CASE STUDY

THE ALCHEMIST ATELIER
When the world of perfume represented through PUIG partners up with the European home appliances leader BSH, the fascinating result is called Scent Creator.

We learned about The Alchemist Atelier through our client BSH in Munich. One day our main contact told us about a very interesting device – the Scent Creator. Instantly, our boss fell in love with the technology associated with creating perfumes at home.

We contacted Álvaro Suárez (Co-founder & CEO), in which we expressed our interest in the product and whether we would be interested in exploring potentials for collaboration, initially thinking  about an interview on our Clou Talk YouTube channel.

Álvaro came back to us very quickly and we agreed to have a phone call which was scheduled for shortly after. We talked about the product and their strategy for over an hour and a half. It turned out, probably not surprising, that behind an exciting product stands an interesting person full of creativity and ideas.

The call ended with the promise of an interview and a possible cooperation after Álvaro would have reviewed our portfolio.

A week later we were already in contact with the marketing department and we were bouncing ideas off one another eventually phoning in on the idea of a new film for The Alchemist Atelier about the appliance itself, the Scent Creator.

beginning
How the story of The Alchemist Atelier began

Two large companies, home appliances group BSH, formerly known as Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte, and the still family owned Spanish fashion and fragrance group Puig  – amongst others now behind Prada, Comme de Garçons, and invested into Jean Paul Gaultier and others – in 2018 signed a partnership agreement to explore so far unchartered waters in the fragrance/home appliances fields. If two such great companies join forces to create an actual product from an exciting idea, one would expect something really innovative and game-changing coming out of this, and indeed it is.

THE WORLD’S BEST PERFUMERS AND THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY

Does this sound like … I have to try it out?

The Alchemist Atelier opened its first 100 m2 fragrance studio in Paris  (where else could it be?!) located in the center in 36 rue Etienne-Marcel, in walking distance from the Louvre. The store gives customers the opportunity to explore the world of scents, take professional lessons in perfuming, and ultimately can create their own individual fragrance right on the spot. Obviously, at the Alchemist Atelier you also can purchase the appliance in various decors and your personally chosen set of scents to continue the adventure of fragrances at your own home.

And the best part of it: It is super easy to create the scent you always dreamt of. Because the Scent Creator is a connected device – and the consumer is guided through each step by the app on his or her smartphone. It is reminding of taking the idea of online recipes and automated cooking and transfer it onto a whole new experience which one has to see in order to believe how seamless yet with seemingly endless options the process and end results are. While the scents come from Puig and the appliance including application is coming from BSH, only the close collaboration of both rendered this phenomenal result possible.

So how does it work?

The consumer can choose from 16 base scents and 18 so-called accords, which can be combined and dispensed at will guided by the dedicated application.
To make the process more fun and to provide an idea about the final result, Atelier Alchemist also generates visual representations of created fragrances, enabling customers to immediately understand  in what proportions to use the ingredients, and then fine-tune the mix according to their individual wishes.
This means that you can start off guided by the various “recipes”, and with growing experience and confidence you can explore freely to hone your most favourite and individual perfumes, or min other words, your personality embodied as a fragrance.

Doesn’t this sound fantastic? Now you can understand why we were very excited about this product.

Obviously, the fun doesn’t end here: You can not only create and save your personal “recipes”. You can also share them with other users, and in this way delve even further into the world of fragrances.

Scent Creator
preparation
Designing for creative people, especially when working for well-known companies with such a creative and modern product – let’s be honest, has the potential for total disaster.

As always, before we move on to discussing the project with a client, we spend a few days on  preparing for the kick-off conversation. We research all relevant information about the client, their products, their customers, and – where available – the people with whom we will later collaborate on the project.

We analyze the website in terms of design, colors, fonts. We browse all social media platforms under their accounts. We strive to understand the company’s strategy and where it is heading for subsequent advertising campaigns. Maybe we also learn about how effective past campaigns were, and which one came out best and why.

We analyze all channels of communication with the client and try to understand which client The Alchemist Atelier turns to.

And finally we come to the product. As advertised.

Finally, we are ready to listen to the client.

understending style

Analyzing the style on Instagram, you can see the same colors and style at a glance. Professional photos invite you to view the product and, subsequently, to buy. One of the photographers is Celia Suárez, a very talented photographer working for many well-known brands and magazines working mainly in Barcelona. Some of her work you can see in Karina F is a Photography Agency specialized in fashion, beauty, portrait and advertising.

details
Let’s talk about details

The first conversation about a new project was very constructive and professional. Our client has a clear and concise idea about their needs, their customers, their product and swiftly walks us through their ideas.

During this conversation it was made clear that while once a consumer is familiar with the technology, it is very easy to understand and equally easy to use. However, before there is a certain threshold connected to the potential complexities of this innovative technology – if you do not know something, your worries are sometimes bigger than what they need to be – a perfectly normal and simple reaction. Therefore, the discussion quickly focussed on how to lower that threshold for potential new customers and to make them less worried and more comfortable towards the product – and subsequently its purchase.

