Paul Smith launches Portrait for Men and Women

by Katie on July 16, 2013

Paul Smith is not only an icon, he’s a British national institution. Which is why, when he launched his latest fragrance releases Portrait for Men and Portrait for Women, more than a decade after the launch of his first signature fragrance, people sat up and took notice.

The launch was held in a modern photographer’s gallery chronicling some of Sir Paul Smith’s work, particularly portrait imagery, as befitted the fragrance launch. 
Modernist in feel with a hint of trad values, the new launches are the epitome of Paul Smith. Portrait for Men is an attractive, musky sensual burst of cardamon, pink pepper and cedarwood with a distinctive green tea note and also with a smooth facet due to the Tolu Balm present. I asked Sir Paul and Barnabe Fillion (the perfumer behind the launches and also a Paul Smith model) about the addition of the Green Tea note. Was this a conscious effort to play to his army of stores in the Far East? “Yes, certainly,” replied Sir Paul, “We are always aware of our customers and where our stores are strong but think the freshness and smooth element translates well to a Western taste.” Barnabe continued, “I played a lot with textures for the men’s fragrance, focusing on the quality of ingredients and mixing spices from Paul’s travel abroad with old perfumery notes like myrrh, used in a modern way.”
It’s a smooth ride is Portrait for Men. It has natural manly, appealing charisma while not being too overblown or fanciful. A modern gentleman in a sharp suit.

Portrait for Women is a completely different affair. It’s crisp, floral and light but doesn’t seem to have the smoothness and savoir faire of her male companion. A trite younger if dressed in sharp cotton seprates with a modern twist. Says Barnabe, “It’s a much more direct scent, painting a powerful picture of a garden of wild roses but myrrh and musk give it a twist, elegance and depth, and the black tea reminds us of exotic travels.”
What both say about Paul Smith brand is its global nature and appeal – these are no esoteric whim. These are consciously and deliberately constructed and marketed fragrances to a savvy, global audience who already buy into the brand and know its values. Smart, educated and well travelled, the perfumes are the fragrance embodiment of the Paul Smith consumer who they appeal to.

The Portrait for Men and Portrait for Women campaign has a stripped back portrait (naturally) feel. Shot by Annmarieke Van Drimmelen, models Karalina Caune and Baptiste Radufe are photographed against a plain white wall using natural daylight. Simple, yes, but effective. Exactly like the two new fragrance releases.

Paul Smith Portrait for Men and Portrait for Women are available nationwide from 5th September priced at £45 (40ml), £69 (80ml) for Portrait for Women and £39 (40ml) and £59 (80ml) for Portrait for Men.

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