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Exclusive interview: Otro Perfume Concept


Otro Perfume Concept by Hugo Banha is a boutique that’s reinventing the experience of shopping for scents. We speak to the team about the secrets behind this fragrant space

Hannah Lewis / © Katie Wilson-Ells
Feature
Hannah Lewis,

‘To choose a perfume is an art’ reads the legend on the wall of Otro Perfume Concept, the Lisbon store that is changing the way people shop for perfume. The boutique, which opened in September 2015, is Portugal’s first concept store dedicated to fine fragrances, presenting the most exclusive brands and scents on the market in a truly luxurious environment. In less than a year, Otro Perfume Concept has become a must-visit space for anyone searching for the perfect perfume.

A life in luxury
Owner Hugo Banha has worked in the luxury retail sector for over 15 years and it has long been his dream to open his own boutique. He became increasingly interested in fragrances and was inspired by a quote from Patrick Süskind’s best-selling novel Perfume, which states: ‘Odours have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odour cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.’

A new concept
Banha’s expertise in luxury retail, coupled with his passion for perfume, led to the creation of Otro Perfume Concept – a store dedicated to the best that the fine fragrance market has to offer. As the entrepreneur explained at the store’s opening, he felt this kind of space was completely missing in Portugal. The boutique’s luxury credentials are clear, from its superb location on the city’s renowned Avenida da Liberdade shopping street to its exclusive range of the most sought-after perfume brands in world. No expense or effort has been spared to ensure that Otro Perfume Concept is, as Banha explains, ‘the best representative of the top line in the international luxury perfumer segment.’

Exquisite scents
The store embraces and celebrates the luxury nature of perfume wholeheartedly, from its exquisite products to its décor to the naturally impeccable service. Lavishly decorated in just three colours – white, black and gold – the space displays fragrances like works of art, with the beautiful bottles standing out against rich black wood. Banha and his team aim for ‘exquisite customer satisfaction’ and the expert staff encourage customers to feel at ease. There are even armchairs where you can sit and ponder your purchases.

Such thoughtful touches are intrinsic to the brand. ‘The base of Otro Perfume Concept is exclusivity,’ explains brand manager Ricardo Claudino. This approach to customer service is, he says, ‘the answer to a more demanding and select customer who increasingly asks for extra exclusivity and luxury.’

Only the best
An exceptional product range is central to the brand’s success and Otro Perfume Concept’s collection of fine fragrances is unrivalled anywhere in Portugal. At the time of its launch, the store offered 146 perfumes by 15 different houses, each internationally renowned. Subsequent additions must fit the same strict parameters. From Frapin, which has been creating fragrances since 1270, to Olfactive Studio, launched in 2011, Banha has carefully chosen the best of the best. The store is the exclusive Portuguese stockist of almost every brand and fragrance it offers, making it an essential destination in Lisbon for perfume lovers.

Those on the hunt for a unique perfume should explore Memo Paris, founded in 2007 by John and Clara Molloy. Each fragrance is inspired by the power of olfactory memories. Many of the memories involve travel, so customers can expect mixtures of cardamom, bergamot and leather, reminiscent of an African safari. Other exotic blends feature tropical flowers, such as the beautiful Ilha Do Mel scent, named after the Brazilian island. Clive Christian is another favourite brand. The British perfumer is famous for producing the world’s most expensive fragrance and his perfume bottles, which feature gold and diamonds, are as exquisite as his scents. Perfume experts will note with approval that most of Otro Perfume Concept’s selected scents are unisex. This, according to Banha, is how those in the know are wearing perfumes now.

Added extras
Alongside its range of leading fragrances, the boutique also offers a number of luxurious accessories. Visitors can discover Golden Concept, a Swedish brand that creates custom-made iPhones in 24-carat gold. There is also a collection of the brand’s own fine jewellery, crafted from precious metals and natural diamonds. It’s clear that Otro Perfume Concept is already highly successful and will continue to expand and develop, creatively catering to the most discerning of clients. This comes as no surprise, given Banha’s aim to become nothing less than ‘the benchmark in the luxury perfumer market.’

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