnosis existed !

You have probably seen on retailers websites different approaches to address the “How can I help you?”


Sephora – Advice  (US web site)


Sephora French web site

It can be through forum with fellow consumers (see above) or simple diagnosis done in the store or via a mobile application. Sephora tried to come up with some kind of diagnosis for fragrance consumers, so did Marionnaud in 2012 with its “ScentLab”.


Marionnaud “ScentLab”


For this project, Marionnaud collaborated with Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent and Lancôme. This touch screen displayed personality questions and depending on their answers a profile was drawn and fragrance suggestions were made to the consumers. Once again the big challenge was to match personality traits to fragrances. Depending on your mood you might end up with completely different results.

The Nose Method

Nose is a concept-store located in Paris (20 rue bachaumont 75002) and founded by Nicolas Cloutier (Président and Co-Founder), Romano Ricci (Founder of Juliette Has a Gun), Mark Buxton (Perfumer who collaborated with LVMH, L’Oréal, Coty…), Silvio Levi (Founder of Calé Fragranze d’Autore), Antoine Calmus (the brain behind the diagnosis algorithm), Claire Delahaye de Villers and Didier Negiar.

Nose’s Vision: Focusing on the consumers and helping them finding their dream fragrance.

Nose, it’s 45 Niche perfume, cosmetics and home fragrance brands, 500 references, 1 olfactive diagnosis, 1 passion for fragrances.

  • Enter 3 fragrances you love (it doesn’t matter if you are not wearing them at the moment)
  • Your diagnosis: Tells you your preferred notes and olfactive families.
  • Your recommandations: 5 fragrances are suggested (Niche fragrance and Home Fragrance). You can buy a set of sample for 15€.
  • Evaluation: You evaluate each individual sample and score how much you dis/liked them. Your evaluation is taken into account. If you found your dream fragrance then you can buy the full bottle at a discounted price. If it is not the case you will have 5 new recommendations to evaluate.

I tried it and I loved it. Whenever you enter Sephora, Nocibe, Marionnaud … you find yourself overwhelmed by all the fragrances available and you probably stick to some big names. With this diagnosis I discovered niche brands I never heard about and I had this amazing opportunity to smell some captivating and unique scents. I didn’t find my dream fragrance yet but I am getting really close. The olfactive portrait gives great insights on what notes I like and I totally agree with it.

Let me know in the comment section what is your favorite(s) fragrance (s).

L’Oréal teamed up with Withings to create the first Smart Brush

Keep an eye on Withings


If you don’t know them by now, their latest collaboration with L’Oréal will definitely catch your attention.

Cédric Hutchings and Eric Carreel founded Withings in 2008. Capitalizing on their strong expertise in the new technologies and iot (Internet of things), Withings offers a braod range of “smart” products designed to simplify your everyday life and get the control back on your health.

L’Oréal does it again

Last year L’Oréal came up with its my UV PATCH for its brand La Roche-Posay. Just a quick reminder if you missed it, this patch is connected to a mobile application providing you personalized information regarding your UV exposure.

Somewhere around mid 2017, you will be able to enjoy its brand new CES 2017 award winner “Smart Hair Coach“. L’Oréal collaborated with Withings to develop the fist smart brush and  for its brand Kerastase.

The Smart Hair Coach is no regular brush, it features:

  • Microphones that will capture your hair’s sound waves in order to spot frizziness, dryness, split ends or breakage.
  • Gyroscope analyzing your move (force and speed).
  • Accelerometer counting the strokes.
  • Vibration guiding you through your brushing.

As soon as you start using the brush, it will connect to the mobile application on your smartphone via your bluetooth.

On the mobile application you will find all the data collected from your every usage and a personalized diagnostic of your hair and recommendations (products, tutorial..) to improve the health of your hair.

With this innovation L’Oréal hopes to boost Kerastase market share and to offer a new beauty routine for its consumers.

Few questions to consider

How much will it cost?

Is it designed for any type of hair (curly/ african hair…)?

Put your VR Glasses on and plunge into the world of Serges Lutens brand

Serges Lutens is among the first niche fragrance brand to offer such a bespoke digital experience to its consumers. Its flagship located near Palais Royal in Paris creates an immersive experience thanks to its Virtual Reality Glasses and its mobile application Perspective. With this innovation, Serges Lutens hopes to attract millennials.


