Guerlain Controversy – Orchidee Imperiale Gold Nobile – Guerlain “Quantum” cream and fraudulent marketing tactics – Defending science against the charlatans. Story by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE. Photo Courtesy: Guerlain. Creative concept: Runway Magazine.
It’s been a little less than a week since the luxury market in France was blown by recent events. The cosmetic brand Guerlain, which belongs to the French luxury giant LVMH, launched January 4 new highly priced “Quantum” cream. Guerlain’s communication around this cream claimed to be innovative. However, scientific opinions brought to light by Youtuber G Milgram (French) suggest that this cream is deemed a complete hoax. Guerlain is touting the “quantum revolution” to promote its new cream, a claim that has forced scientists to defend science against abusive marketing techniques.
What is “Innovation” of Guerlain “Quantum” cream Orchidee Imperiale Gold Nobile
According to the brand, the cream offers “a new path to cosmetic rejuvenation for the skin born from quantum science”, as we read in their press-release. On Guerlain and Sephora sites, it explains that this product is the result of a “partnership” with Palacky University in the Czech Republic, the latter being an “expert in quantum biology”.
“I first thought it was a hoax, but no,” – wrote physicist Etienne Klein on Twitter (X). “I can hear from here the corpses of Schrödinger, Dirac and Heisenberg turning in their graves,” he added, evoking the names of three theoretical physicists of quantum mechanics.
“Rejuvenation”, “biotechnological process”, “quantum light”. To understand the description of Guerlain ‘s latest flagship product , you not only need a French-English dictionary, but also probably a physics-biology manual (And more). 6 days ago the LVMH subsidiary brand has put on sale a new anti-aging cream entitled “Crème Orchidée Impériale Gold Nobile”, at the price of 650 euros for 50ml. Or 13,000 euros per liter.
Guerlain states that in addition to relaying the properties of an orchid endemic to the Himalayas, its cream is inspired by “the quantum revolution”. Science, real science? Its product quite simply offers “a new way of cosmetic rejuvenation for the skin, born from quantum science”.
Experts in physics and quantum theory – given the obvious nature of the adjective causing some amusement – are notably critical. This skepticism is amplified by the fact that the term “quantum science” does not specifically refer to any defined field, as the more commonly used terms are “mechanics” or “physics” within the realm of quantum theory.
Guerlain asserts that its skincare line “leverages notable scientific progress in the realm of quantum biology as applied to skin cells, showcasing proven outcomes” in collaboration with biophysicists from Palacky University (Czech Republic), albeit without elaboration. However, Palacky University’s response indicates a lack of scientific substantiation. The university clarified that while they are engaged in research, Guerlain, the sponsor of said research, bears full responsibility for all related communications.
Who created this pseudo-scientific and dubious marketing for Guerlain new cream
What happened to such a reputed Guerlain house with such rich and impeccable history? 11 months ago Guerlain welcomed new CEO Gabrielle (Rodriguez) Saint-Genis, and new Marketing Director Carla Pieretti.
Well, it seems Harvard Business School has swapped its textbooks for shady sales techniques. Maybe this lady should consider a career launching 360° campaigns on the Darknet – the perfect transition, right?
Meet Carla Pieretti, the genius behind this “advertising” campaign for Guerlain. From Harvard Business School to crafting fraudulent slogans in the black market, Carla’s journey is like a masterclass in unexpected career pivots! Crafting brands with purpose, aren’t we?
Talk about a spectacular strategy to peddle outrageously priced, mediocre skincare products! The 360° strategic brand campaign for Guerlain’s latest cream was a smash hit – in the sense of smashing Guerlain’s reputation and sending the brand value plummeting to new lows. 11 months to achieve such a record? That’s not just marketing; it’s a masterclass in unintentional self-sabotage!
“Our Orchid Impériale Gold Nobile skincare line is based on significant scientific advances in the field of quantum biology applied to skin cells, with demonstrated results. The field of quantum biology is a recent and recognized field of scientific investigation,” – reads communication on Guerlain website.
Carla Pieretti just threw caution to the wind and skipped the whole “let’s prove our claims with actual science” party, opting instead for a wild ride on the rollercoaster of pure marketing mayhem. She’s like the sorceress of pseudoscience in the marketing realm, and guess what? She snagged the prize in a mere 5 days and created a big buzz about it!
