World-famous perfumer gets back to business
When Coronavirus struck at the beginning of 2020, Floris faced one of the greatest challenges in its almost 300-year history. The perfumer, which supplies fragrances to the British royal family and celebrities including Michael Caine and Liv Tyler, was forced to close the doors of its famous West-End store and move most of its sales online.
For a business which relies so much on the senses, this was a considerable setback, explains Edward Bodenham, Director and descendant of the founder Juan Floris. “Other organisations can continue to run when staff are working remotely, but you can’t develop and experience fragrances on a video call. We need our people in the office so that they work on new perfumes in person.”
One of Floris’s most famous customers was the nurse, Florence Nightingale, who made an early connection between ventilation and health in hospital wards. Nearly 160 years later, Bodenham had to solve a similar problem. Most of Floris’s seven employees work in an office beneath the showroom where opportunities to circulate fresh air are limited. “Understandably our staff are concerned about the transmission of Coronavirus when they are in the office,” he says. “We want them to feel completely safe when they come back to work.”
“We know exactly how fragrances and the atmosphere in a room can make people feel more positive and confident. That’s exactly what we’ve noticed since we installed the AirHavn Pro. People are happy to be back in the office, they’re upbeat and they feel like they can concentrate more easily” Edward Bodenham, Director, Floris
Protecting staff, safeguarding the business
With staff well-being at the front of his mind, Bodenham began exploring ways of protecting employees from Coronavirus. Following UK government guidelines, his team put in place social distancing protocols, installed disinfectant hand gel, and provided face masks for employees and visitors.
While these measures are effective against transmission via surfaces and large airborne droplets, they don’t prevent airborne transmission via small droplets, also known as aerosols. These persist in the air for longer and also travel further. “We discovered some filtration and ventilation devices that remove airborne viruses, but most of them were too expensive and bulky for our office. It was only when we spoke to AirLabs that we found a device that matched our requirements,” he says.
Bodenham and his team ordered two AirHavn Pro devices from AirLabs. Compact and portable, each unit combines advanced particle and gas filters that remove more than 95% of airborne viruses and and allergens. Initially Bodenham was surprised by the size of the units. “It was only when we switched it on that we realized how much power is packed into each device, and how much clean air it can pump into the room. They are also remarkably quiet.”
Smart design for a safer workspace
Setting up the devices was also easy. “We were able to tuck them out of the way, without having to move furniture or reconfigure the space. We have quite a large open plan office, but within minutes we could feel fresh air reaching every corner of the room.”
“We have quite a large open plan office, but within minutes we could feel fresh air reaching every corner of the room”
Edward Bodenham, Director, Floris
For a business that relies very much on its sense of smell, staff were bound to be sensitive to any change in the office environment and air circulation. But they were equally positive. Many have commented on the fresh and clean atmosphere in the office, while others have said that they feel more confident and relaxed knowing that Floris has taken every step to protect them from Coronavirus.
“As one of the UK’s oldest perfumers, we know exactly how fragrances and the atmosphere in a room can make people feel more positive and confident. That’s exactly what we’ve noticed since we installed the AirHavn Pro. People are happy to be back in the office, they’re upbeat and they feel like they can concentrate more easily,” says Bodenham.
Floris has an illustrious past, counting Winston Churchill, Marilyn Munroe and Ian Fleming amongst its most famous customers. Bodenham is now looking to the future with confidence. “Being able to prevent the airborne spread of Coronavirus is only one advantage. We also hope to reduce staff absences during flu and allergy seasons. Installing the AirHavn Pro has been a breath of fresh air, in every sense of the words.”
Read more about the AirHavn Pro