With the mobile application, consumers can turn their smartphone into digital compass. The simple visit becomes a treasure hunt allowing consumers to discover promotional code hidden in the store. Through the app, we can take pictures and apply the iconic symbols of the Serge Lutens brand to our photos using unique filters. The mobile app users are invited to share their pictures with Serges Lutens community on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #perspectivesergeslutens.

With the Occulus, customers plunge into the world of Serges Lutens brand to discover emblematic places such as The Royal Palace, Colette’s apartment, the restaurant “Le Grand Véfour” and secret place hidden in the heart of the Medina of Marrakesh.

Dior has opened its first exclusive makeup store.


Many of the world beauty giants have already staged store openings, such as Chanel, Urban Decay (temporary), Giorgio Armani (temporary), L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline and NYX Cosmetics. As part of Dior’s strategy to attract millennials, Dior opened a new store located in the Westfield World Trade Center.


Mixing modernity and audacity, this new store creates an immersive experience for customers. Just a few steps in and they will feel like being part of fashion show. Neon lights, mirrored ceilings reflecting Dior’s muses, this new space transports the customers in the world of Peter Philips Creative and Image Director for Dior makeup.

The store features a Mix & Match video table enabling customers to try nail polish or lipstick on virtual model; a lip studio where they can play with different shades, textures or colors; Six professional makeup stations heighten the experience, offering professional services like face consultations or lash and brow styling.


The rise of Digital Scent Technologies and what it means for brands and beauty retailers

The omnipresence of digital tools in our daily life has tremendously changed our shopping experience. The digital has changed drastically the way customers consume products and interacts with each other. Nowadays we are talking about the power of the community and it is essential for businesses to integrate the community in their marketing plans. Have you ever smelled a fragrance you loved very much in a crowd and wondered what it was? Most of the advertisements we see on tv or read in magazines manage to stimulate with success most of our senses (Touch, Sight and hearing). The sense of smell is a little bit behind regarding the technology developed to incorporate it within the customer experience.  Sensory Marketing has still some progress to make.

Since 2010, many companies tried to build a bridge between the digital and fragrances through a broad range of innovations. These Digital Scent Technologies cover 3 key applications: Detecting, transmitting and receiving scents through digital tools. In March 2012, Dr Marvin Edeas initiated the project on olfactory digitization. The Digital Olfaction Society (DOS) key objective is to promote digital smell technologies which have a real impact on our lifestyle.

Sensory branding, when scents become a new dimension for the consumer’s experience

Fragrances as opposed to audio or visual stimuli are more difficult to deal with. Controlling how long and how strong we want the consumers to smell them is quite challenging. One of the main worries being the clash of odors.

The Californian ready-to-wear company Abercrombie & Fitch built up its customer’s experience around 4 of our 5 senses (Smell with its fragrance Fierce N°8, Hearing: loud electro music is played in the shop giving the impression to be in a night club, Touch with its clothes and Sight: most of the shop is lunged into darkness excepted the clothes).

Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Ultraviolet is the first restaurant of its kind attempting to unite food with multi-sensorial technologies. The restaurant engages not only the sense of taste, but also sight, sound, touch, and smell. 



Using scents as signal

Have you ever thought about replacing your ringtones by a scent, sending a fresh smell of roses to your love one or waking up with the smell of coffee?sensorwake

Capitalizing on the strong link we make between memory, emotion and smell, Sensorwake uses scents to wake you up motivated and in a good mood. According to them it takes around 2 min for someone to wake up.

Capture and share

Nowadays everyone can share pictures or video in a blink of an eye. Slightly behind some companies developed technologies enabling us to capture scent and re-create it for our own pleasure.

In 2013, Amy Radcliffe developed The Madeleine, an analogue odour camera. The Madeleine captures the odorants (molecules components of the scent) present in the Headspace. The Headspace is simply the volume of air above the scented surface/flower. It is composed of all the volatile ingredients evaporating in the air. The Madeleine analyses the Headspace and identify the composition of it. The customer sends the result to a laboratory that will later on compound the fragrance. Knowing the composition, you can share it with people.


