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Antonio Puig


Puig is a Barcelona-based, multi-national fragrance, fashion, and cosmetics conglomerate comprised of over 30 brands. It is home to a number of luxury products associated with high-end fashion and fragrance brands.

Launched in 1914 by founder, Antonio Puig Castello, the company has been successively managed by three generations of his family. Its first product, Milady Lipstick, was the first Spanish lipstick brand sold within the domestic market. The company became especially known for its success in the fragrance industry and has launched a number of notable partnerships throughout the years. The first of these partnerships was with fashion designer, Nina Ricci, in 1948, which led to the launch of the L’Air du Temps, a popular perfume that is still in production today. Other notable partnerships in the following decades included a partnership with Spanish designer, Paco Rabanne, the subsequent launch of Calendre in the late ‘60s, and a successful partnership with Christina Herrera in the 1980s.

The company’s aggressive expansion and acquisition of other established brands has led to it owning over 20 international and niche brands. These brands range from those with widespread global recognition to regional niche fragrances catering to the Spanish and Latin American markets. Several licensing agreements have been signed with major fashion brands and celebrities, including Christian Louboutin Beauté, Prada Parfums, Valentino, Antonio Banderas, and Shakira.

In 2014, the brand’s centenary celebration was highlighted by the opening of Puig Tower, a modern symbol of its growth. That growth has proven to be consistent as the business has seen many consecutive years of expansion beginning in the 1940s and carrying that momentum all the way into 2019. Recent reports place its product sales in 150 countries with annual revenues topping 2 billion dollars ($US). Internal projections indicate that it will be the third largest player in the luxury fragrance and fashion industry by 2020 with a market share of 20%. Its newest venture, Puig Futures, will identify and target innovative brands bringing a new vision to the industry and seek to bring them into the fold as a part of this growth strategy.


Early History (1914 to 1940s)

Antonio Puig Castello launched Antonio Puig SA in Spain in 1914 (Moodie, 2016). The company’s first major product was Milady Lipstick, the first Spanish lipstick brand (Antonio Puig Perfumes and Colognes, n.d.). In the 1940s, the business released ones of its marquee perfumes, Agua Lavanda, which was an international success. This was soon followed by the construction of a factory and new headquarters in Travessera, Barcelona in 1946. This new location would become the epicenter of all company operations until 2012 (Angles, Saborit, & Fontgivel, 2011).

In 1948, the company launched L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci, a successful product that is hailed as a timeless classic and is still being sold by retailers today (Temps Nina Ricci Perfume - a fragrance for women 1948, n.d.).

International Acquisitions and Diversification (1950s to 1990s)

In the 1950s, Antonio’s sons, Antonio, Mariano, José, and Enric, joined the team (Riano, 2011). By 1959, Mariano has overseen the construction of a large factory in the industrial center of Besos, Barcelona to allow production to keep pace with the growing demand (Milestones, n.d.). The company launched its first US-based offices in 1962 and its first Paris-based office in 1968 (Milestones, n.d.). The Paris office served as the launch-pad for its partnership with Spanish designer, Paco Rabanne, which led to the launch of the very successful Calendre perfume in 1969 (Simoudis, 2015).

Puig continued to grow throughout the ‘70s, culminating in the launch of a dedicated perfume factory in 1976 (Puig | Leading Brands of Spain, n.d.). The company also launched several high profile brands throughout the decade, including Paco Rabanne pour Homme and Estivalia. By this point, the company had established itself as a leader in the fragrance industry with a number of iconic brands under its umbrella.

Much like the ‘60s and ‘70s before it, the 1980s represented another decade of growth for the company. Its design team won the Best Packaging Award at the 1983 FiFi Awards for its internationally acclaimed Quorum cologne (FiFi Awards, n.d.). Four years later, the entire Paco Rabanne business (including the fashion and accessories lines) had been acquired (Ximénez, 2013). A deal was struck with Venezuelan designer Carolina Herrera in 1988 that would lead to the launch of multiple successful products over the next few decades (Sherman, 2016). In 1995, the company acquired the entire Carolina Herrera fashion division (Sherman, 2016). Just two years later, a partnership and licensing agreement with Antonio Banderas Fragrances was announced (My Story with Perfumes, n.d.). In 1998, the Nina Ricci business was acquired (Kapasi, 2017). Reflecting the continued diversification of its brand and product offerings, the corporation’s name was changed to Puig Beauty and Fashion Group in 1999 (Milestones, n.d.). Throughout this period, the group continued to produce niche products for the Spanish market that accounted for most of its revenue despite its high profile international acquisitions and partnerships. In 1998, the CEO (Mariano) handed over the reins to the newly established executive board (Corporate Press Kit, 2014).

Increased International Presence and Continued Expansion (2000s to 2010s)

The new millennium brought on a number of changes. Most notably, the year 2002 represented the first time in the company’s history that international sales revenue comprised more than 50% of total revenue (Milestones, n.d.). The fragrance division continued its aggressive expansion through its joint venture with Prada for the manufacturing and marketing of products for Prada Parfums and its partnership with the Japan-based brand, Comme de Garcons (Weisman, 2004). During this time, Marc, the grandson of the company’s founder, began serving as General Director and was eventually promoted to CEO in 2004 (“Marc Puig,” 2018).

The company continued its streak of successes with the launch of the award-winning cologne, One Million by Paco Rabanne, in 2008. This was the most successful product launch to date with sales so high that the fragrance division had to increase its internal capacity to produce the product, as well as sub-contract additional suppliers and manufacturers to meet demand (Pitman, 2010). A partnership with the platinum-selling singer, Shakira, was announced during the same year (Wagner, 2008).

