After my annual pilgrimage to Selfridges to buy smoked salmon and cream cheese, my new packaging heroes are Artisan du Chocolat. With the opening of a new concession just as you get to the Food Hall, Artisan appear to have seriously upped their game in terms of product development. All the loose chocolates - in every flavour from tobacco to sesame - were encased behind glass that ran the length of the concession. While the pre-packed chocolates were done so intriguingly and with a whimsical sense of humour that did not leave the realms of the incredibly chic. I loved the 'drink me' hot chocolate flakes, bottled in old-fashioned apothecary jars.
In referencing the Chanel No.5 packaging for their salted caramels, Artisan are knowingly borrowing a timeless design heritage, not to mention all the visual associations of luxury, femininity, and exclusivity. Were this flagrant referencing to run across the entire Artisan range, it would lose its credibility and stand only on the strength of the brand it evokes, but in using it sparingly, Artisan have succeeded in making it wittily their own.
And finally, (sorry it's probably got something to do with it being the season of goodwill and all that), top marks for their catalogue, which is sleek, modern, and clearly shows all the chocolates in their best light. Fabulous!