Fragrance Lab; retail shaped by a self-discovery journey

Fragrance Lab creatively offers a glimpse into the future of retail spaces. Created by design studio Campaign in partnership with trend forecasting agency The Future Laboratory, the store situated in Selfridges presents a unique personalised and interactive experience shaped by visitors’ preferences, tastes and habits. A visual spectacle akin to an art installation, the store further incentivises visitation by creating a unique self-discovery journey; one that engages customers with the retail space, products and ultimately the Givaudan brand in a way that cannot be replicated online.




Fragrance Lab is a pop up concept offering a personalised journey to discovering the fragrance that represents your character.


The Concept Store situated in the Wonder Room of the luxurious British department store was transformed into a series of sensorial chambers, guiding customers on a ten-minute immersive olfactory journey that ‘explores the outer reaches of scent’. A compelling alternative to online shopping, the retail space immerses customers into a unique world by leveraging technology and impeccable thematic styling.



Four years in the making; the unique immersive experience is built around complex profiling and a segmentation matrix.


Customers’ journeys start in a space resembling a reception where they are greeted by fragrance technicians who then lead them into a dispensary-like setting. Meaning is masterfully injected into the experience as one’s physical presence and individual interactions inside each chamber highlight their preferences, informing the end product presented to them. 




Good designs communicate a story through experience; they have a clear beginning, middle and end. The Selfridges’ store begins the journey by creating anticipation, followed by disorientation and then comfort before revelation follows at the end. Those visiting the Fragrance Lab are continuously encouraged to follow and trust their instincts throughout the journey; after all, one’s personality is ultimately being conveyed, not their smell preferences.



Guided by a voiceover into various rooms, customers are invited to sniff, touch and interact; their behaviour dictating the choice of scent attributed at the end.


A hypnotic voice transmitted through headphones guides customers through each of the chambers; ‘coaxing them to rifle through their memory banks in connection to specific smells’. The hospital-like cubicle is dictated as the room where the culmination takes place; where one is presented with their ‘signature’ scent. Throughout the entire experience, the sense of discovery and surprise entice customers to explore further with suspense for what’s to follow.





Visitors are presented with an iPad questionnaire where multiple questions are asked regarding their perfume tastes, shopping habits and deeper personality traits.  


The seemingly simple concept took the duo four years of hard work and countless meetings involving extremely detailed customer segmentation; ensuring that the right customer matched the right product. Whilst each stage has different objectives and touchpoints that engage the participants, the main narrative remains consistent: ‘capturing data to inform the creation and prescription of an individualised fragrance’. 



At the end of the journey, one is led into a white room where a staff member dressed in a lab coat hands them a ‘prescription’ and smells from vials holding variations of their signature fragrance. 


The Fragrance Lab creates a meaningful and memorable experience that connects with customers on a deeper emotional level; allowing them to delve further into discovering their fragrance identity rather than just buying an off-the-shelf product for the masses. The exclusive collection of Givaudan fragrances available at Selfridges – Louise Turner, Shyamala Maisondieu, Antoine Maisondieu and Nadege Legarlantezec – was crafted by a highly-experienced team of four perfumers.



Express Lab; a quicker free option where visitors are given a fragrance number and personality description based solely on the iPad image questionnaire. 




If you need help making customer experience central to your retail strategy, we’d like to offer you a complimentary strategy call with our Managing Director and Head of Strategy, Grant Davidson. Having nearly 30 years of industry experience working with groundbreaking brands, Grant has the experience and knowledge necessary to identify your core brand strategy and communicate it effectively.


Written by Michael Callan
Mike is Davidson's Group Design Director with extensive experience across the corporate, retail and consumer goods sectors. Over his 25 year career, Mike has been recognised as a multi-award-winning designer - including AGDA, Melbourne & New York Design Awards.
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