September 1 2014

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17 posts tagged "Frederic Malle"

Beauty 411: Alexandra Soveral



London-based Alexandra Soveral may be able to boast quite the career backslash—aromatherapist/cosmetic designer/facialist—but among those in-the-know, she could simply go by “the skin whisperer.” That’s because Soveral, who first launched her eponymous natural skincare and bespoke fragrance brand with Jorj Aleem in 1995 and watched it grow, primarily through word of mouth, is best known for her signature facial treatments. The aromatherapy-based facials, which rely heavily on pressure-point massage, are continually in demand, prized for their detoxing and seemingly skin-lifting effects; Soveral even hosted a weeklong pop-up in New York in January. And soon, Net-a-Porter (bless them) will be stocking her cult skincare product line so even those of us in a state of complexion disrepair across the pond can access its restorative effects without having to book a trip to London. Here, the beloved naturalist shares some of her local go-tos.

“To detox, regenerate, and feel nurtured, the best place on earth is this amazing country house in North Devon. There you will find yoga, country walks, and delicious nutritional meals. It’s a very special place where quality, good taste, and sustainability reign.”


THE SALON STOP: Daniel Hersheson at Harvey Nichols
“It’s easy to access, the service consistent and efficient, yet it’s a relaxed environment where you feel you are being taken good care of. Any of the Hersheson Salons or Blow Dry Bars have a lot to offer, but I personally go to Hersheson at Harvey Nichols. You can check in for a whole day and have everything done from head to toe whilst working on their customer iPads. They will even order you a champagne lunch if that’s what you fancy! Libby does my cut; she’s amazing in that she can do something you can easily maintain at home and looks super-stylish. Sibby does my color when I have time. She’s also amazing at making you look like you never had color done—just natural, shiny hair.”


“I love the feel of silk on the skin, and I love color, especially during the dark winter months. My work wardrobe consists mainly of Tucker silk dresses for when I’m seeing clients and Tucker blouses that I wear with boyfriend jeans on laboratory days. When I want to sharpen things up for an important meeting, I go for Peridot London—their modern tailoring makes me feel powerful yet fashionable. To keep up with the trends and upcoming designers, the best places are Viola in the West End and Celestine Eleven in East London. Both shops are owned by top stylists who buy what they like most from the latest collections.”

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“I start the morning by dry brushing the skin on my face and neck, all in upwards and outwards movements. This wakes up the lymphatic system so that you can detoxify and reduce puffiness. Next, I cleanse with Soveral Awaken, followed by a face massage with oil to stimulate the muscles and activate the circulation, and then moisturize with Soveral Formula 1. In the evening I always do a deep pore cleanse with Soveral Angel Balm that I remove with a damp, hot, fluffy flannel—nothing makes you feel more clean. I finish with another oil massage, this time using Soveral Midnight Oil.”


“My favorite concealer is from Laura Mercier; it’s really efficient and blends perfectly into the skin. I love Tom Ford for color, and the textures of the Aerin range are just divine. The Aerin Multi Color for Lips and Cheeks is 100 percent spot-on in consistency—it has become my handbag essential. When not wearing makeup, you can use it to give yourself quick and subtle lift.”

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“I design bespoke fragrance for my clients and also formulate for other brands, so I always wear whatever I’m working on…sometimes two at a time, one on each arm! However, I very much admire the work of Frédéric Malle—the Editions de Parfums collection is an amazing range of individual works of art. I would urge anyone who wants to explore perfume to spend some time finding out which one suits them. What may smell beautiful on one person may smell overpowering and even nauseating on another—that’s what true perfume is all about.”


“I actually just started running for the first time a year ago…at the age of 42! It’s so liberating—all I need to do is get out the door and start [jogging]. Having a good playlist on my iPod is important because the music carries me. I’m also a member of the Harbour Club; there’s one in Notting Hill and another one in Chelsea Harbour. They have great classes, a gym, and swimming pools so you can keep things varied. I like old-fashioned Pilates without any machines to aid me, as I believe you are more in touch with your core muscles that way. I’ve also just discovered Pilates Barre, which is the same concept but standing up holding onto the barre. I feel like a ballerina, and it’s really efficient.”


Frédéric Malle Partners Up for the Holidays



Of all the sensory experiences that define the holidays (seeing the falling snow, feeling the heat emit from a crackling fire, and hearing those tireless Christmas jingles), it’s the smells of December that are perhaps the most lasting. Just in time for the season of giving (and getting), fragrance icon Frédéric Malle launched his Joyeux Noël candle last night with a dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s Sidebar in Beverly Hills. Puck’s wife, Gelila Puck, assumed hosting duties alongside Barneys New York (with whom he’s partnered with for thirteen years)—drawing the likes of China Chow, artist Tierney Gearon, Co’s Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern, and Parabellum’s Jason Jones and Gabriela Artigas.

