Luxury packaging: between tradition and modernity

Luxury packaging: between tradition and modernity


Luxury packaging of a brand cannot ignore packaging, and modern innovations have given the luxury packaging sector its letters of nobility. To stand out, to arouse emotion, to tell a story. So from now on, we celebrate the content through every detail, and we stimulate the act of purchase by transforming a simple box into a unique setting that will offer the object an invaluable added value.

A light exercise, which even the most prestigious brands are forced to engage in to stay in the race. What are these essential additions that always translate into an actual move upmarket?

Luxury packaging in history

It has been a long time since packaging went beyond its simple protective function! From now on, it is fully integrated into the very identity of products, and luxury products in particular. They are collected or reused, while others sell for a high price on the net.

Paper, invented in China over 2000 years ago, is undoubtedly the oldest packaging there is. Over the centuries, it has never stopped reinventing itself, whether it is about its touch, colours, or use. Perfumers, jewellers, and current cosmetics brands all offer him a real place of choice among their creations. To wrap soap or garnish delicate luxury packaging, the paper has its position more than ever.

A widely coveted spot and fight ferociously cardboard for many years. Soft or rigid, suitable for all designs, cardboard has given the luxury industry a real upgrade. Yet, it is he that we still find today most of the time, sometimes adorned with gilding or finely engraved for a spectacular effect.

Luxury cosmetic packaging

Inside macaron boxes, these are generally glass bottles visible in the cosmetics or perfumery sector. Invented in the 1st century BC, glass, resulting from the marriage of sand and fire, was quickly given a noble function. Originally intended to protect the exotic fragrances with which the princesses adorn themselves, it has been the holiday clothing of the vast majority of perfumes that have followed until today.

Plastics, democratized in the last century, have reversed the trend. Less expensive and easily malleable, the petroleum by-product has made the glass of its pedestal wobble to impose itself on the luxury packaging scene.

Luxury Cosmetic Packaging

Yes, but there is a disposable character in plastic that cannot be found in other materials. And now that consumers seem to be showing more interest in ecological concerns and the search for excellence, luxury packaging can reinvent itself.

Beauty, youth, refinement, the time has no hold over the cosmetics sector. Any luxury packaging offered must therefore take on an essential timeless aspect. Both are unique to be easily identifiable but sufficiently refined so that everyone can identify with them.

Today, luxury packaging has become an entire industry in its own right. With several tens of millions of units sold each year, a formidable proportion of jobs, and numerous specialized school courses, it is the theatre of ancient know-how and a colossal quantity of innovations.

With the key, sublimated moments where the act of giving is adorned with a touch of elegance and a hint of the extraordinary. Frozen moments when, for a brief moment, the content itself hardly matters anymore.

What characteristics for luxury packaging?


Impossible to consider luxury packaging that is not interested in aesthetics. A move upmarket must necessarily be accompanied by an exchange between the brand and the consumer. Communicate your values, but not just any old way!

Tell a unique, authentic story that you will manage to translate into all the markets to try your luck.

Moreover, the freedom of creation is total. So dare the exuberance or, even more complex, the carefully thought out minimalism. The luxury packaging allows a multitude of materials and designs, from the soberest to the most original.

The bold shapes or rectangular boxes with a strong impact are yours

The solicitation of the senses


The first sense required whatever the type of packaging!

We think here of colour, and luxury packaging allows itself on this point rarely fancy. So black, white, beige, grey remains the preferred colours for high-end positioning.

The contrast is also between a generally matt background and an ideally shiny text. Here you will choose the application of a varnish or pretty gilding, particularly characteristic of luxury packaging.

Finally, sobriety, perfectly compatible with the sought-after prestigious appearance. Do not forget to take care of each of the integrated elements as much as possible.


In addition to socially valuing the consumer, luxury products must offer a quality experience. Since luxury packaging will inevitably use more noble materials than its less expensive counterparts, think of satin, the softness of velvet or the pleasant feeling of a sheet of tissue paper.

