Guerlain’s Ann-Caroline Prazan on mixing cultures, Mideast inspiration 

DUBAI: Ann-Caroline Prazan, the director of art, culture, and heritage at French luxury beauty brand Guerlain, shared her affection for the Middle East and shed light on why she is so keen to mesh together cultures when creating new products.

“The Guerlain family is totally in love with the region. I am in love with this region because it is like a paradise,” she told Arab News. “People here love fragrances and they are such experts. When Guerlain creates a fragrance for the Middle East, it is always with a French touch.”

Prazan and Diala Makki at the Dubai event. (Supplied)

For Prazan, who joined the Guerlain team in 2000, understanding the brand’s story has been pivotal, motivating her to craft fragrances over her 24-year tenure, prioritizing longevity over trends.

“It is important to understand the past to create a future,” Prazan said. “You know, a house is like a big tree. You need to know the roots to create the leaves and to create new flowers. Without roots, you cannot do anything if you do not understand the brand.”

“Innovation is our obsession,” she added. “Guerlain created the first lipsticks, the first lip liners, the first modern perfume, the first moisturizing Nivea cream was by Guerlain.”

Guerlain has collaborated with regional creatives before. (Supplied)

Her regional knowledge shapes Guerlain’s tailored fragrances for its customers.

“You have the best perfumers here, local perfumers. What was interesting is to mix the roots with the leaves to mix different cultures. And for me, when you mix different cultures, when you mix traditions and modernity, you can create beautiful products,” she explained.

Guerlain has collaborated with regional creatives before. In 2023, the brand worked with Lebanese artist Nadine Kanso to design a fragrance bottle for the label, making her the first Arab designer to collaborate with the LVMH-owned perfume and beauty house.

The Parfumerie D’Art collection features the Bee Bottle by Baqué Molinié. (Supplied)

She designed 30 limited edition bee-inspired bottles, decorated with 1,720 crystals, with Arabic calligraphy that read “Love.”

At an event in Dubai last week, the label chose to work with contemporary Tunisian artist Nja Mahdaoui, who showcased his abstract Arabic calligraphy with engraved Cherry Oud bottles serving as place cards for the invitees.

Balqees performed at the DUbai event. (Supplied)

The brand also created a number of bottles, showcased at the event in Dubai, that celebrate Arab design elements.

The Parfumerie D’Art collection features the Bee Bottle by Baqué Molinié. Unveiled to mark Eid Al-Fitr this year, the bottle features hand-placed mother-of-pearl beads and moonstones, designed by the Parisian atelier as a tribute to the “wonders of Arab architectural art,” according to a released statement.

Source – Arab News