You Have Arrived. At the Haute Parfumerie Travel Destination.

2023 . 11 . 23 | written by Laurence Arrigo Klove

Add to my selection




The mission of Essencional is about promoting innovation and high creativity in the development of niche perfumery. Hence, we are quite strict in our evaluation and in our opinion regarding a new perfume niche concept. Well, we are pleasantly surprised to see the opening of a shop in an airport environment dedicated to perfumery creations that are not meant to please everyone but to be appreciated and consciously chosen for their originality and exclusivity. We know that having knowledgeable sales associates available for perfume consultations is also a core element of the offering. We are eager to check the success of the concept and its extension to other airport destinations. The shop is the first of its kind in Europe* within a passenger, or ‘airside’, space and was developed by Avolta** in collaboration with the Zurich airport. Opened in May 2023, the new ‘Haute Parfumerie’ offers an invitation into an immersive fragrance discovery so much so that the airport traveler can risk to forget his final destination. Time flies and the plane is boarding… But for now, let’s linger and indulge inside the perfume store…

An Unforgettable Luxury Fragrance Discovery.

A quote by Coco Chanel sets the tone of the experience awaiting the curious customer who is about to enter a perfume discovery journey. Aptly located in-between La Prairie and Estée Lauder boutiques, on the second floor of the Zurich airport airside center, the 80 square meter shop of the Haute Parfumerie invites the client into a dedicated, spacious and elegant space. In fact, it recreates to perfection a high-end down-town retail niche perfumery boutique atmosphere, in opposition to an airport duty free perfume location.

This new concept is in major contrast with the usual airport perfume experience, characterized by a quick self-service purchase, within a saturated space full of major international brands. It is to be pointed out that in this environment, customers are above all looking for price deals before they move along, as fast as possible to the exit tills…

Instead here, we take time, possibly take a seat, indulge, hesitate, before ultimately deciding to make a purchase or not. We may only keep a memorable perfume experience in our head. It will be full of dreams and that is more than enough.

Embark on an Irresistible Travelling Experience.

The Haute Parfumerie is an illustration of what artistic perfumery is about. It showcases a beautiful world that attracts fragrance lovers who want to enjoy an experience, full of emotions, art, and beauty. Something special, unique, and memorable backed by expert-knowledgeable staff, outstanding product assortment and innovative services. Something totally worth spending the time, paying a visit and a ticket. As expected, given the brands selected and the customers attracted, the average purchasing basket is high. The high-end brands that have been picked include Acqua di Parma, Amouage, Atkinsons, Creed, Diptyque, Ella K, Initio Parfums Privés, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Montale, Parfums de Marly, Penhaligon’s, Tiziana Terenzi, Serge Lutens, Vilhelm Parfumerie, Off White, Thameen and more... The brand list will naturally evolve over time to follow fragrances trends and match the perfume preferences of the passengers. Above all, the shop wants to continue to surprise and trigger the clients’ curiosity.

The ‘premiumization’ strategy of the Zurich airport is completely synchronized with the one of Avolta. A win-win scenario which took one year from the original concept definition to the actual opening of the store. The financial objectives of the business plan are all met. The airport clients’ affluent profile and expectations were matched with the right concept. Here is the expression of two senior experts from each company:

'We are seeing continued and significant customer interest in premium, rare and exclusive fragrances and the creation of this Haute Parfumerie concept store is our response' tells Romina Gabarro, EMEA Head of Beauty for Avolta.

Zurich Airport is committed to delivering the very best shopping experience for the many travellers that visit our airport each and every day, and this new retail concept takes the whole experience of discovering and purchasing fragrance to a totally different level’, says Heidi Köpple, Zurich Airport Head Commercial Centers.

A Perfume Specific Design Made of Soft Curves.

The design of the Haute Parfumerie shop is a fundamental element of the concept. The interior concept comes with soft tones, curved arches, elegant furniture and sitting areas. It was specifically designed by The Design Solution studio. They drew their inspiration from the shape of the bell glass, an element belonging to the fragrance creation process. A core element of the design, ‘The Table’, is really the heart of the store, placed right in the center of the space. It is to be underlined that the furniture and fittings have been carefully selected with an environmentally friendly focus, with the incorporation of energy savings items such as light fittings and power sources.

The ‘PlayTable’. Explore and Play with Fragrances.

The exciting fragrance journey comes with a ‘Fragrance PlayTable’ discovery. It brings a new and unique way to play and indulge in luxury fragrances. This engaging and interactive technology is used to help customers discover the right fragrance for themselves or for gifting. The multi-sensory ‘Fragrance PlayTable’ was developed by Puig, an international company specialized in fragrances, and allows to explore the seven main fragrance families: woody, floral, oriental, aromatic, leather, citrus, and chypre. It lets clients plug in their preferred brand name to receive suggestions of fragrances they might like. Alternatively, one can select a preferred note within the fragrance families and obtain perfume recommendations. The ‘PlayTable’ offers an innovative and entertaining experience to the customer that will most probably be a complement to the perfume consultation offered by the highly trained staff.

A New 'Phygital' Immersive Fragrance Experience.

The definition of ‘phygital’ is one where the physical experience of the retail store combines itself with the playful digital game. This ‘all in one’ immersive experience, touching, clicking, seeing, smelling, playing, exchanging, all come together in a multi-dimensional fragrance discovery based and driven by the customer. The popular “Fragrance PlayTable” delights the customers as much as the possibility to have personalized engraving on fragrance bottles, making the perfume even more unique both for gifting or self-purchase.

The Haute Parfumerie Illustrates Business Strategies.

For Avolta, choosing the Zurich airport for its first ever ‘Haute Parfumerie’ shop is a testament to the very close partnership that has been established between them.

The innovative concept is very much in line with Zurich airport’s overall shopping experience ambition. It aims to offer a shopping experience, unique, of high-quality, modern, and practical. An experience coherent with the ‘Swissness’ identity.

Likewise, the Haute Parfumerie is completely aligned with the Avolta travel experience ‘revolution’ encapsulated into their ‘Destination 2027’ strategy. With engaging and interactive technologies, it sets their ambition for being the perfect traveller’s companion throughout the journey before reaching the destination.

No Turbulence in Sight. Only a Sensuous Indulgence.

The sky can be turbulent and bumpy. Not the experience at the Haute Parfumerie or so it seems. Perfume sales so far are robust, and business is buoyant meeting the expectations of clients who are happily smiling. It will come as no surprise that the store is the first of several to come worldwide. Four more airports are next, in major locations throughout the world; Heathrow T3 (scheduled for Q1 2024), Vancouver, Antalya T1 and Istanbul (later in 2024). Avolta, make it happen soon please.

The Perfume Take Off is Expected to be Steep.

Well, now that we have experienced such an interesting niche perfume experience at the airport in Zurich, where shall we go next? Pick your next airport. I mean your next ‘Haute Parfumerie’ Travel destination.


For those who are lucky to travel to the Zurich airport now, here is a map to find the Haute Parfumerie store:

Interaktive Karten – Flughafen Zuerich (

*Such upscale niche perfume concept in an airside space exits already in Korea (operated by Shilla DFS, Lotte Group, in Shinsegae), and in China (in Hainan, developed by AS Watson).

**In September 2023, Dufry has changed its company name into Avolta, combining Avolta with Autogrill, to encapsulate the company expanded vision.