Guerlain combines heritage, science fiction and AI to celebrate the 170th anniversary of its Bee Bottle

Guerlain combines heritage, science fiction and AI to celebrate the 170th anniversary of its Bee Bottle

Paris-based agency mnstr has launched a film, produced in collaboration with artificial intelligence (AI), to mark the 170th anniversary of Guerlain's famed ‘Flacon aux Abeilles’, otherwise known as the Bee Bottle.

Almost 1,800 images generated by AI are compiled in the film ‘Born in 1853. Made for the Future' retraces the illustrious history of the bottle through the ages and artistic movements, before picturing it in a utopian future.

mnstr joined forces with digital studio Bonjour Lab to develop and train a bespoke AI model that is capable of recognising and reproducing Maison Guerlain's ‘Flacon aux Abeilles.’ 

An in-depth study of art history and extensive research of the Guerlain archives enabled mnstr to trace the ‘Flacon aux Abeilles’ to key moments in its history. 

Each of these moments, past and future, was then synthesized in the form of a prompt (a written request sent to the AI, containing all the keywords needed to generate a faithful image) written by the mnstr team. This laborious but essential work underlines the importance of human input when working with AI.

At a time when concerns are being raised about the use of generative art tools for creative purposes - often to the detriment of artists - mnstr has decided to move away from a binary confrontation between man and machine, and instead consider AI as a creative ally. 

With this in mind, the agency has set out to establish clear guidelines for the use of generative art tools. It has drawn up three rules, paying homage to the three laws once decreed by Isaac Asimov, the famous Science Fiction writer and forerunner of artificial intelligence:

  • Every image generated should be the result of a collaboration between humans and artificial intelligence: AI is never the sole creative force.
  • Humans and AI should work together to elevate the artistic process to a level of creative excellence that they could not achieve on their own.
  • Imperfections and anomalies - characteristics of generative art - must not be erased. These are the hallmarks of original creative exploration.

"There are very few brands that can lay claim to an object that is timeless enough to span 170 years of history. We wanted to share this heritage, but through the prism of science fiction. In terms of format, we used AI. This allowed us to visualize the bottle through the great visual movements of history, but also because AI is the visual language of today. In terms of content, it is a journey through time, taking us back to its origins in 1853, as well as transporting us into the distant future... 170 years from now… allowing us to celebrate the ‘Flacon aux Abeilles’ in surreal, highly original settings." Louis Bonichon, creative director and co-founder, mnstr


Creative Director and co-founder: Louis Bonichon
Deputy Managing Director & Partner: 
Simon Méchali
Strategic Planner: 
Martin Firedrich
Client Director:
 Sonia Ramdane
Artistic Director: 
Mathieu Chéroux
Vincent Frossard
BonjourLab Interactive
Original music:
Vincent Lagadrillière and Superpose Studio.

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