“Every time that you fulfil an achievement like this... it’s almost unavoidable that you take a look back - and when I look back, what I see is a lot of work, a lot of love and a sense of adventure because, in the way that we did it, we had no precedence,” says Antonio Banderas.

It was in 1997 that Spanish fashion and fragrance business Puig welcomed the actor into its family fold to join the likes of Carolina Herrera, Jean Paul Gaultier and Paco Rabanne, who continue to enlist the company’s 100 years’ worth of experience in working with luxury brands. Although the initial proposal by Puig was for Banderas to do an advert, he chose to not fall into the typical celebrity endorsement trap. “I’m not a celebrity that just does a commercial and goes home and that’s it – no, I like to be involved and travel with the perfume presentations that we have around the world,” he says. 

Antonio Banderas at the 20th anniversary celebration of his fragrances in Marbella, Spain.
Antonio Banderas at the 20th anniversary celebration of his fragrances in Marbella, Spain.
Image: Supplied

By choosing to forfeit the payout for an ad and go for a more sustainable, business-savvy approach by asking to join the company and for a percentage of sales, he took his fragrances out of the “flash in the pan” celebrity category. Instead, he turned them into a brand that has not only proved itself in sales but garnered the loyalty and emotional investment consumers give designer and prestige fragrance brands.

One of the other main factors contributing to the success of Banderas’s fragrances is that Piug was always about the quality of the fragrance first, as opposed to focusing solely on the celebrity aspect.  The olfactory identity and DNA of each new scent was maintained and has been key to building a lasting connection to the brand, which has carried the essence of Banderas throughout its three pillars - Secret, Seduction and Classic. 

Her Secret Temptation and The Secret Temptation fragrances.
Her Secret Temptation and The Secret Temptation fragrances.
Image: Supplied

From his first scent in 1998, Diavolo, to his latest, Power of Seduction, Banderas’s fragrances have been a direct reflection of his personal growth.  The brand has managed to grow with consumers as the actor matured, allowing the fragrances to remain relevant over the years. Rather than creating a fictitious celebrity persona for each scent, which would not be able to evolve, a more personal, cathartic process was involved. 

The perfumers have managed to observe Banderas’s growth over the years and bottle phases of his life by drawing from his memories, his childhood in Malaga, film characters and the ever-evolving, emotive entity incorporated into every fragrance – seduction. 

A 3D model of a fragrance bottle.
A 3D model of a fragrance bottle.
Image: Supplied
Antonio Banderas The Secret fragrance.
Antonio Banderas The Secret fragrance.
Image: Supplied

“They based the first perfumes on some of the characters that I played that were larger than life and not so much based on myself,” explains Banderas. “But then I started having meetings with the perfumers and they descended the Antonio Banderas that was up there in the universe of Hollywood into someone who was more normal and then they started adding my own personality into the perfumes... So, out of that came concepts like seduction.”

Travel to Marbella in Spain and go behind the scenes to discover all the excitement of the exclusive 20th anniversary celebration of Antonio Banderas Fragrances, which took place at his private residence.

WATCH | The official Antonio Banderas 20th Anniversary event in Spain: 

The exclusive 20th anniversary celebration of Antonio Banderas Fragrances, which took place at his private residence in Marbella, Spain.

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