Helping a long-standing fragrance company display their roots as experts in the category while creating a beautifully-designed web store.We’ve worked with Thymes for years, and they wanted us to apply our understanding of their aesthetic and core beliefs into redesigning their website. Not only did they want to create a modernized interface for selling their products, but they also wanted the site to have an editorial angle that displayed their expertise and passion for fragrance. Fragrances are at a natural disadvantage online. A web version of scent strip technology is still the territory of science fiction, so retailers have to find creative ways to help customers understand just how a product will be experienced in real life. Despite that challenge, many fragrance brands have found beautiful, artistic ways to translate fragrance into both visuals and language. We worked with Thymes to develop the concept of Fragrance Profiles, a system that uses both elements to help users figure out just which scents they might like.
Fragrance Profiles break scent down into seven different families, such as gourmand (edible) and citrus. Each family is assigned a colored circle, making it possible for us to display the fragrance profile of each scent collection as a juxtaposition of three circles – a dominant family and two sub-families. Once users figure out which scents they prefer, they can easily visualize whether or not a collection suits their needs.
A Love of Ingredients
To elaborate on this system, Thymes provides background information about the history and origin of each scent family, as well as factoids about the individual ingredients. For example, a customer can click on “Yuzu” and a small tab will hover over it that tells them yuzu is “a sour Japanese citrus fruit about the size of a tangerine …”
One element that makes Thymes unique is that each of their collections has its own design. To let their individual artwork take center stage on their site, we created a pure, clean layout. We used textured, layered elements on photos and buttons to communicate the hand-crafted element of Thymes.
Creating Dynamic Content
To modernize the site for current retail trends, we knew that Thymes’ website needed to provide dynamic, editorial content. Customers want to see behind-the-scenes action that lets them know more about the people involved, up-and-coming products, and how they can further enhance their product experience. Working with Thymes, we created the concept of the Fragrance Studio, a collection of blog articles that cover new products, seasonal topics, tips for gifting and education about fragrance. We didn’t want the blog to be the back room of the site, but instead we designed it to contribute to all parts of the site, harmonizing with the photography and text as a whole.