It should be a short film. Combining aspects of a classic explainer movie, but obviously using the aesthetics and design language of what has been used so far. It should be as short as possible, at the same time explain everything required such that the goal of lowering any potential thresholds was met, and therefore walk the potential customer through the process in a step-by-step manner. Finally, the movie should convey the sense of prestige and serve as “appetiser” through tapping on the viewer’s imagination how the final product would smell. Technically, the film was to be published on Instagram, so it was closed within the time frame and format that is recommended for this channel of communication with the client.

After clarifying on what the end result should be, we go through the more technical aspects for the day of filming, under the maxim of “frontloading”: Whatever is clarified upfront will not be able to become a major source of hassle, or even a showstopper on site. We knew about the layout of the location through their website 360 degree view, of course. But how about types of light? Will we have to deal with 50 Hz flicker? Can we use their internal lighting, or do we need to fully rely on our lighting? What should the main character wear? Do we have a script that fits into the overall Instagram constraint of a one-minute-movie – including intro and outro? We even touch upon simple things, such as ensuring that there will be no maintenance during the time of our shooting, that the place itself is prepared, and of course the Scent Creator. Basic things, a client may not think about, but as a movie maker you know  may cause issues. I have to say that the folks at the Alchemist Atelier understood the reasons behind our questioning and because they had these clear ideas in mind themselves this clarifications did not take long and were almost like going through a pilot’s checklist upon departure: fuel? check. brakes? check. all on board? check. let’s go… you get the picture.

In Paris
we set the day and time,…

…when it will be possible to close the studio off and record the movie.

Then, we travel to Paris, meet up with the team on site. Due to the excellent upfront preparation including a couple of exchanges on some more technical details (you don’t want to end up with huge surprises on set) filming is able to start immediately. Main characters of the movie are the Scent Creator and  Louise Pujol, a professional perfumer at the Atelier and a warm, always smiling person.  Despite the fact that she is not an actor, it turns out that Louise is doing great in front of the camera. Only few directions are necessary. What may show to be not that easy for many others, i.e. try to record a testimonial and give a good message in free speech no longer than 45 seconds – it sounds easier than it is.  Louise is wonderful and  we end up having enough time to shoot some additional material and try different versions of how she walks the viewer through creating the own spring fragrance.

We even end up having sufficient time to create material for “behind the scenes”. Working in such conditions is pure pleasure.

Afterwards, we return to Munich to start reviewing the material and editing the movie. We say goodbye to the employees of Atelier and Paris – à bientôt!

Editing

As intended, we create two films from the material we shot on site. Above you can see the “behind-the-scenes” film providing some insight into the set, the conditions and preparations for the actual film. To the right you find the end result of our collaboration.

In a first step, we selected for each scene we shot the best version, where “best” not only refers to the quality of the individual shot, but also took into consideration  how the previous and subsequent scenes match from light, movement, speed etc. Then, we created a rough cut, putting all selected scents into a sequence, and start working on transitions. Due to the excellent preparation this was about sequencing all scenes and selecting from multiple versions of the same scene, but not about which scenes would make it into the final cut, and which ones would end up in the “deleted scenes roll” (which is one main driver for efficiency on site). Still, this was not as straightforward as it may sound, because there is never “just one version” that would fit to the client’s requirements. Instead, this step went through a number of iterations, trying different versions and how each of them creates a slightly, but potentially decisive different atmosphere, or story. In a next step, we added overlays, such as logo, text, intro and outro.  Once, the visual storyline was set, we searched for the perfect music matching with both, the movie itself and the existing  content on Atelier’s Instagram channel. After selecting the right. music, we had to go back to the visuals and re-edit it such that the rhythm and climate of the scenes fit with the underlying score. This also included speed adjustments of individual scenes. When we were satisfied (and only then) we started going into more detail: For example, adjusting light in individual scenes so as to focus attention on what is most important in a specific scene. Then, we we moved on to the color and grading of the individual scenes and the overall film. Again, scents must match to each other, match to the content and, of course, match to existing material previously created on Atelier’s platforms and on their website. It was very important that the film does not stand out from the rest of the content. In a final step before sharing it with the client, we watched the movie over and over again, until we did not find anything more to fine-tune. Satisfied with the end result we then shared it with our client, The Alchemist Atelier.

We were excited to see our finished product to be published on the Atelier Internet account.

As usual in this situation we informed our community on Instagram and LinkedIn about the finished project .

people say

e vais l’essayer aujourd’hui 😍… merci Louise 🌷

J’adore 😍

Hello Louise! Un bonheur de porter les créations faites avec vous chez AA !!!! Prenez soin de vous et on reviendra vite vous voir!!!

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