And that “revolutionary” innovation she’s touting? It’s playing hide-and-seek at the scientific conferences, nowhere to be found despite Carla’s epic marketing tall tales.
Sure, using this cream won’t kill you, but hijacking scientific terms has become a felonious trend in the cosmetic market – and she made this luxury house to join the wordplay crime spree! If the prestigious Guerlain, part of the LVMH elite, is following these footsteps, they’re basically contributing to the luxe world’s grand demarginalization. Who knew chasing luxury could be this entertainingly chaotic?
What scientists think about this new Guerlain “Quantum” cream
Youtuber G Milgram contacted several scientists, professors of the Universities who offered his opinion on this subject. Alain Aspect the winner of Nobel Prize 2022 for Quantum physic contacted G Milgram following this “quantum buzz”, because he too does not appreciate that science is used in a fallacious way. G Milgram proposed these opinions on his videos anonymously due to many reasons.
After all, who wants to risk losing funding for their research or facing the axe at the hands of the mighty LVMH?
Speaking out not only puts your reputation on the line but could also mean playing a high-stakes game of unmasking fraudulent marketing strategies. It’s a tall order when the potential consequences include financial repercussions and possibly getting the boot from the lab.
Here, I’m simply incorporating these viewpoints, translating them from French to English.
“Guerlain says that their new treatments “are effectively based on significant scientific advances in the field of quantum biology applied to skin cells (measurement of Ultra-Weak Photon Emission), with demonstrated results.” This emission of UPE by cells was discovered in 1923 by Gurwitsch, but the means to properly detect this kind of light emission were only developed in the 1960s. So when Guerlain says that “the field of quantum biology is a recent and recognized field of scientific investigation. He demonstrated that living cells emit, beyond molecules, much smaller particles of photons or UPE”, we are not sure of the recent, very recent in terms of the discovery of UPE, except perhaps on geological timescales. “Recent advances” should rather be taken as “no one had heard of it before recently in the world of skincare products”. O, is not far from “shut up, it’s quantum!” » but using real documented phenomena which allow the use of impressive vocabulary. I can’t help but think it’s designed to appeal to audiences receptive to “quantum” bullshit in a sort of wet-fingered science/wellness pseudo-reconciliation.”
“I think we can summarize their advertising campaign like this: their new anti-aging cream is absolutely not quantum. On the other hand, it seems possible (even if it is still controversial due to the complexity of biological systems) to measure the oxidation of the skin by measuring radiation called Ultra-weak photon. What is probable is that at Guerlain they said to themselves “Ha, oxidation is aging, if we can measure this aging by measuring photons (= quantum in their heads), if so we have a quantum cream”. They are probably banking on the quantum buzz to sell more by taking their customers for fools.”
“Beyond an abusive use of the famous “shut up, it’s quantum” technique, I see a real lack of understanding of the subject. And unfortunately this is something that quantum mechanics and theoretical/modern physics suffer greatly from.
The mathematics of quantum theory is quite abstract for the average pegu, and often some popularizers have taken quite venerable shortcuts in their explanations. The problem is that we give people the idea that these are magical things, which arise from wild hypotheses and then recorded. In reality, quantum physics is above all a brilliant revolution in mathematics. Mathematics predicts things, which go against the classic intuition that we have, and that has led to problems of interpretation. The sad reality is that quantum mechanics is far from being magical, and on the contrary obeys very strict rules.
We cannot apply our usual intuition precisely because of these rules.
But the companies’ use of this science, the new age jargon quantum bullshit is unbearable. My colleagues and I often have fun inventing new quantum technologies that could be sold online. And we realized two things: If we sold it as quantum mechanics really is, no one would be interested in it. That wouldn’t be fancy or dreamy enough. On the other hand, if we take a correct idea, an established and precise term, and twist it just enough, until it no longer has any connection with its definition, we can start to be millionaires quickly. This is how words such as energy, frequency, vibrations, fields and the like were hijacked from their actual use to sell people bladders.”
“The term “quantum light” is purely marketing: light is a natural phenomenon which, like many others, can be described by quantum physics. Quantum light is just light, young skin and old skin emit the same thing. Cellular light emission correlated with youth” that’s totally bullshit, there is no connection. Between the youth of the cells and the emission of light which a priori is only linked to their temperature.”
