SINGAPORE. Elizabeth Arden has partnered Changi Airport Group and The Shilla Duty Free to pre-launch its two new White Tea fragrances at Singapore Changi Airport, where they will be exclusively available until 31 March.

To celebrate this travel retail-exclusive pre-launch, the Revlon-owned beauty brand has created the world’s first Elizabeth Arden White Tea House pop-up, highlighting the new White Tea Wild Rose and White Tea Vanilla Orchid fragrances.

Located in the Terminal 1 Transit Departure Hall, next to Shilla’s central store, the pop-up opened on 3 March and will run until 13 April.

Elizabeth Arden brings rustic charm to Changi with the world’s first White Tea House.

Travellers are invited to enjoy tea blends inspired by the White Tea fragrance collection while discovering Elizabeth Arden’s bestselling skincare products presented “degustation style”.

The Moodie Davitt Report* was invited to witness the pop-up’s grand opening ceremony on 11 March. More than 100 guests attended the event, including local celebrity host Diana Ser, VIP representatives from the three partner companies, as well as key social media influencers and media.

Elizabeth Arden Vice President of Global Travel Retail Stephane Bonnet was on hand at the grand opening to welcome guests and unveil the #WhiteTeaMoments campaign.

Elaborating on the experiential concept, he said: “The White Tea House presents a new multi-dimensional 360° way to experience our new fragrances and be immersed in the world of Elizabeth Arden. We bring together a convergence of fragrance with skincare while providing relaxation and enjoyable moments to our customers.

“The customer will be pampered with comforting servings of tea inspired by the elegance of the White Tea fragrance collection. As they go along their journey of awakening their senses both olfactorily and gastronomically, they will also gain knowledge of the different skincare products offered by Elizabeth Arden in the most unique of ways. This multi-level experience exhibits a new creative way of beauty product sampling.”

“The White Tea House presents a new multi-dimensional 360° way to experience our new fragrances and be immersed in the world of Elizabeth Arden,” says Elizabeth Arden Vice President of Global Travel Retail Stephane Bonnet.

Not your average tea party: The White Tea House was opened in style by (from left to right) The Shilla Duty Free Singapore Merchandising Director Chillie Por, The Shilla Duty Free Singapore Managing Director Jeff Lee, illustrator Grace Ciao, celebrity host Diana Ser, Elizabeth Arden Vice President of Global Travel Retail Stephane Bonnet, Elizabeth Arden Senior Regional Director for Asia Pacific Travel Retail Yumie Chia, and Changi Airport Group Senior Vice President of Airside Concessions Teo Chew Hoon.

As the event’s special guest, Diana Ser was invited to discover the White Tea House menu in front of the live audience. Addressing the guests in both Mandarin and English, she said she felt “so privileged” to be at the world-exclusive pop-up, adding: “The Elizabeth Arden White Tea House doesn’t just look good, it will be a complete sensorial experience for travellers here.”

Ms Ser began her #WhiteTeaMoments experiential journey with a sampling of the White Tea fragrance collection, sprayed on their respective floral representations. She was then given a choice of three teas – each inspired by a different fragrance – based on her scent preference: Uplifting White Tea, inspired by the White Tea fragrance; Joyful White Tea Rose, inspired by White Tea Wild Rose; or Tranquil Vanilla Tea, inspired by White Tea Vanilla Orchid.

The White Tea House menu (above) outlines an experiential journey to discover Elizabeth Arden through fragrance-inspired teas and a range of skincare “platters” (below).

Following the tea tasting, Ms Ser got to sample Elizabeth Arden’s iconic skincare products, presented as “platters” in the form of a “skincare degustation”. Three platters are available at the pop-up: All Time Favourites Platter, comprising the brand’s bestsellers such as the Eight Hour range; Anti-Aging and Firming Platter, highlighting the Ceramide collection; and Rejuvenating Anti-Oxidant Platter, made up of the Prevage line.

