Fame and the power of the Quaternity

Puig Vice President of Travel Retail Kaatje Noens discusses Fame, Paco Rabanne’s newest star fragrance. She also talks about how Puig approaches travel retail as a brand-building channel and underlines the power of Puig’s recent partnership with Heathrow Airport, Dufry and JCDecaux.

In a major milestone for the family-owned brand owner, Puig recently launched Fame, the first-ever standalone female fragrance from Paco Rabanne. The launch signifies an important shift for Paco Rabanne, which has historically performed well in the masculine fragrance category.

Commenting on the strategic importance of the Fame launch, Puig Vice President of Travel Retail Kaatje Noens says, “Paco Rabanne is a very masculine driven brand. Fame presented an exciting challenge for us because we really wanted to bring femininity without losing the DNA. That feminine touch needed to go to the bottle and fragrance, but also the concept, storytelling and colour coding.

Fame represents a shining new star for Puig and according to Noens, now was the perfect time to launch a feminine master brand. “We have a very dynamic and ambitious plan for Paco Rabanne. The brand is currently worldwide top five globally thanks to 1 Million, Invictus and Phantom in the men’s fragrances.

“Two-thirds of the market is women’s fragrances and until now, we haven’t really solidified a standalone feminine pillar for Paco Rabanne. We launched Fame as a feminine leader and we are committed to making sure this star shines for Paco Rabanne in the feminine category.”

Puig, Heathrow Airport, JCDecaux and Dufry (World Duty Free) teamed up for a Quaternity partnership celebrating the global travel retail pre-launch of Fame in July. The breath-taking animation, revealed for the first time on 5 July, takes centre-stage at the airport’s Terminal 2 Departures area.

The golden Paco Rabanne robot is the star of the show – with a giant Fame fragrance bottle and star rotating on top of the animation. Striking, playful and interactive, the pop-up is a showcase for retailtainment and beauty tech. Notable features include a ‘Race Through Paris’ game, contactless fragrance discovery and even digital screen personalisation.

“Today was the first time I saw the pop-up and I think the marketing team nailed it,” Noens recalls. “The colours are fresh, embodying femininity in a Paco Rabanne way. I truly believe that a star is born with this new fragrance and that the pink, green and gold colour palette will engage perfectly with our target customer.”

According to Noens, the four-way partnership is a powerful combination. “Paco Rabanne is our biggest brand globally for Puig, which is why it made sense to make Heathrow our biggest partner in this launch. In Heathrow, we weren’t showing the full potential of this brand. Following the success of the Phantom launch last year, we wanted to show that we didn’t get lucky. We are invested in Heathrow in the long term. We want to build up our significant business with Dufry and Heathrow and Fame will be the cherry on the cake of that business.”

Like any great pop-up campaign, Fame wouldn’t be a reality without the collaboration of Puig’s partners. In a comment to The Moodie Davitt Report, JCDecaux Airport Sales Director Arianne Ridell says: “It’s a four-way collaboration. This is a new scenario for us and when you get all four partners working together, that’s when the magic happens. You get customer engagement, direct sales happening in the pop-up itself which is a new thing and everyone aligned on the same objective. It makes the whole project run more smoothly and more successfully.”

Now more than ever, travel retail needs to offer engagement, experience and exclusivity for customers. Noens explains, “The world is open and it’s important to give passengers choice whether they simply want to buy the fragrance, have a fun moment, or leave a personalised message on the digital screens. Airports have become shopping destinations and we need to make sure that every passenger has an opportunity to discover Paco Rabanne and Fame.”

Fame is launching as a global travel retail-exclusive for July before rolling out in domestic markets globally. While the Heathrow activation is the grandest in terms of scale, Puig is rolling out the Fame pop-up in more than 200 locations throughout July and August. This includes locations in the US, Brazil, Dubai, Qatar, Türkiye and France among others.

Pre-launching Fame as a global travel retail-exclusive underlines Puig’s belief in travel retail as a brand-building channel. “We are a big believer in travel retail as a brand building platform,” Noens says. “COVID has accelerated ecommerce to double-digit growth. People are travelling again and airports should become cathedrals for brands to offer people a unique shopping experience they can’t get online.

The power of four: (Left to right) Dufry Head of Beauty Delphine Poultney; Heathrow Airport Head of Category Julie Donnelly; JCDecaux Airport Sales Director Arianne Ridell and Puig Vice President of Global Travel Retail Kaatje Noens officially cut the ribbon on the animation

“I believe airports can push the boundaries further,” she adds. “They need to engage with passengers more. Through partnerships like this, we can enhance the airport shopping experience at every touchpoint in the traveller journey.”

Niche fragrances are experiencing a big surge in travel retail and for Puig this presents an excellent opportunity for growth. “We have a big footprint in prestige fragrances with brands like Paco Rabanne, Carolina Herrera and Jean Paul Gaultier. However, the growth that will come from our niche fragrances — like Penhaligon’s, L’Artisan Parfumeur and Christian Louboutin — will become very solid. Niche fragrances have a far more limited distribution in local markets, so travel retail presents a great opportunity for shoppers to discover these brands.

“We are doubling down on our permanent fixtures, shop-in-shops and pop-up shops for our niche fragrances in travel retail. Our plans for the next four years are very ambitious. So, while niche fragrances is currently a smaller market for us than prestige – this is where we are expecting the biggest growth.”

Heathrow’s shining star: The Fame animation takes centre stage at the main departures area in Terminal 2

Thanks to the complementary power of its prestige and niche fragrance portfolio and the success of its dynamic and creative pop-up campaigns in travel retail, Puig has already outperformed 2019 levels. According to Noens, this performance can be attributed to a big shift in the group’s approach to travel retail. “Before, travel retail was seen as a convenience shopping channel. Now, we had a total reset and instead approach travel retail as a brand building platform.

“You have passengers looking for their product heroes like Invictus and Good Girl, while others are looking for novelties and exclusivities like the Phantom animation. We’re also seeing that the affluent passengers are coming back and spending more, increasing our basket size – which is where the niche fragrances come in. Millennials and Gen Z passengers don’t look for popular brands, but love brands with a real raison d’être and DNA equity. Our recovery has been so effective because we tap into a lot of different passenger needs.”

So, within this recovery – how big of a contribution did travel retail have? Noens says, “While travel retail is still lagging behind local markets due to international restrictions and quarantine rules, it has already outperformed our expectations. We projected that we would reach 2019 levels by 2024 but achieved that goal in 2022.”

Noens says that activations like the Fame pop-up campaign, and last year’s hugely successful Phantom campaign, are essential to Puig’s overall recovery. “While these activations don’t necessarily directly impact our bottom line, they really help drive our long-term goals. We never used to do these grand activations before. Our goal is to add value to brand equity and awareness.

“Even if the passenger doesn’t buy in Heathrow, they will have a positive experience of the brand in Heathrow. This is how travel retail becomes a brand-building platform. Fame is not just a cool short term launch, but a long term pillar for Puig and that starts in travel retail.”

Partner's message

The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 313 | 28 July 2022

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 14 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail

Share this article: