Mr. Puig grew up atop the company’s offices and factory, in a six-story building in the Eixample district where a noisy dumbwaiter carried packages to the street and large tanks of alcohol sat in the basement. After visiting the vats in his youth, going downstairs with his father to learn the science behind perfume, he earned a chemical engineering degree and began working full time for the family business.
Decades later, he admitted that he never had a good nose for fragrances. Instead he possessed a talent for cutting deals that transformed Puig, the company that bears his family’s name, into a fashion and fragrance powerhouse. Jetting around the world with a suitcase filled with soaps and perfumes, he negotiated licensing arrangements and acquisitions with top designers such as Paco Rabanne and Carolina Herrera.
Mr. Puig, who was only 29 when he took the reins of