The publishing mogul/poet Felix Dennis is blunt about it: “The problem with the great idea is that it concentrates the mind on the idea itself…But unless the idea is executed efficiently and with panache and originality, then it doesn’t matter how great the idea is, the enterprise will fail.”
It’s a nifty piece of wisdom, and has always struck me in regard to the grand old firm of Guerlain, whose business model for many years was less to create than to perfect.
You didn’t wear Guerlains for their startling uniqueness, because almost nothing of Guerlain’s was unique. You wore them for the quality of the materials used and for the careful handling of those ingredients. Guerlain’s execution was what shone through. The origin of the idea was not important. Caron might create, Coty certainly did, even Jean Patou from time to time produced creations, but Guerlain guerlainified, and the results were charming, very high quality, with a delicacy all their own. Continue reading