“That’s still a good thing that a pretty flower like the orchid is capable of “acting on the scale of the infinitely small”. It would have been less of a seller (for Guerlain cream) if this publicity stunt says that the cream had been based on duck liver (although it works well in homeopathy…)
Once again, I don’t see in which world “targeting the cellular quantum light of the skin” could have the slightest meaning. Especially if we remember that this supposed technological feat is carried out by an orchid.
There is absolutely nothing scientific, it is nothing other than classic pseudo-scientific communication. Cosmetics groups are quite accustomed to this but here it reached a level that I had never seen before.”
“Creating quantum effects on an entire living cell (and with an ointment…) is just impossible currently. The maximum that was achieved was the entanglement of two molecules a few weeks ago.”
“Guerlain mentions a quantum particle smaller than the atom, but loses all credibility by asserting that “this quantum particle makes up light”.
Objects smaller than the atom, such as elementary particles, are well known and described by the standard model. In this model, which is one of the most advanced in modern physics, nothing makes up light, and no entity is smaller than a quark, an electron or a boson until now.”
“Objects smaller than the atom, such as elementary particles, are well known and described by the standard model. In this model, which is one of the most successful in modern physics, nothing makes up light, and no entity is smaller than a quark, an electron or a boson until now.
A hypothetical theory envisions all elementary particles as even more fundamental, vibrating strings of energy in at least 11 dimensions (maybe you know string theory?)? Unfortunately, this hypothesis lacks experimental proof, being absolutely beyond experimental reach. So I’m very curious to know which quantum particle they are referring to.
Could the orchid surpass the performance of the best particle accelerator? Have they managed to encapsulate the purely hypothetical black hole singularity in a glass jar?
It is difficult to maintain a suspended judgment with such weak arguments, in the absence of scientific evidence. I am inclined to think that they are in the process of constructing an imagination where they would have succeeded in “putting light into a tube”.
“I quote: “the results of the cream: 10 amplified signs of youth: wrinkles, fine lines, smooth appearance, plumped appearance, firmness, elasticity, density, lifting effect, fineness of skin texture, pores. 6 revived light factors: luminosity, radiance, homogeneity, color imperfections, perfection of complexion, transparency.”
As for the signs of amplified youth, we are in the pseudoscientific of usual cosmetics, as for the revived light, this is not scientific and does not make sense.
It appears that the measurements are taken by eye. What does homogeneous light mean?
A smooth emission scepter? In which area? A homogeneous emission scepter would simply mean that the area in question emits the wavelength, not what is younger (RIP people born with skin defects..) what is their Brightness Baseline? This is pseudo-scientific. Little funny aside: if they indicate “revived”, they increase not the intensity of the radiation emitted, but the frequency of the photons, that would mean that with enough cream we could irradiate someone by emitting a fortune of UV, which is not bad for 600 euros.
If, on the contrary, there is an increase in the intensity of the radiation, that would mean that with enough cream we can make a bedside lamp and glow in the dark, a reasonable investment for 600 euros once again…”
“Quantum biology; so yes, it is a field of research that seriously exists, and which is not pseudo-scientific. On the other hand, and this is where we point out Guerlain’s deception and total bullshit: quantum biology is a very recent discipline, still at the stage of fundamental research, both theoretical and experimental, including the goal and to understand the quantum aspects of biological phenomena such as photosynthesis or the orientation of migratory birds. There is therefore no, absolutely no scientific paper in the literature, which goes beyond this type of research, and certainly not in a pseudo-application of quantum biology) to cosmetics.”
“Request a slot. Thus, the fact that Guerlain’s research is a poster in this congress on December 6, 2023 encourages us to think very strongly that their result is nothing extraordinary… Or at least that is what the cellular biology community thinks so.”
The landscape surrounding Guerlain’s “Quantum” cream has become a comedic whirlwind. As we navigate through this carnival of pseudoscience and marketing antics, it’s clear that the pursuit of truth in the luxury industry comes with its fair share of unexpected twists and turns. The saga continues, leaving us to wonder what surprises lie ahead in the ever-entertaining world of luxury. This product is still available for sale.
Go and Glow !