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The perfumes of Lisbon

Afonso Oliveira Collection

  • 7 JUN 2024 — 12 JAN 2025 10AM - 6PM

07 Jun 2024 — 12 Jan 202510h – 18h

3€ (grants access to the Museum)

All ages

Tickets available at

Based on the private collection of Afonso Oliveira, this exhibition covers more than 150 years of history of perfumery in Lisbon, from the first factory – Thomas Mendonça e Filhos, set up in 1850 in Calçada do Combro – to the present day.

Following international trends, research into and production of new fragrances increased to meet the demand of privileged social classes and the increasingly assertive role of women, flourishing in the Roaring Twenties.

While well-known local brands thrived during the Estado Novo, with the establishment of the democratic regime and the consequent international opening Portugal was flooded with foreign products and brands which quickly came to dominate the market. Most Portuguese companies were unable to adapt and closed down.

However, some remain active and, surprisingly, perfumes continue to be made in the Portuguese capital and even under the name of Lisbon.

Afonso Oliveira has been collecting bottles and products related to perfumery and cosmetics for over 40 years. His collection, comprising almost 5,000 objects, includes numerous references to Lisbon brands and factories, the main Portuguese production centre since the mid-19th century.


© Museu de Lisboa