Rounding up the menu with “dessert”, Ms Ser was presented – in an ice-cream cup – with the White Tea Body Crème to moisturise her hands and arms.

Celebrity host Diana Ser, perfectly in theme with her floral dress, samples the White Tea fragrances and Ceramide capsules from the Anti-Aging and Firming Platter.

Elizabeth Arden Vice President of Global Travel Retail Stephane Bonnet presents special guest Diana Ser with a token of appreciation.

Travellers who complete the #WhiteTeaMoments experiential journey will receive a Polaroid photo memento as well as a postcard and magnet set specially designed by illustrator Grace Ciao. Noted for her artistic style which combines the use of real flowers with water colours, Ms Ciao was on hand at the grand opening to offer live illustrations of guests.

In addition, the White Tea House is offering a complimentary postcard mailing service so that travellers can send personal handwritten messages to their loved ones. They can also take pictures at the striking pink floral wall, made up of roses, peonies and orchids to represent the two new fragrances.

The artist and her muse: Grace Ciao (right) with her illustration of Diana Ser; the talented Singapore-based illustrator was on hand to offer live illustrations at the grand opening.

The postcard and magnet design showcases Grace Ciao’s signature style which combines the use of real flowers with water colours.

Elizabeth Arden is urging travellers to share their #WhiteTeaMoments with their loved ones by providing a complimentary postcard mailing service at the White Tea House.

Customers who purchase any White Tea fragrance at the pop-up will get the chance to create their own white tea blend at the tea cart – a service that is exclusive to Changi Airport. They can further personalise the packaging with a name or a special message.

The packaging of the tea, with the words “Exclusively yours from Singapore Changi Airport” and a stamp featuring the iconic airport control tower and the new Jewel development, makes it “an ideal souvenir from Singapore”, said Elizabeth Arden.

“This is also a destination-focused ‘Sense of Place’ strategy highly valued in travel retail,” the brand added.

Elizabeth Arden Regional Director of Asia Pacific Travel Retail Senior Yumie Chia said: “The cosy ambience of the White Tea House, the pretty floral photo wall and the elaborate romanced plating of fragrance and skincare sampling makes every moment in the White Tea House a great moment to share on social media. Passengers have been happily sharing their moments of surprise and enjoyment on their own social media accounts.”

Many of these moments are also being shared with other passengers on the ‘My Moments’ message boards within the White Tea House, she added.

The experiential journey continues at the tea cart, where customers can create their own white tea blends in Changi-exclusive destination packaging.

Customers can choose from a range including white tea leaves, rosebuds, lavender, orange peel and lemongrass for their custom blend.

The #WhiteTeaMoments campaign is accompanied by strong out-of-home advertising across the four terminals of Changi Airport, and further amplified on the social media platforms of Changi Airport and The Shilla Duty Free.

Changi Airport Group Senior Vice President of Airside Concessions Teo Chew Hoon commented: “Changi Airport is honoured to host the world’s first Elizabeth Arden White Tea House experiential pop-up concept, and be the first airport to launch the two new beautiful fragrances ahead of the rest of the world. Passengers flying through Terminal 1 can take a moment to indulge in the fragrance of white tea to ease the stress of travelling, and bring home some elegant mementoes from Changi Airport.”

Hailing the activation as “a great celebration of a united three-way partnership”, The Shilla Duty Free Singapore Managing Director Jeff Lee said: “It is only with the excellent collaboration between Elizabeth Arden, Changi Airport Group and us that we can continuously achieve impactful retail surprises for the passengers travelling through Changi Airport. The White Tea House is a beautiful execution to create memorable moments for our customers.”

Celebrating “the pleasure of a life finely crafted”

With the launch of the first White Tea fragrance in 2017, Elizabeth Arden sought to capture in scent life’s simple pleasures – “a carefree afternoon, a good book, the first sip of tea”. It became the seventh bestselling new fragrance launch of 2017 in the US and was nominated by The Fragrance Foundation as ‘Fragrance of the Year’.

