- Consumer & Luxury
How to package a scent
When visual artist Andrea Maack was branching out her art to include fragrance design, she immersed herself in the world of packaging hoping to find a provider that could match her passion for presentation, sustainability and a premium unboxing experience. At a luxury packaging fair in Monaco, she finally got her wish – at the Billerud booth.
STRAIGHT TO THE SOUL
While art rarely allows itself to be easily defined, it often involves provoking the senses. And there is no stronger direct link to our core, than the sense of smell.
There is a physical explanation for this: smell is the only one of our senses that bypasses the thalamus – our body’s information relay station. Everything else we experience is processed there beforebeing sent to the brain for interpretation, but smell goes straight to the soul. That’s why smells can trigger such powerful and immediate sensations; memories, lust, heartache.
No wonder it is such a tempting arena for the artist wishing to create an impact.
THE ASCENT OF A SCENT
Andrea Maack never intended to become a fragrance brand. That part of her journey started at an early art exhibition, and took on a life of its own. She had made pencil drawings that were perforated to enable visitors to literally take a piece of the artwork home with them, complete with a specifically designed fragrance: a perfume strip. She called it “Smart”, from combining the words smell + art. It was very well received.
The idea grew on her, and a unique room fragrance was created for her next unveiling. Before long, people were enquiring where they could purchase her fragrances – and the perfume houses started asking for distribution rights. But by that time, Andrea Maack was already thinking of e-commerce as an alternative to regular channels.
Over the next few months, all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place – except for that of packaging.
Traditional solutions were unthinkable for many reasons, primarily in terms of sustainability but also because it was important to keep the premium feeling both the fragrance and the lava-black chamfered glass bottle attempted to create.
Something light, strong, sustainable and seductive was called for. But who could make such a thing?
THE ART OF SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING
Not one for compromises, Andrea kept looking and benchmarking, determined to find the perfect match. But as if finding a packaging provider that had the technical skills to create a solution was not hard enough, it proved more difficult still to find one that shared Andrea’s passion and conviction in terms of sustainability and quality feel.
After a long day at the packaging fair, she found herself back at the hotel, going through all the samples she had collected from would be providers. One of them stood out from the others, both in terms of carton quality and effects: Billerud CrownBoard.
Together with designer friend Tobias Alvbäck, Andrea created an outline of the new packaging and challenged Billerud with extending her brand properties to the packaging. Starting with the secondary, the project soon developed to encompass also the e-commerce transportation packages.
It makes a world of difference to work with people you know have this true dedication, because you both want to achieve the same things.
Launched with great success in December of 2022, the fragrance line packaging perfectly utilizes both the ingenious construction solution of the secondary packaging and the slimmed-down yet sturdy transportation package. This ensures a premium unboxing experience that doesn’t compromise on sustainability.
The consistently high quality of the packaging played a part in the successful launch of the fragrance line. The lightweight yet sturdy design of the e-commerce package made for an extremely stable and secure delivery. “The production was flawless. Still today, we have not had a single return due to any kind of break or tear.”
While she is curious about what other brands are up to, she has never been very interested in trends. “Individuality is certainly the thing now,” she says. “I think you have to listen more to your own voice if you want to stay relevant and creative – expressing yourself isn’t about trying to please someone else.”
It was important to me to find a partner who could match my commitment to excellence. It matters to me, being able to say I choose to work only with people who are as passionate about what they do, as I am about what I do. I want to know that my partners and suppliers are as uncompromising with sustainability as I am – and not at the expense of the feeling of exceptional quality.