French fancy: Pierre Hermé and L’Occitane’s sensory experiment arrives in Paris

Round patterned stand with a variety of different desserts in
Perfumer L’Occitane and chocolatier Pierre Hermé open a new hybrid ‘store’ on the Champs Elysées, Paris
(Image credit: press)

Stalwarts of their respective industries, perfumer L’Occitane and ‘Picasso of pastry’ Pierre Hermé are natural bedfellows, sharing a classical, luxury leaning. Though, a new hybrid ‘store’ collaboration on the Champs Élysées is testing that preconception, with its highly contemporary, innovative outlook.

Intended to celebrate the high quality ingredients that go into making both L’Occitane and Pierre Hermé products, 86 Champs is a three-part gastronomic experiment, offering a dessert bar for initiating yourself in the art of pastry, a coffee station for discovering the art of coffee according to Pierre Hermé, and a restaurant, for a savoury interlude between dessert courses. Adding an olfactory twist, L’Occitane presents an interactive, in-store perfumery and scent installation, where guests come nose-to-nose with raw L’Occitane ingredients and production methods. 

Wooden stand with different products on

The L’Occitane store at 86 Champs

(Image credit: press)

Interior designer Laura Gonzalez aimed to create ‘a welcoming and refined place where objects, scents or tastes express osmosis between the two Maisons’. As such, the open plan space flows organically.

Known for her ability to elevate ‘boho chic’ to refined heights, Gonzalez utilised a soft colour palette inspired by Cezanne’s paintings, comprising shades of green, pink blush and orange cream. Made to measure ceramic booths stand in front of a floor-to-ceiling fresco, which frames, in the heart of the sensory city, a hanging sculpture consisting of a thousand balloons in blown glass. Outside, a seating area is surrounded by an abundance of vegetation including a botanical garden filled with aromatic verbena, cherry blossom and almond trees – key ingredients used in L’Occitane’s products.

Alongside a growing number of global lifestyle retailers, L’Occitane are keen to promote (buzzword alert) experiential marketing. Like Aesop, which uses local architects for its high concept stores, L'Occitane has called upon tailored, location-orientated design to enhance the personability of the brand. The partnership with Parisien chocolatier royalty Hermé is the third prong in a global campaign to put the customer experience front and centre of the L'Occitane message. The programme also includes a flagship London Regent Street store which opened this month, and a global online retail concept monikered ‘Sunshine’, which similarly promotes in-store interaction with the products.

Left: gold stand on table / Right: grey seating area with orange patterned cushions

Interior designer Laura Gonzalez utilised a soft colour palette inspired by Cezanne’s paintings

(Image credit: press)

Display of different fragrances on stands

Adding an olfactory twist, L’Occitane presents an interactive, in-store perfumery

(Image credit: press)

Gold bar with a variety of different alcohol bottles and glasses

‘The Restaurant’ offers a savoury interlude between dessert courses

(Image credit: press)

Left: gold walls with sink next to it and products on the side / right: brown staircase

 The open plan space is allowed to flow organically

(Image credit: press)

Display of different macaroons in glass cabinet

The Pierre Hermé dessert bar initiates visitors in the art of pastry

(Image credit: press)


For more information, visit the L'Occitaine website and the Pierre Hermé website


86 Champs Élysées
75008 Paris



Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.