Guerlain, the renowned French perfumer since 1828, has opened its first Middle East boutique in Riyadh Park, Saudi Arabia. Dedicated entirely to fragrance, it pays tribute to the profession of a Perfumer through a fabulous presentation display, made possible thanks to the previously unseen archives from its heritage. It invites you to discover the world of Guerlain.
The perfumer, according to Guerlain, is an “alchemist, botanist, explorer, creator;” is “a fascinating, mysterious being, the fruit of whose work… leaves a lasting impression, arouses emotions, evokes sensations. Jicky, L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Shalimar, Vétiver, Samsara, Mon Guerlain, Santal Royal etc. are all iconic creations with the ability to take the imagination on a journey through time and space.”
At the new boutique, 110 fragrances are available out of the 1,100 created since 1828. Designed as a “fragrance library,” the only one of its kind in the world, Guerlain’s 110 creations are presented as 110 chapters in the history of French perfumery.
They are classified according to the perfumer’s 14 favourite raw materials. These natural raw materials are so beloved by Guerlain that they are collectively called “Guerlinade,” because they perfectly express “its spirit of creativity, its sense of daring, the art of overdosing and short formulas.”
The new Riyadh Park boutique offers customers a customisation and fragrance consultation service to guide them in their choices. Guerlain provides the materials – bottles, colours, perfumes, neck bows, tissue paper – and shares its know-how with the customers to enable “the artist that lies in everyone” to customise the look of their fragrance.
The process begins with the selection of the iconic “coloured bee” bottles, which are exclusively made for Guerlain. They are presented in a new collection specially created for this region in a 125 ml size and are priced at US $170. Three sizes – 250 ml, 500 ml, and 1 litre – are available in the white and golden Bee bottle collection.
Once the bottles are selected, it can be filled at one of the twenty-seven perfume fountains, each containing one of the house’s iconic fragrances. It is then time to add the personalized decoration. Customers can choose the ribbon – grosgrain, satin, wide or narrow – that will adorn the neck of the bottle; choose the bow – the tie knot, the bowtie or the twist; and choose the signature – one’s name or message can be engraved on-site, in the language of one’s choice.
Another unique service provided by the perfumery is Digital Consultation which is “fun, fast, incredibly accurate and effective.” It was designed by Guerlain to enable customers to create their unique and personal olfactory profile in just a few clicks; to guide them in their search for that signature fragrance.
The House of Guerlain was founded in 1828 by Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain at 42, rue de Rivoli in Paris. Assisted by his two sons, Aimé and Gabriel, the perfumery’s reputation quickly grew among the members of high society. Pierre-François was awarded the prestigious title of being His Majesty’s Official Perfumer for creating Eau de Cologne Impériale in 1853 for the French Emperor Napoleon III and his Spanish-French wife, Empress Eugénie.
Guerlain went on to create perfumes for other royalty, among whom were Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Queen Isabella II of Spain. The House of Guerlain was under the stewardship of a member of the Guerlain family from its inception in 1828 to 1994 when the LVMH group acquired it.