Last year proved to be an inopportune time for many things, as anyone who had planned a 2020 wedding can surely attest. But can you imagine trying to launch a luxury fragrance line in the face of a global pandemic?
That was the reality for Benigna Parfums. In 2020, the French perfumery upstart debuted its Floral Trio Collection of fragrances made from “the rarest and most expensive ingredients,” including oud oil and orris butter, whose prices have at times eclipsed that of gold.
In normal times, buyers might be enticed by a perfume after catching a whiff while browsing the makeup aisles in a department store or during a stop at the airport duty-free shop. But a respiratory illness pandemic that’s keeping much of the world masked and locked up at home is particularly problematic for products that typically tempt shoppers by inviting them to inhale.
That, of course, is where the magic of packaging comes in.
In Benigna’s case, the brand leaned into the luxury aesthetic with an elegant white and gold display box that looks fit to contain the Crown Jewels — an effect admirably achieved using paperboard. The perfume bottles themselves feature faceted gem-like stoppers in Hope Diamond proportions. A 24-karat-gold-plated neck studded with Swarovski crystals invites owners to cherish the empty bottles as future heirlooms.
I imagine the unboxing experience of the Floral Trio Collection evokes a scene in which you’re shopping in an exclusive jewelry store and the proprietor, sensing you’re a patron of exquisite taste, emerges from the back room with a box of the shop’s most expensive items, normally kept under lock and key.
The Floral Trio Collection, consisting of the Absolute Celebration, Premier Amour, and Escape Velocity fragrances, retails on Benigna Parfums’ website for a cool $1,555—on the higher end for fragrances, to be sure. But with packaging this beautiful, the company is banking that buyers will shell out for its fragrances scent unsniffed.