Exclusive: The Creation of Lancôme Edition Féérique La Vie est Belle Polly Blitzer
When Lancôme invites you on a private tour of a music-box atelier in the Swiss Alps, you go. And you bring a camera to share every detail with Beauty Blitz. Lancôme joined forces with Reuge, the Swiss music box maker and Baccarat crystal to create a true holiday treasure, Lancôme Edition Féérique La Vie est Belle. All three brands collaborated to interpret the spirit of La Vie Est Belle fragrance. Only 15 of these music boxes were produced in a setting that looked like of Santa's workshop, and Beauty Blitz got to watch the amazing process. Find out why some people are waiting to spend $35,000 on one song instead of downloading it on iTunes for 99 cents.
Composition Polly Blitzer
Each Lancôme Edition Féérique La Vie est Belle music box consists of:
1. Crystals. There is a Baccarat crystal chandelier inside each music box made of 133 crystal drops and 48 crystal tubes. The fragrance sits on loose crystals.
2. Film Inspiration. Baccarat's chandelier echoes fixtures in the Lancôme La Vie Est Belle film campaign, directed by Tarsem Singh and starring Julia Roberts.
3. Fragrance. Uplifting and sweet, Lancôme La Vie Est Belle combines distinct notes of iris and jasmine with carmelized undertones of praline.
4. Music Box. When you press a button on the Reuge music box, you see gears and cylinders turn. Then a rendition of "Beautiful Days" by Venus, the soundtrack from Lancôme's film, starts playing. The turntable revolves, and purple lights illuminate the bottle and chandelier. The effect is transcendent.Photo by: Courtesy of Lancome, Polly BlitzerAdvertisement
Ste-Croix, Switzerland Polly Blitzer
Reuge atelier is perched on a hilltop in Sainte-Croix, the heart of the Swiss Alps. In 1865, when Charles Reuge opened his first musical pocket-watch shop in Ste-Croix, the village became the center of the emerging music box industry. A pioneer, he went on to incorporate a music boxes and pocket watches. And the innovation continues today.
Metalsmithing Polly Blitzer
Building a music box requires many stages that take 120 days of labor. I watched artisans gold-plating, nickel-coating, engraving, filing, cutting, polishing, soldering.Photo by: Courtesy of Lancome, Polly Blitzer
Building the Cylinder Polly Blitzer
Each box has a custom-tailored spiked cylinder and comb, which must be perfectly in sync for notes to play. Notes play when the cylinder revolves, causing pins to pluck metal teeth on the comb. Each pluck plays a note.
Watch my Instagram video of cylinder pinning. Doesn't it look like metal stubble?Photo by: Courtesy of Lancome
Quelle Precision! Polly Blitzer
Focused attention is paid to the mechanisms. And you thought your 10x makeup mirror was scrutinizing.Photo by: Courtesy of Lancome
Mixing Notes Polly Blitzer
Did you know that it's impossible for a music box to be out of tune? The comb is tuned by a craftsman when the box is made, and it stays that way, unlike a piano or violin.
Watch my Instagram video of a music box playing for the first time in the atelier.Photo by: Courtesy of LancomeAdvertisement
Gears & Tools Polly Blitzer
Mechanical music requires precise placement of parts to get the desired notes. After each box is built, a craftsman tweaks the alignment of the parts, while listening to the music until he is satisfied.
Watch my Instagram video of Lancôme's box being adjusted.
Handling Crystals Polly Blitzer
Baccarat designed relicas of the Art Deco chandeliers in La Vie Est Belle's campaign. Baccarat artisans handcrafted each piece. To protect the crystals during shipping, the chandelier had to be placed inside dense foam, then inserted in a box, which was packed in a foam-packed, shock-absorbent wooden case.
Baccarat Chandelier Polly Blitzer
Purple LED light dances across the crystal drops while the perfume turntable revolves. The light bounces back and forth between the glass jars, creating the never-ending illusion of an infinity mirror. Brilliance overload!
La Vie Est Belle 2013 Polly Blitzer
Lancôme Edition Féérique La Vie est Belle is sold in the Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gifts collection for $35,000.