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Helen Kupfer Haas

A sensory journey in Paris

The quality of the customer experience in increasingly theatrical outlets is one of the key factors of success for luxury retail. This why I’d like to share some very interesting retail experiences from a short selection of Parisian beauty shops.


This concept store is a must stop on any trip to Paris, it has a restaurant with a water bar in the basement and the shop offers a wide range of global trends, including fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Any cool brand that wants to enter the global market is dreaming of a place on the shelves of Colette. The store is also known for its musical atmosphere (Karl Lagerfeld is a fan) and fig scent (from Diptyque) that actually began as a trick to hide the arrival of the basement food odor. On the ground floor of the store there is one of the best sets of candles in Paris.

The beauty area in back of the store on the first floor and you have to resist the attraction of the fashion area before accessing this temple of beauty, which offers a shop in shop Le Labo, and niche cosmetic brands such as Rodin, Shigeta and Grown Alchemist, not to mention the “collabs” (collaborations between brands and designers) for special editions, such as the Estée Lauder makeup inspired by Courrèges fashion house or the Adidas perfume designed by Jeremy Scott. The outlet provides with a casual and a bit snobby service but the show also comes from other customers including fashionistas and celebrities from all around the world. The website (which offers a home delivery service in Paris) also features a selection of what is available in the brick-and-mortar shop, in the same modern atmosphere.

Colette, 213 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris

Officine universelle Buly 1803

A favourite of the French aristocracy for centuries and even of famous writers of the 18th century, the Officine Bully brand was relaunched in 2014 under the name Officine Buly (one letter less) by the same couple who also revived the famous candles brand Cire Trudon. Upon entering the store the walnut wood furniture and the floor tiles give the (false) impression that nothing has changed over the centuries. The products and their packaging also align on this vintage and pharmaceutical positioning: here the buzzword is "prescription”. The atmosphere is the same on the website.

The product offering includes white clay ointments, dental opiates, alcohol free perfumes, scented paper, all of them being paraben, phenoxyethanol and silicone free and offered at prohibitive prices… but the visit is free.

Officine Buly 1803, 6 rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris

Aesop Abbesses

The fifth Aesop Parisian outlet opened in Montmartre, rue des Abbesses. On this occasion the architecture firm Cicuta collaborated for the third time with the Australian brand, which was founded in 1987 in Melbourne and recently acquired by Natura.

The Aesop shop on Rue des Abbesses in Paris © Aesop

The Aesop shop on Rue des Abbesses in Paris © Aesop

The brand’s range features face care, hair care and body care, with formulas derived from botanical sciences. Through extensive training, sellers are able to provide personalized advice, however customers never feel harassed and are offered plenty time and information to make their purchase. All the products can be tested and their sober packs perfectly illustrate the brand’s philosophy and samples are offered generously with every purchase.

Aesop - 15, rue des Abbesses 75018

La Belle Parfumerie du Printemps

Since the end of 2011, contrasting with large beauty chains such as Sephora and Marionnaud, Paris famous department store Le Printemps chose note to enter in the discount and promotion race, but to offer in its 2,500 sqm “Belle Parfumerie” a rich selection of niche fragrance brands featuring names such as Serge Lutens, Frederic Malle, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Jo Malone, Diptyque, Penhaligon Christian Dior “Collection Privée”, the most exclusive fragrances by Guerlain, as well as the complete collection of Hermes perfumes alongside venerable brands such as Caron, Robert Piguet and Houbigant.

Registered customers are invited to special events with the presence of famous perfumers.

La Belle Parfumerie du Printemps, 64 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris

Makeup Forever

The professional and artist makeup brand, created by Parisian makeup artist Dany Sanz is now owned by the LVMH group. The brand offers an incredible range of colours and textures (usually waterproof) and many personalized services. In the shops, where the products are exposed as genuine watercolours, it is also possible to register to attend intensive make-up courses, for three days or eight weeks, whether you are a show business professional, a makeup artist or just a consumer. Shop assistants are professional makeup artists trained by Paris Academy, the brand’s school. You have to live at least once the experience of being a movie star with false eyelashes and sequins, while enjoying a cup cake and a glass offered by the shop.

The atmosphere is always fun and the team has a unique look. Customers are invited to special events and are offered small gifts on their birthday. The website also provides many tips, information on trends, through numerous videos and makeup tutorials.

Make up Forever, 5 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75004 Paris

If you do not have a planned trip to Paris, visit the sites and have fun!

Helen Kupfer Haas

© 2015 - Premium Beauty News -
about Helen Kupfer Haas
Helen Kupfer Haas

Helen Kupfer Haas is a commercial and marketing consultant and distributor for luxury goods between French and Brazilian market. She’s the founder of HKH, a commercial, marketing consultancy and communications company focuses on tapping the potential of new and emerging markets for luxury lifestyle brands.

Agency’s website: helenkupferhaas


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