Founded in 1883 by the Carestia family, the Grasse-based printing plant got known in the 1980s as the creator of the smelling card, intended for consumers to test a perfume on a blotter impregnated with the fragrance. Printed, decorated, cut, or even pre-perfumed, the blotter has become an integral part of brands’ olfactory marketing. As a real port of entry to the product’s universe, it is designed with incredible creativity to give it an identity. And it is this will to spend a lot of time on research and development and to make high-end products in very large quantities that made Carestia so successful that it eventually became a reference for major groups. The company joined the Arcade Marketing Group in 2013, before it changed its name for Arcade Beauty in 2014.
“Becoming part of the Group made it possible for Carestia to optimize its production tool and unique know-how,” explains Philippe Ughetto, Arcade Beauty’s President EMEA.
A high-fidelity olfactory result
Neutral blotters (those that are printed, but not perfumed) represent 40% of the company’s business, and it also provides the industry with sample single-serving packs, which account for 40% of its turnover. Carestia’s production tool is equipped with machines that comprise the latest technologies and guarantee perfect control of all processes: offset, application of selective UV varnish, embossing, stamped gilding, lamination, cutting, folding, finishing, and conditioning.
“Our customers come to us with their own ideas, desires, and worlds to be expressed… then our integrated creation service takes care of transforming these elements into realistic commercial projects that can actually be marketed,” explains Marie-Hélène Marcelli, Director of Carestia.
The remaining 20% of the company’s activities are dedicated to the design, development, and production of pre-perfumed promotional objects, mainly on paper or cardboard, but also on textile, leather, ceramic, or wood. The Maison’s unique know-how lies in its impregnation technique and high fragrance quality in all circumstances.
Tests are performed in a laboratory before production to validate the quality of the olfactory result: top and back notes, preservation over time depending on the choice of material, ink, varnish… And the perfume must not alter the aesthetic of the print.
Once the material has been printed and cut, it is impregnated in the perfuming room with an exclusive technique. Carestia has also recently started using a micro-encapsulation process to deliver the fragrance more gradually.
Each testing and production phase is controlled and validated by perfumer-creator Isabelle Burdel to guarantee the perfume is identically reproduced.
Carestia’s industrial strategy is adapted to brands’ concerns in terms of presence, differentiation, and marketing. The company’s future prospects are positive, as estimations foresee a 20 million euros progress in its turnover. It should soon invest in its machines for more cutting accuracy and to meet a strong demand for blotters with sophisticated shapes and perfumed pop-ups.
New perfuming technologies will also be studied in depth.