Building on this success, yet another high-profile acquisition was made with the purchasing of a majority of shares in the French fashion firm, Jean Paul Gaultier, in 2011 (Alexander, 2011).

The company celebrated its centenary with the launch of a new headquarters appropriately named, Puig Tower (Newhouse, 2014). In recent years, notable product launches include a long-term license agreement with Christian Louboutin 2018 (Fraser, 2018) and significant investments in Dries Van Noten fashion house (Weil, 2018).

Recent Developments

Revenues have increased year over year with the most recent reported figures indicating over 2 billion ($US) in revenues across all brands (Stuart, 2018). There are over 4,400 employees in offices distributed throughout the six inhabited continents. The group has subsidiaries in 26 countries and its products are sold in 150. Internal company estimates anticipate that current growth will continue into 2020 with an expected market share of 20% - up from 8.6% in 2014 (“Perfume maker Puig unveils new headquarters designed by Moneo and aims to rank the world's 3rd by 2020,” 2014).

Its most recent venture is the launch of its in-house investment vehicle, Puig Futures, to invest in promising start-ups and established brands that are innovating within the industry (Copp, 2018).

Fragrance Brands

Company-owned Brands

Puig owns a total of 18 fragrance brands with a majority of these being niche products catering to the Spanish and Latin American markets. Major company-owned brands include Carolina Herrera, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nina Ricci, and Paco Rabanne.

Carolina Herrera.

Named after the famous Venezuelan designer, this has proven to be a fruitful partnership that has introduced a number of well-received products to the marketplace. The first product, Carolina Herrera for Women, was launched in 1988 and there have been dozens of fragrances launched under this brand since the ‘80s (Sherman, 2016).

The products are divided into several collections. One of the more notable collections in recent years is 212, a line with products marketed to men and women. Featuring unique notes such as rum and cut grass, this trendy product is inspired by New York City and is intended to have a modern, urban flair that is a departure from traditional ingredients. Another notable collection is the casual CH line that provides accessible elegance for trendy cologne and perfume wearers seeking all-purpose fragrances (“CH Carolina Herrera Perfume & Cologne,” n.d.). On the opposite end of the spectrum are the products that make up the high-end Herrera Confidential collection. Housed in jewel-toned bottles, this collection takes inspiration from the middle-eastern tradition of fragrance layering. It features six main products, as well as four complementary essential oils that are designed to be mixed and matched by the wearer according to their preferences (Hartman, 2017).

Jean Paul Gaultier.

One of the more recent additions to the company, Jean Paul Gaultier has a tradition of introducing unique elements into its fragrance making that are consistent with the eccentricities of the French designer himself (Jean Paul Gaultier, n.d.). Presented in a curvy, corseted bottle, Clasique, inspired by the designer’s grandmother, has notes of nail polish and face powder blended with more traditional notes. Another perfume, Ma Dame, uses an abundance of musk and contrasts it with zesty orange and sweet grenadine notes. Top men’s colognes include Le Male, with its bursts of mint, vanilla, lavender, and cinnamon, as well as the wood-dominant, cacao-infused Kokorico (Jean Paul Gaultier, n.d.).

Nina Ricci.

This fashion and fragrance house was acquired in 1998. Its most famous perfume, L’Air du Temps, is an evening scent with a blend of over 30 ingredients (“Nina Ricci, n.d.). Its dominant notes include carnation, gardenia, rose, jasmine, sandalwood, and iris. This product has stood the test of time and is still one of the brand’s bestsellers even 70 years after its launch (Nina Ricci, n.d.). Other notable fragrances include Nina, Ricci Ricci, Luna, and Mademoiselle Ricci. The bottles of Nina Ricci products are approached as works of art and many are considered to be collectibles (Nina, Ricci, n.d.)

Paco Rabanne.

The Paco Rabanne partnership started on a high note with the launch of the now universally-lauded perfume, Calandre. Utilizing a number of contrasting notes that seem to compete for dominance, this hard-to-classify perfume is described as simultaneously citrusy and floral with a woody, powdery base (Calandre Paco Rabanne perfume - a fragrance for women 1969, n.d.). One of its most recent successes was the introduction of men’s cologne, One Million, with its spicy leather and blood mandarin notes, and the more floral women’s variant, Lady Million (Million Fragrance Paco Rabanne, n.d.). Demand for this line of products was so high that the company was required to expand its own production capabilities, as well as sub-contract manufacturers and suppliers in order to meet the high demand. Ten years after its initial release in 2009, this cologne remains a top-seller (Pitman, 2019).


In addition to its aggressive acquisition of fragrance brands, the company also pursues licensing agreements with a number of known entities. These include celebrities, as well as fashion companies seeking to enter the industry. Brands that have entered into licensing agreements include Christian Louboutin Beauté, Prada Parfums, Valentino, Antonio Banderas, Shakira, Comme de Garcons, and United Colors of Benetton (Brands Portfolio, n.d.).

In recent years, there has been considerable competition on the licensing front. In July of 2018, Prada chose not to renew the licensing agreement despite generating over 120 million ($US) in annual sales through the partnership (Wendlandt, 2018). A number of companies, including L’Oréal (the licensing partner for Prada’s youth collection), were expected to be in the running to form a new licensing agreement with Prada. That same year, L’Oréal successfully lured fashion house, Valentino, away from its licensing arrangement. The agreement had generated annual revenues of approximately 70 million dollars ($US) at the time (“Luxury Licensees are Facing Off for the Right to Make and Market Big-Name Eyewear, Fragrances,” 201.).


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