Perfume push: The Alchemist Atelier eyes ‘collaborative approaches’ for expansion

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Alchemist Atelier currently has one flagship store in Paris but wants further retail expansion to take a different strategy (Image: The Alchemist Atelier)
The Alchemist Atelier currently has one flagship store in Paris but wants further retail expansion to take a different strategy (Image: The Alchemist Atelier)

Related tags: Perfume, personalised perfume, Fragrance, retail, expansion

Paris-based personalised perfume workshop The Alchemist Atelier has already expanded into several European countries online and is now exploring options for a physical footprint push, its CEO says.

Opened in 2018, The Alchemist Atelier is the brainchild and consumer-facing brand of Noustique – a Spanish perfumery joint venture created by German home appliance manufacturer BSH Hausgerate and fashion and fragrance major Puig.

Headed up by two ex-engineers from BSH’s innovation department, Noustique and its brand The Alchemist Atelier offered a €350 at-home personalised perfume device that enabled consumers to design and blend formulas from a collection of pre-designed accords and add-ins. The same device was used in its Paris store where consumers could come in and design their own perfumes.

The Alchemist Atelier in France, Spain, Germany, Italy and UK

Alvaro Suarez, CEO of Noustique, said the brand had recently expanded into four additional markets beyond France – Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK – and was now working on a plan to get The Alchemist Atelier on the ground in these countries.

“We are focusing right now on how to open some physical touchpoints for new countries through more collaborative approaches,”​ Suarez told CosmeticsDesign-Europe. “We’re not going to open new flagships because, from a resources point of view, we want to be more flexible.”

Asked if pop-up stores might be an option – touted by retail experts as a strong choice in a post-COVID world​ – he said: “Actually, we’re evaluating different options and approaches, but yes this type of in-shop model or any collaboration with physical touch points and verticals is on the cards. We’re looking to see where our concept will fit better for consumers, from an experience perspective.”

Consumers are ‘getting tired’ of standard perfumes

Any physical expansion of The Alchemist Atelier, however, would be centred on a “really consumer-orientated experience”​, Suarez said, because the brand was on a mission to change the fragrance market, for industry and consumers alike – bringing a fresh personalised and digital spin to it.

Hugo Lasala, chief technology officer at Noustique, previously told CosmeticsDesign-Europe fragrance consumers were “getting tired of standard solutions”.

“…Why would I buy a big bottle of perfume to always use the same product? Why don’t I change it every day? It’s more fun. You change your clothes every day, why don’t you change your perfume depending on the occasion or mood?”

A consumer experiencing the world of personalised perfumes in the Paris store (Image: The Alchemist Atelier)
A consumer experiencing the world of personalised perfumes in the Paris store (Image: The Alchemist Atelier)

Lasala said consumers were deeply motivated by feeling unique, and this was a motivation set to stay and be sought after in perfumes. 

Further expansion goals beyond the ‘incubation years’

Suarez said the goal was to take a slow and steady commercial approach to expanding The Alchemist Atelier; penetrating and establishing strong physical presence in each country before looking elsewhere. Whilst next-steps remained unclear, he said further expansion would likely be elsewhere in Europe, the Middle East and America at a later stage.

“The purpose of the first few years – we call them incubation years – is to understand the consumers and work out the most promising group of people. And once we understand this and the market potential, then it’s when we think about the ramp up,”​ he said.

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