F.P. Journe: The Scent Of Success
by Martin Green
There is no shortage of large watch brands offering scents for sale. In fact Bulgari, Cartier, and Chopard have done considerably well with that (see Chopard: From Haute Horlogerie To Haute Parfumerie.)
But there is another much smaller watch brand – one that you might not expect – that has also developed a scent of its own, yet seemingly paradoxically it’s neither for sale nor for the body.
F.P. Journe parfum d’ambiance
That brand is F.P. Journe, and the scent is a parfum d’ambiance created exclusively for use in the brand’s own boutiques.
F.P. Journe boutiques are found in the centers of large metropolises including Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong, where the outside odors of even the most esteemed locations may not align with brand’s image.
A perfume made for the building’s interior takes care of that, but also completes the brand experience. It is not often that the client’s sense of smell is utilized effectively in creating the right atmosphere.
One of the reasons for this is that it is complicated to hit the right note. In a high-end bakery or chocolate store, what the proprietors want the client to smell upon stepping in is obvious.
If I entered a fish store that smelled fishy I would walk out immediately, but if it had the slightly salty smell of the ocean I would know that I am in the right place without feeling the need to leave.
It is a momentous task to create an interior perfume that everybody, or even most, will find pleasing, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the challenge was a large motivator because François-Paul Journe loves a good challenge.
What is the right scent for a store that offers high-end watches?
First and foremost, the scent must represent the brand and its products. This can be difficult enough with watches, let alone an odor, however a scent also has to appeal to the entire audience of prospective customers. This not only includes different genders and social backgrounds, but also different cultures: F.P. Journe has nine international boutiques ranging in location from New York to Hong Kong and Geneva to Tokyo.
Normally, when a scent is created the target group is much smaller and therefore more specific. To avoid pitfalls, one might be tempted to create a boring universal scent, but that is not a luxury F.P. Journe can afford because the scent represents the brand in its entirety and should, therefore, be distinct so that the mind is able to link scent with brand and create a lasting memory.
A good interior perfume also has to be correctly dosed. It should not descend on clients like a heavy blanket when they walk through the door – it is after all a luxury boutique, not a boudoir.
A good interior perfume lingers delicately in the air, barely noticeable while in the room, but distinctly missed when venturing outside.
F.P. Journe parfum d’ambiance: so how does it smell?
As we might expect from F.P. Journe, its parfum d’ambiance is a thing of beauty: a clever compilation of light floral notes on a woody, cedar base. It is the base that provides its longevity, while the floral notes tone it down. Overall the result is a contemporary composition brightening up the room and working effectively in light doses as a great interior perfume should.
What is most remarkable is that the scent of the interior perfume is quite stable and consistent. Usually a scent goes through its top notes rather quickly, then lingers on the middle notes with the base notes coming through more prominently. But with Journe’s parfum d’ambiance this bandwidth is far more compact while the longevity is maintained.
For perfume worn on the skin this would be less desirable, but for an interior perfume it’s as good as it gets.
F.P. Journe’s parfum d’ambiance is not for sale. But I highly recommend taking a visit to one of the brand’s boutiques to sample it for yourself. And then there are the watches!
For a list of F.P. Journe boutiques, please visit www.fpjourne.com/en/boutiques.