Project: Michael S. Smith Home Fragrance Collection
Services Provided: Packaging Branding, Design and Creative Direction
Agraria commissioned me to design packaging for a new line of products for interior designer Michael S. Smith. This was my first project for Agraria and having just read Michael Smith’s book “Elements of Style” I was excited to do the project. To maintain Agraria’s brand integrity, I stuck to Agraria’s existing packaging structure format, and allowed the line to look independent. It was Agraria’s first co-branding venture and the launch was very successful.
Agraria is a luxury home fragrance company probably best known for their potpourri, diffuser oils (AirEssence) and perfumed candles. The company was founded by Stanford Stevenson and Maurice Gibson in 1969 and they sold products exclusively in their Nob Hill shop, but in the 70’s expanded to stores like Henri Bendel and BergdorfGoodman in New York.
In addition to the enthusiasm toward the unique and rich fragrances, the founders were so particular about to-whom and where they sold their products that over the years it stayed a bit of a “well kept secret” for the Park Avenue crowd.
The current owners purchased the company in 2004 and quickly re-branded, added some new products and went about building the business and maintaining their luxury status.
When I met Agraria, they did not have any in-house design or creative direction for the brand. The new owners were not from creative backgrounds as the founders had been so they commissioned a design firm to create the re-brand in 2004/5 and Agrariawas managing the brand but was understandably struggling with brand extensions and creation and integration of new concepts.
Following this project I would then design three other product lines for them in addition to an overhaul of the website. I was then asked if I would join them on staff and I became Agraria’s Executive Creative Director for a couple years.