Making scents

On a road trip through Portugal, perfumer Lyn Harris and art director Anne Margreet Honig point cosmetics label Claus Porto in a new direction

When Portuguese cosmetics brand Claus Porto wanted to update its fragrance offering, it turned to British perfumer Lyn Harris. Anne Margreet Honig, the Dutch art director overseeing the 130 year old brand’s revamp had only briefly met Harris socially but the pair were quick to bond when they took on the olfactory overhaul. It was decided that the best way to develop an anniversary scent was to do a road trip round Portugal, to capture the essence of the brand’s home country. Recognising the trip would write the story of a signature scent, she called up local photographer and filmmaker Joao Sousa, an itinerary was drawn up and they set off. It was September, when summer had warmed up the earth and shrubs, and turned everything from stones to cones into scented pomanders. They sniffed the wind, the salt of the marshes, and cedar notes carried by the humidity. Harris was especially struck by one particular botanical, the Barbary Fig, a tropical plant with watery green notes that is native to Portugal. Here is the story of their trip, which culminated in a proudly Portuguese perfume, honed in Harris’ lab, and bottled in a handmade glass bottle designed by Honing.

Read the full feature in our October 2017 issue (W*223) – out on 15 September