Pret-a-Reporter

Fragrance House The Harmonist Plans Expansion

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The Harmonist's general manager Segundo Broggi and marketing director Janice Lee

"We can really take our own pace, and it's important to find that right location in this fragrance universe," says the company's general manager Segundo Broggi.

The Harmonist — a luxe fragrance house with an address on Melrose Place — employs the tagline that reads, "Harmony is the source of beauty." And the company is now in the process of lining up a few more sources from which to offer its beauty in the form of feng shui-approved fragrance. 

During an interview with Pret-a-Reporter in Cannes, general manager Segundo Broggi says that The Harmonist should soon have locations in New York, London and Dubai to add to its roster that already includes Los Angeles and Paris. 

"Now we're arriving into what we call phase two of the company, which is going to have the expansion [of] additional locations," Broggi explains before adding that the company is also working on e-commerce solutions to offer the product online on other sites in addition to its own. Also upcoming? Adding The Harmonist's fragrances to niche perfumeries and pop-up shops, though Broggi said negotations are too early to reveal any specific details.

Back to Cannes: The setting proved to be a harmonious place for a chat, considering the brand had a sizable presence in the French Riviera city during this year's film festival. The Harmonist branding appeared on the exterior and interior of the InterContinental Carlton Hotel Cannes as well as the Hotel Martinez, while the group set up shop in the exclusive Terrace Albane for various activations and events. The showing followed a major Cannes bash in 2016 that introduced The Harmonist to the jet-set crowd. It features fragrances inspired by Asian philosophy and utilizing the five basic elements of fire, water, wood, earth and metal. 

Being here at Cannes, what's the main focus that you want people to walk away from this experience knowing about The Harmonist?

So, the Harmonist launched last year at the Cannes Film Festival and that helped open up a big door for the branding, relating everything we do to the world of the arts through [film]. We found a way to tell the story of our brand through our first commercial movie, shot by Bruno Aveillan, and launched here last year. This year, we're presenting our second movie, also shot by Bruno Aveillan; this is the connection that we have to the festival of why we are here. And from here, we use this as a platform to continue to expand the message of the brand through different mediums of art.

How will you do that?

We're working on a new project now that's going to premiere in September that it has to do with an art installation. It's a long-term project that's going to be 10 years. Every two years, we create an installation based on one of the feng shui elements of the universe. You will hear more about this in the coming months hopefully. Right now, we're in the process of negotiating the location for the premiere, which is going to be in Paris.

It doesn't come cheap to have such a big presence in Cannes. I don't expect you to reveal how much you're spending, but in terms of significance, can you talk about why you decided to have activations at those hotels which are known to be quite expensive?

One of the main things that attracted all of us to this project, our part in this project, was how different it is from what is happening in the fragrance industry these days. I have 15 or 16 years of fragrance history in my career that I had left behind and I moved into fashion, swearing never to come back, and then suddenly this cause was presented to me as an opportunity. We needed to find a way to tell the story different than what all the other brands of perfumes in this case are doing. We had this opportunity to come to Cannes the first year and we noticed that it was very relevant for us because, as you said, we don't see other brands. In this case, we don't see other brands in any industry doing this.

The story is very important to The Harmonist. Is that why you've been so careful with expansion plans, like not placing product in chain stores, etc.?

We need to be very careful of protecting this story that we have to tell and not becoming just another brand on the shelf somewhere in whatever store. So this way we like to tell the story ourselves. We are partnered here in Cannes with the first store worldwide that is not a Harmonist Boutique, which is Taizo, a boutique here in town which is exclusively a niche perfumerie. It's the only boutique outside of our own that sells The Harmonist and, of course, it's the perfect time to do this kind of test because of the presence that we have here and it's so relevant. We are not pressured to have to grow really fast, which is one of the advantages and benefits that we have as a brand. We can really take our own pace, and it's important to find that right location in this fragrance universe which is, you know, is a very populated universe.

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