Mugler’s eco-chic perfume approach

Mugler’s eco-chic perfume approach

By Deborah Fulsang

In bygone eras, it was the fashion of the day was for a woman to take her personal fragrance flask—perhaps it was Lalique or Baccarat crystal if she ran in certain circles—to her favourite perfumer for a refill. Once replenished, that elegant stoppered bottle would return to its rightful place on the dressing table, along with said woman’s pearls, rouge and perhaps even her black kohl eye liner. Perfume was eco-chic.

There was no disposability; no drained bottle to replace: After all, these glass vessels were spectacular, often one-of-a-kind designs meant to be treasured for a lifetime.

This truth apparently struck a chord with designer Thierry Mugler as he surveyed the collectible perfume bottles that are produced under his Angel, Alien and Womanity labels.

They were simply too beautiful to trash.

So the forward-thinking—and backward-nodding—Mugler went eco. A customer can now bring their Mugler flask to a refill station, called The Source. In fact, Angel lovers living in France have been able to refill their perfume bottle for the past 20 years, but this fall North Americans can also buy bottles outfitted with removable caps to make refills fast and easy.

Soon 11,500 Source stations (“Source” being French btw for “springs”) around the world will provide one of two refill options for the Mugler perfume fan: The Dual Source station will refill Angel EDP and Alien vessels; and the Quadruple Source will refill Angel EDP, Angel EDT, Alien and Womanity.

These refillable bottles are an even prettier proposition when you consider that the customer will save between 35-40 percent on the price of an original “filled” bottle if they opt to refill at a Mugler Source.

From a broader perspective, the savings are more profound.

“Through the sales of Angel and Alien refillable cartridges, the Dual Source has already enabled a savings of nearly 2,300,000 bottles and boxes in 2010 and 2011,” the company reports. And in one year, the Quadruple Source is expected to prevent the production of nearly 1,350,000 bottles, which corresponds to a reduction of 383 tons of waste, which is the amount of waste generated by 750 Europeans in one year.

And although Mugler’s concept harkens back to a gold age of perfume, it’s also very progressive when you consider the millions of perfume bottles that typically end their beautiful lives in the landfill each year.

Empty bottles can also be purchased as part of a special promotion from now until Christmas, all to boost awareness of Mugler’s green and global-minded initiative.

Watch the Mugler video featuring the eco innovation. 

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Deborah Fulsang has spent the last two decades as a journalist covering news and trends in the worlds of style—in fashion and beauty, design and décor, food and entertaining. Her long-held love of fragrance led her to launch The Whale & The Rose, a destination for all things perfume-related. Now, when she indulges in a crazy-expensive bottle of fragrance, she can do so guilt-free. Well almost. It’s all in the name of research after all.