The same year saw Elizabeth Arden signing up Academy Award-winning actress and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon as the brand’s “Storyteller-in-Chief” and creative partner. A new White Tea campaign was released globally in 2018, introducing Witherspoon as the face of the fragrance.

[Click on the YouTube video below to view the 2018 White Tea fragrance campaign starring Reese Witherspoon]

Since then, White Tea has become a successful fragrance pillar for the brand, exceeding net sales and retail targets set globally, Stephane Bonnet told The Moodie Davitt Report.

“The White Tea fragrance did very well in travel retail, reaching a top three ranking after Elizabeth Arden Green Tea and Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue. 2018 was a robust year for White Tea especially in Europe travel retail where the franchise grew over 30%,” he revealed.

The time has now come to expand the White Tea franchise as a key driver of the brand’s growth strategy. “Our long-term vision for White Tea is to continue to drive brand relevance and elevate the Elizabeth Arden fragrance portfolio through a premium-positioned fragrance offering and enhanced lifestyle positioning,” Bonnet said. “Therefore, to continue bringing newness to the brand, two fragrances – White Tea Wild Rose and White Tea Vanilla Orchid – will be launched in spring 2019. A simple yet exquisite range of premium ingredient blends.

“The plan is to launch in all airports around the world to continue the momentum behind White Tea and anchor the franchise for the long term.”

Elaborating on the collection, Bonnet said: “The White Tea concept is all about celebrating the pleasure of a life finely crafted: discover the simple joy of defining a moment for you and savouring the personal reflection that comes with it. Tailor the world to your own private pleasure. Bottle the spirit, add a touch of serenity, and enjoy. In a busy and demanding world, the White Tea woman knows the value of finding a moment all of her own.”

Each scent brings to mind a different feeling you experience when taking a moment for yourself, he described: “White Tea Wild Rose is a sweet, delicate floral nuanced with freshness that puts a delightful smile on your face, and White Tea Vanilla Orchid is an opulent, innocent and alluring floral that brings you to a place of warm tranquility.”

The White Tea House pop-up was designed to evoke these feelings of joy and relaxation, through a concept that “integrates beauty and lifestyle elements with various memorable touch points during the service journey”, Bonnet explained.

“We wanted a concept that ties in beautifully all the lifestyle elements of our White Tea Collection – relaxing moments with a cup of tea, a good book, skin pampering.

“We want to offer a resting stop for passengers to drop by and have a cup of tea while experiencing our new White Tea fragrances and a specially curated ‘skin’s food’ menu. We are presenting a totally new way to experience skincare, just like a ‘degustation set meal’.”

Offering shareable and memorable moments was key to the White Tea House concept: “The beautiful presentation style will make the product discovery journey very enjoyable with lots of photo opportunities. Customers are encouraged to share their photo moments against a pretty floral photo wall. They also get the chance to customise their own White Tea blend if they make a purchase of a White Tea fragrance, providing the ultimate moment of self-creation and personalisation.”

The White Tea House was designed to offer plenty of photo opportunities, such as this Instagram-worthy floral wall and garden backdrop.

These moments are, of course, given traction on social media – an important part of Elizabeth Arden’s strategy. “Digital is integrated in all our marketing campaigns. In the case of White Tea House, we are linked on social media via our hashtags, #WhiteTeaMoments and #TravelwithArden, etc. We build on our social media presence with the support of influencers across Asia; this is inclusive of building presence on Chinese social media platforms such as WeChat, Weibo and Little Red Book,” said Bonnet.

The White Tea House pop-up concept is currently exclusive to Changi Airport. “We are receiving very positive response from customers and may consider rolling this out again in future,” he revealed.

