Why watch and jewellery brand Chopard is making ethical perfumes
Not only does Patrizio Stella, chief executive officer of Chopard Parfums believe this is the right thing for a luxury company to do, but it also sits well with the brand’s younger generation of customers who are more conscious of their purchasing choices than ever.
Scent, it has often been waxed lyrical about, can stir up powerful memories and emotions. And no one knows this better than Patrizio Stella, chief executive officer of Chopard Parfums. One of his happiest childhood memories are of the days he spent on his family’s farm in southern Italy. “It is all about the trees, grapes, lemons and olives,” Stella told CNA Luxury. “I can clearly remember the scent of olive oil from my bedroom window early in the morning.”
Even now, some of his favourite fragrances, such as Chopard’s Orange Mauresque – which contains a blend of crisp, sunlit notes such as citrus fruits and neroli – remain evocative of those idyllic days that he holds dear to his heart.
It is this sense of carefree abandon and youthful joy that the Swiss high jewellery and timepiece brand aims to capture in its fragrances for its Happy Chopard collection. The perfume range itself is inspired by Chopard’s iconic Happy Diamonds timepieces which feature unset, freely-moving diamonds on the dial.
“Like how the free-floating jewels in the watch face exude joie de vivre, the Happy fragrances are the quintessence of positivity,” said Stella. Bigaradia, the third and latest fragrance in the Happy range, captures the joy of travel through its sparkling notes of neroli bigarde petals, orange blossom absolute and green Calabrian mandarin.
The feel good factor is more than skin deep, Stella added. In 2013, Chopard launched its sustainable luxury programme under the direction of co-president and artistic director Caroline Scheufele to source responsibly and to ensure people working in its supply chain were fairly taken care of. Last July, the brand achieved its goal to use 100 per cent ethical gold in producing all its watches and jewellery.
The juice of Chopard’s fragrances, too, come from ethical sources. Chopard Parfums, which touts itself as the world’s first luxury natural perfume brand, features top quality natural ingredients sourced under Swiss fragrance and flavour company Firmenich’s Naturals Together programme. The focus on the quality of the natural components are of utmost importance to ensure the fragrance lives up to the luxury brand’s standards, Stella emphasised.
“We believe products that are sustainably sourced, of which we know exactly where they are coming from and their quality, will create a better product. So the final goal is better products of a better quality,” he said.
However, working with nature does present some obstacles for perfumers. “Not all perfumers are in love with natural ingredients because you don’t get full control of your creation – you have to work with the material you have. With our perfumer Dora Baghriche, you can feel her enthusiasm for living materials.”
Chopard takes the sustainability and ethical approach so seriously that they will even go to the ends of the world, literally. For Garden of the Kings, an upcoming range of perfumes that will launch in September, the team travelled to a village in Bangladesh to visit the family that has been producing oud, the key ingredient for the collection, for seven generations. Stella said, “If we say to customers that for this product, we take care of the full chain of production, then we need to get there to see what is happening.”
“We believe products that are sustainably sourced, of which we know exactly where they are coming from and their quality, will create a better product. So the final goal is better products of a better quality.” – Patrizio Stella
Not only does he believe this is the right thing for a luxury company to do, but it also sits well with the brand’s younger generation of customers who are more conscious of their purchasing choices than ever.
“They are the ones who understand what is happening in the world and they are the ones who will ask what is going to happen tomorrow,” he said. “Because of this, they are careful to understand how what they use will preserve the world for the future.”