Working together with nose Dominique Ropion, whom Malle calls “the greatest living perfumer today,” the candle’s fragrance originated from a scent he created many years ago for a charity at the Centre Pompidou. Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny & Alexander, a film that also resonated with Ropion, the festive blend features notes of pine, cinnamon, and cotton candy for an unexpected boost. The limited-edition bougie is presented in a box designed by artist Konstantin Kakanias, a longtime collaborator with Malle. “All of the illustrations are really down to earth—exact renditions of the way we see the atmosphere,” he explained of Kakanias’ contemporary caricatures.

And for those of us who barely have time to shop, let alone wrap, consider eighteen of Malle’s classic scents—all boxed up in Liberty of London prints (marking the five-year relationship between the brand and the British retailer). If these limited-edition launches are any indication, this perfumer is quite the team player.

Joyeux Noël candle, $95,; Frédéric Malle x Liberty fragrances, see

Beauty 411: Troy Surratt



Makeup artist Troy Surratt’s résumé is the stuff of beauty legend. His first big break: assisting makeup icon Kevyn Aucoin. “I worked with him exclusively for the last three and a half years of his life and I took such pride in assisting him. I would read letters from young people everywhere who would express their dreams of working with him…I still feel like the luckiest guy in the world to have had that experience.” Add to that Tarte, the cult-favorite brand he teamed up with Maureen Kelly to launch, plus stints as a consulting makeup artist for, followed by drugstore giant Maybelline New York—credentials that make Surratt eminently qualified to launch his own beauty line. Well, the day that many a beauty insider has dreamed of arriving finally has; Surratt’s eponymous luxury makeup line launched exclusively in Barneys this month (an aside, it’s going fast!). Inspiration for the hyper-modern products came from repeat visits to Japan: “Right after Kevyn’s death, I took my first trip to Tokyo, and the things I discovered were so inspiring we started going [annually]. I’ve been going back for ten years now.” Combing the beauty aisles in Japan convinced Surratt that there was no better place to birth his line. “One of the things I was so taken with was their attention to detail, quality, care, and cleanliness, so the cosmetics are so pure.” The resulting products are elegant studies in innovation: Powders and shadows are slurry-processed (poured as a liquid that then evaporates, leaving powder behind) instead of packed forcefully into tins, to impart a velvety texture; mosaic-style color palettes are entirely customizable; an auto eyeliner based on Japanese calligraphy brushes is super-sharp and resists bleeding, making it a must for graphic eyes. And a clever eyebrow pomade lifts and holds brows, drying to a matte finish with no sticky residue. All of them are worthy additions to your beauty trove. Here, the makeup maestro himself shares some of his own favorites.


“Of course I love all of the classic beauty icons any other gay guy would name: Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren. Being a child of the seventies, the beauty icons I noticed first were Cher, Farrah Fawcett, Linda Carter, Bo Derek, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, and Olivia Newton-John, then in my early teens I became obsessed with Boy George, Annie Lennox, Duran Duran, and ultimately, Madonna. The new romantic and new wave movements taught me a lot about the power of hair and makeup to reinvent and express oneself creatively.”


“I am so lucky that my partner in life and business is the extraordinary hairdresser Nathaniel Hawkins. But as the old saying goes, ‘The cobbler’s kids have no shoes’—it seems sometimes that I’m the last client to get on his schedule and my haircuts almost always end in a squabble because I don’t sit still enough. The hair products I use are all by Oribe; I love the way they work, smell, and look sitting in my bathroom.”



“I am obsessed with fragrance! I recently sat on a panel at Barneys with Frédéric Malle and I was so honored and nervous. I must admit that I geeked out and gushed a bit, but he was incredibly kind. One of my personal Malle favorites is Dans Tes Bras, and I love Lipstick Rose because it smells like makeup. I also have quite a few fragrances by Serge Lutens and Byredo. I joke that I’m a like a little old lady because I love white florals. Lily of the valley, rose, and violet are some of my favorite notes. Those three flowers just seem so quintessentially French to me!”



“I love to go for massages at Great Jones Spa. It’s great because they give you access to their sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, and cold plunge pool, before and after your massage. You can make a whole afternoon of it. My only complaint is that living in New York City, I sometimes feel like I’m stressed out again by the time I arrive home.”

