The great comeback of Chinese heritage brands

In China, the so-called guócháo trend, this national pride of “made in China”, increasingly appeals to new generations. Heritage brands are making a strong comeback and are becoming the pageantry of young Chinese, showing their affection for local brands. Examples of these old brands with growing success.

When the Forbidden City is reborn in perfume


In the heart of Beijing, the Forbidden City served as the residence of twenty-four emperors for almost 600 years. The Palace Museum, built in 1925 within its walls, is a magnificent architectural complex that makes it one of the most prestigious museums in the world. The building, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is now a public museum with rich collections of more than 5,000 years of history. This year, the Palace Museum has imagined and created, with centdegrés’ contribution, a collection of perfumes called “The six elegances”, representing the six main pavilions of the City. The bottle design reinterprets classic oriental aesthetics and borrows the clean lines of Chinese jade relics, with a stopper finely decorated with begonia petals. A fragrance that expresses an imposing, timeless and refined identity, honoring the cultural richness and history of the palace.

House of Gupon, Shanghai brand of traditional soaps


Founded in 1908 in Shanghai, House of Gupon has more than 100 years of expertise in the manufacture of solid soaps, especially for laundry. Recognized in China for its innovations, Gupon was acquired by the Shanghai Soap group, founded in 1923, today offering quality solid soaps to a larger range of products for home and beauty: liquid soap, detergent , disinfectant. Collaborating with centdegrés, House of Gupon has chosen to reinvent itself by revisiting its logo, an ancestral house merging classic and modern, and the conception of a new range of hygiene and beauty products in a new premium and timeless design. On May 11, 2021, the Gupon brand redesign was announced and celebrated at an official “Creative in China” ceremony led by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, hosted by Huayi Group and organized by Shanghai Soap. A pride for China and for all those who act in favor of the revival of old brands, testifying to an exceptional culture and heritage.

Tiger Balm: ancestral ointment and design fantasy


Tiger Balm is an ointment that relieves pain, created at the end of the 19th century by a Chinese herbalist with Burmese origin. Formulated with traditional plants such as camphor, clove or even Chinese cinnamon, this ointment comes in two versions: red is used to soothe musculoskeletal pain; the white to fight against headaches, stuffy nose, cough and insect bites. Until then handcrafted, it was transformed in 1926 into a real commercial brand: the Tiger Balm with its iconic hexagonal pot. For several years now, Tiger Balm has been inspiring designers and marketers. In 2016, Christian Dodson, a designer based in the United States, modernized the traditional yellow aesthetic of the Tiger Balm in a personal approach. He offers a more sophisticated and masculine packaging, black with a touch of red, while maintaining the illustration of the tiger. Others will follow: Muti, a South African design agency, Christopher Reath, a freelancer based in San Francisco or Stephanie Huang, an American illustrator. For the new coming year of the Tiger, will the Balm dare to surprise us with a new design? At centdegrés, we are ready to take up this challenge.

This article was made in collaboration with