In July 2020, Krigler became one of the first beauty brands—and the first luxury fragrance house—to sell a fragrance with an NFT (a.k.a. a non-fungible token).
“At Krigler, we’ve always prioritized providing exceptional service to our discerning clients. For years, we’ve leased scents from the Krigler archives, enabling a client exclusive access to a scent and precluding anyone else from wearing it,” says Ben Krigler, current head of the family fragrance house. “Including an NFT option when a client leases a fragrance is an extension of that service,” says Ben. “The NFT is like a digital contract that cannot be forged, hacked or stolen, making it the most secure option for our clients.”
The archived fragrance leased this year using an NFT is Krigler Grand Bonheur 54, a scent originally created in 1954 for the wedding of a Greek banking heir. Inspired by the great joy of the aftermath of WWII and also by the birth of a child in the client family. This perfume represents the joy cruising on the Mediterranean Sea in Greece. It features notes of red roses, jasmine, patchouli, vanilla and cedar wood.
The NFT establishes exclusive ownership of Grand Bonheur 54 for one year. The Krigler NFT, created on Ethereum blockchain, is available to any consumer wishing to lease an archived fragrance. To arrange an NFT, consumers can visit or call one of Krigler’s global boutiques.
Here, we caught up with Ben to learn more about Krigler’s foray into NFTs and what the future looks like for digitized scent.
BeautyNews: Can you speak to what an NFT is?
Ben Krigler: Thanks to the blockchain, even works of art can now be authenticated and secured like Bitcoin. After money, it is therefore the turn of the art to digitize itself—and this is based on NFTs, non-fungible cryptographic tokens.
To popularize as much as possible, we can compare this to video games, where we can generally buy virtual objects, such as a weapon. In a game where the developer would infinitely multiply the same item, and where each player could buy it, we would be in the situation of traditional cryptocurrencies. Except, if the developer of this hypothetical title decided to include only one of these items for all players, it would be unique and, inevitably, its value would soar due to demand.
It is more or less the same principle with these NFTs, the great feature of which is that they are not fungible. Where an entire Bitcoin can be exchanged with another whole Bitcoin, and will retain the same value, such as when exchanging a $10 note for another $10 Dollars note, NFTs have a unique identifier that differentiates them from each other. They are then said to be non-fungible since they have their own identity, like a work of art, and these virtual tokens are exchanged according to supply and demand.
The fact that NFTs are not fungible is also the reason they are not particularly suited to the art market. The blockchain gives value to the digital item, a tamper-proof digital certificate of authenticity, at a time when the question of certifying the authenticity of works of art is under debate. The digital object can then be traded. In any case, this success proves that blockchain can affect many other sectors, starting with art. This would cast doubt on the thoughts of Walter Benjamin, famous author of “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technical Reproducibility”, who already anticipated the infinite reproduction of digital objects, but had not foreseen the emergence of this future technology.
BN: What is the relationship between fragrance and NFTs?
BK: It’s an extension of our fragrances, our clients receive a creative virtual object representing the fragrance that was either created or re-created for them. Instead of a paper document, the NFT isn’t damageable, flammable and cannot be ripped off.
The client now receives an NFT, which is the illustration of his fragrance. That can be the notes/ingredients used to make that fragrance.
For instance, before you would receive a document on a special paper, like a diploma, but often it would get lost or damaged with the NFT. This will remain intact, and this is an added value to the fragrance itself. It’s no longer only the fragrance itself, or the container, it’s also now an extension of it with the NFT, a graphic representation of a fragrance. This makes the creative process and the result even more timeless.
BN: How did you decide on Grand Bonheur 54 to start?
BK: The query from the client was for a specific scent with specific ingredients. Also, there was the desire to own a fragrance created in a year that was important in its family, 1954.
The NFT is the illustration of the fragrance. And just like today, you can find old bottles of old perfumes in flea markets .The NFT could be sold afterward by the owner and represent a non fungible and—more importantly, a secured and authentic digital certificate.
BN: Will you be selling more fragrances with NFTs in the future?
BK: Yes because it’s an extension of the fragrances that we create;it’s an artistic item added to the delivery. Sometimes, they want an autograph on the bottle or on a certificate that it was created by Krigler for them. Now with the NFT, we have that fantastic extension on the blockchain to create an authentic, digital certificate that perfectly represents the illustration of a fragrance. Before, it was only the packaging, now it will be known 100 years from today in the perfect, undamaged NFT that Mr. Smith got the fragrance X and was one of the owners.
BN: Do you foresee more intersection between beauty and cryptocurrency in the future?
BK: I do, not only in terms of creativity but also confidentiality. One clear message and one clear request from our VIPs is to remain discreet on one end. And also in our open world, cryptocurrency offers the possibility to make the world closer and more convenient without having to go through payments in such or such currencies or to risk any hacking or stealing of a credit card number. As a merchant, it provides more security and faster process for a transaction.
It’s exactly the same kind of revolution that we experienced in the late 1990s with the internet. At first, people thought it was a gadget. Now, how many emails do you draft and mail per day? How many times weekly do you go to a public library to find information? The blockchain is the perfect non-breakable tool to have transactions with a client, to communicate securely. To hold sensitive information about our clients such as their taste, favorite scents, or history of purchases without risking the leak of confidential information. It’s a new way to protect a contract or conversation with someone without risking leaks. This is the web 3.0 and this will be for us, beauty 3.0 with incredible possibilities.