29 Great Jones St., NYC, (212) 505-3185,


“I always try to take good care of my nails and hands. I consider it a necessity because I am constantly touching people’s faces. My ultimate luxury is having a manicure by my dear friend, celebrity manicurist Elle, whenever possible. She does an exceptionally perfect job.”


“I love yoga, but I find that many yoga classes in New York City are too athletic or competitive. I go to hatha yoga at Integral Yoga Institute. Yoga is a practice that connects body, mind, and spirit, and going there feels more spiritual to me than yoga classes given at most gyms.”

227 W. 13th St., NYC, (212) 929-0585,


“For a recent significant birthday of mine, Nathaniel and I traveled to the south of France with a couple of our dearest friends. One of our stops was Avignon, where we stayed at a hotel called La Mirande. It was truly beautiful and magical. I highly recommend it…I can’t wait to go back there one day.”

4 Place de l’Amirande, Avignon, France, 33-4-90-14-20-20,


“I visit my dear friend and client Dr. Lisa Airan; she is a true aesthete who has such an appreciation and understanding of beauty, so I completely trust her. She gives me regular peels and I often do Gentle Waves treatments; it’s a light therapy that stimulates collagen production. As for products, I am a longtime devotee of Crème de la Mer. I have used their products both personally and on my clients for years. My very favorite is The Concentrate. It leaves skin feeling amazing, and is a great prep/primer for makeup application.”

910 Fifth Ave., NYC, (212) 400-0999, See


“I try to have at least one green juice or green smoothie a day. I love the Green Monkey from Organic Avenue. And I take vitamin B12 drops that I buy at Whole Body under my tongue for extra energy when I’m traveling a lot for work.”


Photo: Courtesy of Troy Surratt; Barneys New York

Barneys’ Foundation Level Gets A Facelift


Barneys Foundation Level

The word I would use to describe the cosmetics and fragrance floors of most department stores: bedlam. Not only are salespeople aiming atomizers at you and threatening to spritz, but you feel pressured to purchase if you so much as take a glance at the latest offerings. Not to mention, the counters are usually crammed together and the competition for your attention is fierce. (OK, at this point, I’m ready to hashtag myself: #firstworldproblems.)

If you’re looking for a more serene shopping experience, however, Barneys New York just revamped their Foundation level (of which I got a tour last night). Not only does the space boast a modern and clean aesthetic, featuring a sculptural fragrance bar in front of a great glass wall of perfumes, but you can walk the wide, white aisles undisturbed. There are also boutiquelike alcoves dedicated to one brand (such as Frédéric Malle, which includes a “scent chamber” that allows you to experience an eau without any outside interference).

In addition to perusing the luxe goods that line the shelves, you can get a blowout at Valery Joseph’s in-house salon, your brows shaped by Robert Sweet William, makeup touchups by Jason Ascher, and treatments like a massage after an exhausting day of shopping (cue the aforementioned hashtag) at the Mila Moursi Skin Care Institute. Architect Steven Harris, working with Lucian Rees Roberts, the founding partner of interiors at the firm, said he aimed to design something “different than your standard retail boilerplate.” Mission accomplished.

Photos: Courtesy of Barneys New York

Why a Meryl Streep x Frédéric Malle Fragrance Will Never Be; Special K: The Nail Polish; And More…


Frédéric Malle isn’t much for celebrity fragrance. The perfume purveyor is much more interested in characters with “strong aesthetics,” like Dries Van Noten, with whom he has created a new signature scent that will be the first offering from his forthcoming collection range. Meryl Streep, he contends, does have a “Hermès quality about her. She’s a beautiful woman and a solid actress,” but the frequent Oscar winner isn’t fragrance material. “She doesn’t smell,” says Malle. “She’s Mrs. Thatcher one day and Julia Child the next. Meryl Streep can be anything. But basically we don’t know anything about her as a person.” [NYT]

Avon, it appears, is also looking for characters with strong aesthetics—or make that athletics. The brand has tapped L.A. Clippers guard, Chris Paul, to be the new face of its Untouchable men’s scent. [ESPN]

Nicole by OPI’s latest collaborative collection has nothing to do with movies or celebrities and everything to do with cereal. Yes, cereal. The lacquer line is creating three custom colors for Special K, which will debut next month. [OPI]

The latest trend in nails—other than breakfast-food-inspired varieties? Feather-finish polishes, according to London’s Nails Inc, which has tapped Brit It girl Poppy Delevingne to be the face of its newest adventure in texture. [Daily Mail]

Photo: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images