Creating Les Embruns: Capturing the Essence of Pernod Ricard’s Island Spirit

Pernod Ricard recently launched their very own fragrance Les Embruns. It’s an ode to the culture of hospitality, a celebration of the offices and the company’s raison d’être “Créateurs de convivialité”.

Portrait of Emilie Martin

We spoke to Emilie Martin, Communication Manager of The Island, the Parisian Headquarters of Pernod Ricard, to find out the story behind the scent.

Can you tell us a little about what kind of scent Les Embruns by Pernod Ricard is and what inspired you to produce this fragrance?

– I am Emilie Martin, Communication Manager of The Island, the Parisian Headquarters of Pernod Ricard.  I’m in charge of improving the reputation of our workplace, building interiors, making external visits, and even creating a musical and olfactory identity. By naming the Pernod Ricard Headquarters building “The Island,” we wanted to bring the conviviality that emerges from the Paul Ricard islands to Paris. This inspired the building’s layout, atmosphere, and look and feel. Naturally, to create our signature fragrance, we wanted to pay tribute to the Paul Ricard islands and the Provençal way of life.  Paul Ricard used to say, “What better than an island for dreaming?”. We wanted to bring this spirit to life here in Paris, so this famous quote hangs in the lobby of our Paris headquarters. Paul Ricard bought the islands of Les Embiez and Bendor in the 1950s. Located in the Var department in the Provence region between Toulon and Marseille, these islands are a dream come true for travellers. And punctually, Pernod Ricard’s 800 top managers are invited to participate in an emblematic seminar. This event is a highlight in the life of the Group and for all employees who aspire to attend one day during their professional careers. So,Les Embruns by Pernod Ricardembodies the salty mist of the Mediterranean mixed with the aromas of thyme, laurel and anise from the garrigue, blending with the island’s wildflowers such as Mediterranean strawflower and jasmine. A fresh, captivating fragrance reminiscent of a stroll by the sea on a breezy Mistral Day.

Les Embruns by Pernod Ricard

We have decided to continue stimulating our sense of smell by creating an olfactory signature to celebrate our offices and our raison d’être, ‘Créateurs de convivialité’

Why create a signature Scent for Pernod Ricard?

– Do you know that smell is the most sensitive of our senses? At Pernod Ricard, olfactory identity is central, whether through our spirits, the wood in our distilleries, or the scent of the flowers we harvest. We have decided to continue stimulating our sense of smell by creating an olfactory signature to celebrate our offices and our raison d’être, ‘Créateurs de convivialité’. Pernod Ricard’s culture and values are extremely strong. So, we wanted our brand image to be reflected through the five senses and to take on another dimension through the sense of smell.

What has the working process been for making Les Embruns by Pernod Ricard, and what have you learned along the way?

– Making Les Embruns by Pernod Ricard has been a collaborative creation process. I met Magali Fleurquin Bonnard, the founder of Rose et Marius, at The Island over 2 years ago and when I told her about the project to create an olfactory signature for Pernod Ricard she was immediately inspired!  In fact, Magali created Rose et Marius in 2012, Provence’s first high-end perfume brand, to share memories of her childhood with her grandmother, Rose. The brand captivates the South of France’s scents and way of life. In May 2023, we involved 80 employees in workshops to choose their favourite fragrances from a panel selected by Magali based on the inspiration brief on the Paul Ricard islands. The main notes selected are iodine, thyme, absinthe, anise, jasmine and immortelle (a Mediterranean strawflower). Our employees have been particularly enthusiastic and proud to participate in creating our signature scent; they are now our best ambassadors!

The main notes selected are iodine, thymeabsinthe, anise, jasmine and immortelle 

You launched the fragrance on May 21st. What has the reception been like?

– Indeed, on 21st May, we launched Pernod Ricard’s signature scent, “Les Embruns by Pernod Ricard,” at The Island and in all our offices around the world. Work areas are not scented, only the reception halls and emblematic areas, such as the Sky bar at The Island. As a result, our 20.000 employees and visitors can enjoy the same olfactory experience and identify our culture, values, and Corporate Brand identity through smell. It is a 360° brand experience for 80 Pernod Ricard affiliates across seven continents! We’ve developed two types of products: Perfume diffusers in two sizes (large for large spaces and small for gifts) and refillable candles.  This olfactory signature has been developed exclusively for Pernod Ricard and is commercialised exclusively within the Group. The employees are so enthusiastic that they want to buy the Les Embruns fragrance themselves! we had to negotiate a special discount for employees.

It is such an exciting project to develop! So innovative and inspiring!