Bastille Perfume Adopts Digital Twin-based RFID

Published: November 16, 2023

The company leverages RFID and QR codes with Avery Dennison solutions to offer traceability of ingredients, live tracking of production, and a guarantee of brand authenticity,

When Bastille Parfums launched in 2020, the Parisian company intended to produce and sell a different kind of beauty product with 95 percent natural ingredients, sustainable production and packaging and a relationship with consumers to share the ingredients and practices that created it.

As part of this effort, the company has adopted an RFID solution that makes a digital twin of each product. It captures the data with a passive UHF RFID-enabled label printed with a QR code. The label enables the company to uniquely identify each product and track when it was bottled, shipped, received at a distribution site, and shipped to a customer. Once in the hands of the consumer, the QR code provides access to information about that product and its ingredients.

The solution includes Avery Dennison’s AD-327 U9 ETSI RFID labels and its Atma-io software platform for data management. The technology company also provides its RFID Undermount Reader to read the tags.

The product cloud platform allows the company to automatically create a digital twin of each product, enabling Bastille to track every product at every step of the supply chain from source to consumer and prove that it is authentic.

Being Transparent with Ingredients, Production

To pilot the technology, this past spring, Bastille began tagging two of its fragrances: its bestseller Pleine Lune and a newly released product, Paradis Nuit.

Sophie Maisant, Bastille’s CEO

Since day one, the brand “has been very transparent about how it operates and creates its products,” says Sophie Maisant, Bastille’s CEO. The perfume industry as a whole has not traditionally shared information about ingredients in their products. For consumers who want to know precisely what is in the fragrance they are putting on their skin, “it’s quite an opaque and mysterious industry,” Maisant says. In contrast, Bastille discloses the natural elements and the five percent of synthetics.

This year, they took that transparency more directly to consumers by adopting the RFID solution with QR codes. It has two objectives: to gain visibility into each product’s movements, ensure the product is authentic, and share its related information with consumers. In keeping with the company’s name (for Bastille Day or French “Independence”), consumers, Maisant says, “have total freedom of choosing the right product for your olfactive signature.”

When the company began working with Avery Dennison about a year ago, “we were really intrigued by the additional transparency we could have and bring to our consumer through RFID sensor technology,” she says.

How it Works

When the perfume is bottled in the French manufacturing site and placed in its outer packaging, an RFID label on that package is read with an RFID reader. Socos Services provides the manufacturing process as well as applying the RFID tags.

The unique ID encoded on the tag is then linked to that product in the software, creating a digital twin. then connects each product’s digital information that could be accessed by suppliers, brands, retailers, and consumers. By assigning a tag to a product and reading it as it is bottled, the company has a live view of what products have been produced, which can be compared against orders, ensuring the manufacturing process takes place on time.

When the product reaches the company’s distributor, the tag is read as it is received into the warehouse and then again as it leaves to a retailer customer. With each tag read, that data is updated, providing the company with the status of each product and confirming its authenticity to the party who is reading the tag to prevent any counterfeit products or gray market diversions of products.

When a customer shops for the product, or after they buy it, they can use their phone to scan the QR code, which then sends the phone to the website where content is displayed for that perfume. SharpEnd provides digital experiences for consumers who scan the QR code.

The information users can see includes the date when the product was bottled and its ingredients. Other information consists of the ingredients and their origin, such as bergamot, from Egypt or Tunisia. As users scroll down the page, they are offered discounts in the form of 15 percent off their next purchase if they sign up for a newsletter, providing their contact information,” and then we can follow up and engage with them further,” says Maisant.

The technology is currently in the pilot stage, says Maisant, and she considers the deployment details, with two product lines, to be the first step. In the future, she says, she hopes that more retailers receiving the goods would also acquire RFID readers for inventory management purposes and could then read the tags as they are received.

For wholesalers and retailers, she adds, having an RFID system onsite for receiving goods would save time and labor “when they want to check their inventory or confirm that what they expected to receive is there.”

Bartec CEO Dr. Martin U. Schefter/Photo courtesy Bartec

She also envisions a time in which the company’s suppliers are labeling their products (ingredients for the perfume) with RFID tags so that each product has an end-to-end digital history – including its components – that authorized parties can access. For example, such a total solution could track when the elements were harvested, where, and how they were stored. That data could then be linked to every bottle of perfume that included those ingredients.

Initially, Maisant says, the company wants to demonstrate – from an operational level – the benefits the data and digital twin can provide for visibility into production and shipping.

The first RFID labeling began in May with one product, with the second product batch being labeled in July. The company worked with Socos Services which provides the manufacturing, to incorporate the labels in the packaging process.

Bastille also plans to leverage data related to QR code scans by consumers to access interaction analytics, providing insights into customer engagement with different fragrance collections. In this way, the company expects to understand its customers better and identify trends. By creating a communication channel with customers, Bastille intends to develop a stronger connection with customers and reinforce their loyalty.

Key Takeaways:

  • Perfume company Bastille Parfum is tracking two of its brands through bottling and the supply chain with an RFID to ensure products are produced and shipped on time and are authentic.
  • With a QR code on the RFID label, the perfume also enables consumers to access essential information about how it was made, its ingredients, and how to engage with the company further.