So there we are again: Getting ready for the factory where I will work on bottles and handle boxes and more. Today, my bike ride towards the factory will be through winterland. We got about 15 cm snow on Sunday and it got quite cold for the season. The snow came early this year and I just hope that it will get out of my way as early in spring as it came in autumn. Snow comes with little fun factor for me in October, to be honest, and it seriously hampers biking and activities alike.

Anyhow: I am back from Luxepack in Monaco. I think I never was in Monaco before. I tend to stay away from somewhat expensive places (Monaco is sort of expensive) and hence, it was nice to fill this gap. But: We stayed in Nice over night, and took the bus to Monaco. We needed to take the bus as the French trains were – like so very often- not running due to strike of (some of) the SNCF workers. No comment on this fact. Today’s picture shows you Nice by night and in pouring rain.

So Luxepack. Luxepack is about the best fair for packaging in cosmetics and perfumery there is. Luxepack sounds like you would only find the luxurious packaging solutions there, but this is not what Luxepack is all about. The fair covers it all. From the most simple paper bag, to the most expensive wooden lacquer box that you can think of, decorated with all sorts of blingbling things, like Swarovski glitters. Although, I feel, Swarovski is kind of from yesterday.  I wasn’t really looking for the blingbling solutions, but I was looking for innovations in packaging, for labels, bottle labels, boxes, and caps. And I was there to talk to a couple of existing suppliers. I found a lot of potential suppliers, although, allow me this remark, I was amazed how some European companies had staff that was not interested in presenting their competencies, and how staff from some far east and US companies did all they could do to present their companies and portfolio. I feel there are a few European companies out there that have not realized yet that the world economy has gone global. One stand had the most amazing silk paper, it was a company with production in the US and in mainland China, and it was just amazing to see the quality of their print. Another stand of a company from Spain, had wonderful wooden caps, standard and according to your needs, in all sorts of woods and colors and of a quality that was outstanding. And then there were huge stands, where you could see the big names and their flacons, like Chanel, or Dior, and to be honest: I always get a little bit jealous as they can do it all, if they want, with their high numbers of bottles and boxes produced. But then, thinking about it, I usually realize that the small guys like me and others can do something else that them can’t.

What Luxepack proved to me, again, was the fact that it has become simpler and easier to enter the game. Low volume production (think 2-3000 bottles to start) or special editions have become quite easy to do. There is a shift happening with hurdles lowered. I guess the number of new brands and products making their appearance on the market these days is prove of this change. In a sense this is good. It brings diversity. In a sense, it is bad, as it has not become easier to make an outstanding fragrance.

Luxepack was huge. Two days is just about enough time to see it all, and not to get completely exhausted.