The cardboard packaging will usually be textured with embossing or others for discovery as tactile as visual.

The solicitation of the senses

On this point, moreover, most of the big houses have tried the experiment. The home of William Grant & Sons, for example, has struck a blow for its 50-year-old whiskey. It is an actual work of art; its limited-edition packaging has been entirely hand-carved from 49 superimposed layers of wood.

In another register, we also think of Marc Jacobs lipsticks and their magnetic cap. This brings here a pleasant resistance. Luxury has to be earned!


Forget the classic plastic and its aggressive crumpling for the eardrum. Here we prefer muffled sounds, delicate rustling. Luxury packaging design very gently, also on this point.

The smell:

We like the addition of a light fragrance that will give a delicate scent to cardboard or paper. Otherwise, the choice of neutral materials that will avoid the smell of warehouse plastic will be quite suitable.


If a few edible packaging appears in the food sector, luxury packaging has not exploited this possibility yet. Perhaps you will be at the origin of the next dazzling innovation?

Personalized packaging

Personalization is a powerful vector of differentiation in the highly competitive packaging sector due to custom boxes. All the more so in terms of luxury products which generally obey more or less similar codes.

A USA study revealed that 75% of people questioned expected a luxury product to reflect their personality.

A confirmed growing demand comes from new buyers who have recently entered the luxury market: the young public. There is a strong need for Generation Y and Z to assert their identity through their purchases. While quality must be there, personalization of the experience is becoming more and more essential with luxury packaging.

By going to the site, the buyer can now customize his bottle by choosing its size, the colour of the glass or by adding a pretty ribbon. Then, a small engraving to complete the whole, a packaging to slip the bottle and all that remains is to order. More difficult to set up in stores, online commerce offers excellent prospects here.


Customers in the luxury sector are not just customers. The buyer of luxury packaging expects to consider more than a traditional consumer.

Without embarking on sophisticated industrial processes that your budget could not support, start by favoring simple shapes and materials but work to perfection. Whether it’s your regular collections or a limited edition, embark on projects that you can afford but always strive for excellence.

When we stop recognizing our emotions, we stop understanding the meaning of our experiences.

An Extra Touch for Packaging for Luxury Clothing

While the perfume and cosmetics sectors generally offer us tremendous innovations, other markets have learned to come to terms with the strict codes of luxury packaging.

High-end ready-to-wear collections now fit into boxes or cases in which there is real value. Here a delicate care sheet, there a thick velvet touch paper. A nice leather tie perhaps to close the whole thing.

The luxury sector does not necessarily use rare materials or creations, but it is an actual trademark to feel that they are!

This is sometimes due to a simple bag that will become recognizable among all.

Enough to keep a coherent visual identity and juggle between renewal and authenticity. An essential exercise at a time when the least of your creations promises to  found soon on social networks!

Luxury perfume packaging

We can never say it enough; the packaging is essential to make people want to buy. We remember Steve Jobs, who was attentive to the sound when opening a package. The big perfume houses pay particular attention to the richness of their branding strategy.

In perfume, moreover, the consumer face the two packages: the bottle itself and the cardboard packaging. The two must blend into each other to gain attention and fit into the overall experience.

The packaging also allows certain information to transmit the future buyer, whether it is a masculine or feminine. Essence on the one hand, but also the brand chooses the positioning in terms of values, or emotion for example.

This will pass:

By color: Rather orange for vitality? Purple for a touch of royalty or a glamorous black enhanced by a few hints of shine?

By the shape

This one will adapt  the bottles, of course, but can, in some instances, show an astonishing ingenuity. At the same time, they keep in mind that easy handling and optimal protection remain the two fundamental criteria.

The name of the brand or its logo must also appear, in particular on luxury packaging. Even more than with everyday consumer products, this little extra can be an actual purchase trigger here. Provided, of course, that this is done subtly and discreetly so as not to overload the whole Packaging market events!






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