2009 Editors’ Choice Award Winner: Cosmetics
Lotus Splendour, Lancôme’s show-stopping limited-edition compact, has trays that fall open like petals of a flower. Alexis Mabille, a young fashion designer, created the look of the package, which was modeled after a lotus blossom.
“We decided to offer a contemporary interpretation of the Indian lotus’s beauty,” says Silvia Galfo De Naw, senior vice president, marketing, makeup, Lancôme International.
The compact was produced by HCT France and HCT’s Metals division. “It was one of the most challenging metal projects we have undertaken,” says Romayne Apcar, general director of HCT France. “At the time, HCT Metals had just opened its doors, so we were really pleased that Lancôme chose us for this project. We are proud of how beautifully the part came out.”
The compact’s circular base and its three hinged petals were injected from zamac. “We chose zamac because we wanted a heavier weight to make the compact feel more luxurious,” says William Delbove, a packaging engineer for Lancôme.
The petals stay closed thanks to magnets. An iron disc glued on top of the compact’s weighted base attracts magnets embedded in the base of each petal, causing the trays to click neatly into place.
Apcar says that it took advance engineering on HCT’s part to ensure that the petals perfectly aligned to close with no gap between them. An innovation that Delbove devised helped make this possible. The top of each petal features one small recessed dot and another small protruding dot. When the petals close, touching each other, the male dots of one petal fit into the female dots on another petal, ensuring that the petals close flush against each other.
Small recesses near the top of each petal provide just enough of an indentation to allow customers to wedge the petals apart easily with just a fingernail. At the bottom of each petal, holes were drilled for hinge pins.
Once injected, the zamac parts were polished, electroplated, and then assembled. The outside of one petal was engraved with graphics. CPC Packaging awards panelist Maggie Wedemeyer, vice president of package development for Inter Parfums, says, “The three petals are molded cleanly, allowing the electroplating to have a mirror-like quality.”
The inside of the zamac petals is hollow. The space was instead filled with plastic pieces. “We removed some of the metal and filled the petals with plastic to make the compact somewhat lighter,” says Apcar. Laser-cut mirrors and product pans were inserted into the petals and glued to the plastic pieces.
Other packaging elements include a carton by Alliora and applicators by Yojin Cosmeplast and Shanghia Delviel Cosmetic Accessories. A brown drawstring pouch supplied by Qualipac-Priminter holds the compact in the carton. As an extra touch, pockets for the applicators were sewn inside of the pouch.
Delbove says that he loves the package because “it’s very pleasant to hold in the hand.” In the hand, the compact feels almost like a heavy metal egg.
“The package is clever, and one can appreciate the challenges in producing it,” says panelist Rochelle Bloom, president of The Fragrance Foundation. “It is beautifully executed.”