Assouline is getting into the home fragrance game.
The luxury publisher is pivoting to a broader take on lifestyle, starting with the home. It is debuting its Travel From Home candle collection, an extension of its popular travel series highlighting various international locales. It is comprised of six candles, each priced at $80, with glass candle lids available for $30. They hit Assouline boutiques, as well as the company’s website, on Thursday.
Robertet’s Jérôme Epinette developed the scents for each, which Alex Assouline, the chief of operations, brand and strategy, said took years. “I started the project in May 2020. That’s been three years — it took a lot of time to get them to the level we wanted,” Assouline said. “It took years of research and development to create the candles that would match the quality we have with our books, because our audience and clients trust us to have that level of quality.”
The idea is for the business to create ancillary products around popular franchises, and Assouline picked the locations represented by the candles based on which of their respective books were the most popular. The six scents include Marrakech Flair, Gstaad Glam, Mykonos Muse, Ibiza Bohemia, Moon Paradise and Tulum Gypset.
Tulum Gypset’s notes include sage, black amber and cardamom; Ibiza Bohemia’s veer more bright with lemon, bergamot and green apple, for example.
But the candles are meant to be just as ornamental as they are functional. “We wanted something that was colorful and vibrant, but to also have a vessel that can live within interiors and wouldn’t be too aggressive. We landed on this eggshell color, and still have symbols to have that connection with the books,” Assouline explained.
On the commercial front, it also gives Assouline a product that requires replenishment. “Bringing the notion of consumables to a brand is also important — that brings more loyalty,” he said. “We are adding more and more to the travel series [of books], and we have about eight or 10 we bring as new destinations for the next three years. So this brings an important new aspect and step for the development of the business.”
It’s not the first time Assouline has introduced new categories for home. “It’s the first step into the expansion of Assouline as a luxury lifestyle brand,” he said. “If you go to one of our boutiques, you will see the full offering is represented.” He’s also inaugurated a cocktail bar concept in London, as well as an outpost in Seville.
“We do not have to limit our brand to just being a publishing house,” Assouline said. “We want to develop as a luxury lifestyle brand, and we can expand into different categories, but we will always keep the books at the center of our brand — that’s the most important product and the one we do the best.”