This Trinity collaboration with Changi Airport Group and The Shilla Duty Free was made possible thanks to their “seamless” partnership, he noted. “We understand each other and what each party wishes to achieve. From conceptualisation to realisation, we took only two months [to launch White Tea House], but we managed to achieve it all together.”

“Seamless” partnership: Elizabeth Arden Vice President of Global Travel Retail Stephane Bonnet, Changi Airport Group Senior Vice President of Airside Concessions Teo Chew Hoon and The Shilla Duty Free Singapore Managing Director Jeff Lee share a celebratory moment.

The Changi First pre-launch was strategic, as the Asia Pacific region represents “a big share” of Elizabeth Arden’s travel retail business, growing from close to 50% in 2016 to more than 65% in 2018.

“Our target consumers belong to every nationality travelling through Asia Pacific, although Chinese make up a big percentage of our sales,” said Bonnet. “The beauty of the travel retail industry is its ability to be boundary-free whereby we have the opportunity to present our brand to all international travellers.”

The brand had a “strong” year in 2018, he noted, with a growth of 40% in travel retail driven by skincare globally.

“Our anti-aging category with Ceramide and Prevage continue to perform very well, thanks to the strong presence of our hero products – Ceramide capsules and Prevage Daily serum – on social media especially in Asia. Influencers like to talk genuinely about the efficacy of our products.”

Social media influencers have been instrumental in driving brand awareness as Elizabeth Arden ramps up its digital strategy and social media presence.

Looking ahead, Elizabeth Arden will continue to rejuvenate its skincare offering, while driving retailtainment and improving the customer experience in-store.

“Our goal is to keep gaining market share in 2019. Our focus will be on our anti-aging bestsellers as well as our innovations behind Prevage and Ceramide.

“Towards the last quarter of 2019, we will have an exciting new Capsule formula to be added to our skincare portfolio, further strengthening our brand position as the ‘capsules brand’. We will also have strong activations to animate the Capsules story.

“Last year, we rolled out a Sense of Place activation campaign across several key regions. This year, we are working on yet another new Sense of Place campaign, with the objective to be even more exciting than the previous year.

“In the case of our permanent counters, we are digitalising our Green Tea fragrance scent bars. The fragrance scent bars in Changi Airport are being reworked as we speak, and will soon be transformed into a fun and interactive showstopper, encouraging customers to pick up, experience and try,” he said.

About the Elizabeth Arden White Tea fragrance collection

The original White Tea fragrance was created by perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Guillaume Flavigny and Caroline Sabas, who wanted to capture “that refreshing moment of blissful solace experienced at the first sip of tea”.

Top notes: Italian mandarin, clary sage, sea breeze, Japanese white fern
Heart notes: White tea, mate absolute, white iris
Base notes: Madras wood, ambrette seed absolute, tonka bean absolute, trio of tranquility musks

For the new White Tea Wild Rose, perfumers Guillaume Flavigny and Rodrigo Flores-Roux sought to recreate the moment when “the air begins to warm up and the first rose blossoms of the season begin to bloom”.

Top notes: White tea, pear tree blossom, red currant, palmarosa
Heart notes: Bulgarian rose, Turkish rose, blush peony, clary sage
Base notes: Radiant musks, mate absolute, tonka bean, sheer amber

In creating White Tea Vanilla Orchid, perfumer Gil Clavien was inspired by “the moment of pure tranquility and comfort, like cosying up under a soft blanket”.

Top notes: Lemon primofiore, bergamot essence, quince, elemi oil
Heart notes: White tea, gardenia, dewy jasmine, vanilla orchid
Base notes: Ambrette, orris, vanilla essence, amberwood, musk

All three White Tea fragrances are housed in tall, angular bottles with clean lines and white-to-clear ombré design. The names of each fragrance are etched near the base of the flacon in different colours.

*Footnote: The Moodie Davitt Report provided on-location coverage of the launch of Elizabeth Arden’s White Tea House via Instagram – check out the ‘White Tea House’ Story Highlight by clicking here.