2021 . 04 . 09 | written by Karen Marin

Add to my selection

Essencional's original content




How will we test products in stores in safe, hygienic ways? How can samples be distributed to ensure consumer comfort? What innovative, creative solutions can be found? These very questions were at the heart of the fourth edition of the competition "Think Tank: how will we perfume ourselves tomorrow?” sponsored by COTY and organized by Easyfairs Oriex, the group behind the PCD trade fair in Paris dedicated to the worldwide perfume and cosmetics packaging community. On the occasion of this competition, students from L’École Supérieure Européenne de Packaging (ESEPAC) and l’École Supérieure du Parfum (ESP) worked together to find real solutions to the current dilemma facing the cosmetics and fragrance industry now: how to test fragrance and other products in-store while respecting hygienic and environmental restrictions.

A total of 59 fifth year students from the two schools were divided into five teams, each challenged to use their creativity and ingenuity to come up with a detailed brief and video presentation in answer to the challenge. Final projects were submitted to a jury of industry and media professionals who will judge the projects from an esthetic, practical and feasibility standpoint. Jury member, Vincent DELAVENNE, Vice-Président Coty Luxury Packaging, stated in the press release, “We were able to discover 5 innovative projects. The brief was perfectly respected and the solutions presented were of high quality. The very detailed projects revealed both very technical aspects, but also interesting marketing concepts that could be retained by some brands in search of new ideas. Our “future noses” and “future packagers” will be excellent ambassadors in our industry tomorrow.”

Each project was presented in a seminar about touchless sampling during the PCD Digital Days event March 23rd. Here is a short description and link to the video presentation of each submission.

The first entry is called Le Scenter. It kind of looks like a microphone with a large opening at the top. The consumer can scan a QR code which will signal Le Scenter to diffuse the fragrance. The unit is touchless, adaptable, refillable, and self-cleaning. The team behind the project also proposes a Scent Hub to animate space in a boutique in which Le Scenter is grouped with a screen to show a branded video as well as a sample dispenser. With Scent Away, the unit can be added to outdoor campaigns, such as bus shelters, and will include messaging to drive the consumer to the nearest shop.

The second proposal is called Le Parfum Sans Contact. A vitrine that can fit into shelf space or display areas houses the flacon and a communication visual from the brand. A motion detector will trigger a mechanism to spray onto skin or a blotter. This is completely touchless, hygienic and simple to use, plus it provides a means for branded messaging in the vitrine.

The third concept is called the Safe Touch. A five-sided interactive unit displays product - be it makeup, fragrance or skincare - which has been treated with an antibacterial coating. Below each product there is a dispensing system which issues individual doses either onto testing strips or directly onto skin by way of a touchless system. The eco-friendly unit is constructed from recycled plastic and wood, and testing strips are made from recycled cardboard.

The fourth entry is called the OSMOBOX. Imagine a wall of individual vitrines, each showcasing a different fragrance. The consumer can pass their hand or a blotter under the motion activated dispenser for a safe and touchless spray of the fragrance selected. The vitrines are modular and can be customized with branded elements.

The final proposal is called MEET BEADSTHOVEN. Designed to be touchless, safe, and fun, a colorful wall of tubes holds fragrance encapsulated vegetal beads of various colors. The consumer selects a fragrance to test, then he puts his hand in front of the corresponding detector which automatically dispenses a bead that imparts the scent onto the blotter.

At the end of the digital presentation, attendees were asked to vote online for the project they felt best answered the industry’s needs. The final submission, Meet Beadsthoven, won the popular vote, but which project will the jury select? Final selection will also consider factors such as cost of development and implementation, practicality, functionality and other constraints to ensure usability and deployment in actual retail and marketing configurations. The winning submission will be announced in June.

Essencional is an ardent supporter of education, mentoring, and practical learning experiences that challenge our future industry leaders to grow and surpass us. We wish the best of luck to all of the entries and participants!