Pierre Hermé, the “Picasso of pastry” famed for his experimental flavour combinations and for elevating the humble macaron to haute pâtisserie, made his first foray into fragrance by collaborating with French beauty brand L’Occitane en Provence in 2015. This December, the same partnership opens the doors to two sensory concept stores – in Paris (a boutique conceived with the chef) and in London at L’Occitane’s new flagship store where Hermé’s sweet treats can be savoured amid its beauty displays.
Both stores offer an “immersive sensory experience”. At the Parisian Champs-Elysées boutique (named 86Champs after its smart address, and opening on December 8) this translates into a vibrant interior by interior designer Laura Gonzalez, and a Hermé-conceived dessert bar showcasing live pâtisserie demonstrations (both feasts for the eyes). L’Occitane beauty treatments bring the senses of touch and smell into play.
L’Occitane’s flagship London store in Regent Street will relocate to a 600sq m space reimagined by retail design specialist Uxus as “a restorative oasis of calm” featuring a specially designed Hermé macaron bar. “The immersive experience is explored through the five senses,” says Uxus CEO George Gottl, “a botanical installation filled with roses, lavender, almonds and immortelle will guide visitors through the store; the Pierre Hermé dessert bar will tempt with macarons that smell just like the chef’s fragrance collection, and vice versa; sounds reminiscent of Provençe are to be piped through the store, and the ‘golden hour’ of the region is reflected in handpainted gilded tiles, reflective materials and lighting that casts a golden glow.” The venue is due to open on December 18.