Paris boutique, Nose, taps tech power to sell perfume

Paris boutique, Nose, taps tech power to sell perfume

By Deborah Fulsang

Paris: The City of Light, but also the city of food and fashion and fragrance. For me, these three things make up the holy trinity of style.

So having spent a few days last week indulging in macaroons and divine coffee, imagine my delight at coming across Nose, a boutique that makes fragrance its raison d’etre. And it has a story to tell in its harnessing of technology to better sell and inspire perfume lovers around the world.

I had discovered Nose, virtually, months ago:, but was thrilled when one of the owners of the establishment had time to meet with me while I was in town.

Nicolas Cloutier, a transplanted Canadian from Quebec City, is one of seven partners in the retail enterprise. He handles the marketing and branding of the brand; the others on the team include a range from perfumers to analysts, including Romano Ricci, grandson of Robert Ricci, the founder of Nina Ricci fragrance.

Nose_5_Bar_1 Nose boutique, ParisNose sets itself apart in the marketplace not just in its expert product selection—it houses some 300 cherry-picked fragrances from today’s most influential perfumery brands, from Creed to L’Artisan Parfumeur to Mark Buxton Perfumes, Heeley and Juliette Has A Gun—but in its ability to utilize technology to improve its customer service.

Cloutier and his team have created a digital diagnostic tool whereby one can, in-person or through the Nose website, answer seven select questions to help isolate the fragrances best suited to them. And when you consider that more than 1,000 scents are launched in the world every year, it’s help well needed.

Cloutier assures us that the tool does not replace the intuition of an actual person, but establishes a starting point of five fragrances. From there, a boutique associate at Nose works to narrow the search.

Part of the brilliance is the Nose selection process, because the customer smells the chosen scents on paper testers blindly. The idea is to eliminate the influence of perfume packaging and imagery which can profoundly influence our buying decisions.

Cloutier says that the Nose technology has now been adapted by a range of top retailers around the world. He also shares—although it’s too early to give details, he says—that a new Nose boutique is set to open its doors in New York in 2014. Having that new location will facilitate online shopping for customers on the other side of the pond who have been unable to access some of the store’s niche brands as there is currently no shipping to North America.

So go ahead, register with Nose and receive your personal fragrance diagnosis, You might just find a new signature scent.

Nose, 20 rue Bachaumont, Paris, 75002


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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.