 Following a similar idea, David Edwards, a Harvard professor and head of science/art innovation lab Le Laboratoire, just unveiled the first commercial version of his oPhone  a mobile messaging platform for sending aromatic emoticons. Sometimes you may find challenging to describe an odour with words and images. Thanks to its mobile application one can describes the olfactive notes. Then the description is sent to the oPhone and the scent can be smelled by the person you sent it to.

A leap in the future of Digital Scent Technologies

We covered key applications of digital scent technologies. All of them required some additional tools in order to work.These innovations set the scene for a groundbreaking one: The Integration of Digital Scent Technologies in a smartphone. In 2016, the smartphone penetration rate in the world was 28% against 70% in the US. It is expected to reach 34,6% in 2019.

Huawei, the Chinese telecommunication equipment company is currently working on a smartphone that will be able to smell, taste, hear and see like humans do. The smartphone will be fitted with an air sensor able to detect different smells and distinguish sweet from sour.

For brands and fragrance retailers, the challenge lies in their ability to offer a tailored-made experience at any given step of their consumers’ shopping journey. Nowadays fragrance consumers still need to go visit Sephora, Marionnaud or Nocibé in order to smell fragrances. Retailers could capitalize on these technologies and incorporate them in their mobile application.

We are not there yet but the future of Digital Scent Technlogies is very promising.

Here are 3 key applications we would like to see in the future:

  1. The Shazam of fragrances: Capturing fragrances wherever we are.
  2. Sharing Scent: This would enable brands and retailers to provide a fully immersive experience to their customers.
  3. Scent Diagnostic: Scent diagnostics are not new but if we could integrate them in our smartphone we could do our shopping from home without stepping in a shop. Our smartphone would suggest us fragrances we might like based on our purchase history or fragrances we Shazamed. We would then smell them from our smartphone.

From Fitting to customizing, Virtual Reality is revolutionizing the beauty industry

The digital has redefined the shopping experience for beauty products consumers. A recent study from Deloitte showcased that digital influenced 64% of all in-store sales in 2015.One step at the time new technologies are incorporated in the customer journey. From mobile applications to augmented reality, brands and retailers leverage these digital tools in order to offer a compelling experience to their consumers.   Virtual Reality is becoming mainstream, the cost of the equipment is getting more and more affordable. Beauty brands and retailers already started using it in order to create an immersive experience for their consumers.

Virtual Guide

virtual artistIn 2014 L’Oréal introduced Makeup Genius and its virtual mirror enabling consumers to digitally try color cosmetic products. A lot of mobile applications with similar feature were released later on.  In 2016, Sephora introduced its new app Virtual Artist , L’Oréal and  Snapchat created the first beauty filter for digitally applying makeup

Although these applications contribute to guide consumers through their shopping, a raising proportion of consumers would like to customize their makeup.

Virtually customized

Nail Revolution Beauty  - ExperienceNumerous brands have developed devices able to scan/copy colors and create customized makeup (Nail Revolution, Adorn 3D Printing Pen or Lancôme Le Teint Particulier) enabling consumers to match their makeup to their clothes.

Both combined 3D printers and these matching devices are the future of makeup. They represent a significant growth opportunity for beauty brands.  It is just a matter of time before they become the ultimate tool for consumers to create their unique style.


Nail Revolution lets you customize the colour of your nail polish


Nail Revolution Beauty Experience

If you ever dreamed about matching your nail polish colour with your dress, now it is possible. Capitalizing on  the savoir-faire of the Swiss company ColorixProvaine offers to its consumers the possibility to customize the colour of their nail polish.

Nail Revolution uses Colorcatch (colorimeter), this sensor scans the surface to copy and identify up to 5 major colour components.
In order to do so the sensor analyses around 50 000 pixels separately. Once done, the customer can pick what level of each major components she wants for her nail polish. The nail polish is prepared in 3 min. Nail Revolution is able to create up 1600 colours.

Nail Revolution should be released early 2017. One nail polish should cost around 20€.

One step at the time DIY is becoming more and more trendy. It would be interesting to see whether this Nail Revolution could find its alter ego in other colour cosmetics products.


Karim Bangoura

Karim Bangoura
Digital marketing executive with 4 years of work experience within world leading fragrance houses.