17 posts tagged "Frederic Malle"
Frédéric Malle’s long-standing relationship with Barneys is one of the more successful partnerships the retailer can lay claim to. “We have stars at Barneys, then we have superstars, and Frédéric is one of our superstars,” the store’s CEO, Mark Lee, said at a dinner last night at his home, where friends and fans had gathered to toast ten years of Editions Frédéric Malle in the U.S. “We make a good couple,” Malle replied modestly, even though the success he has had with his range of fine fragrance is certainly deserving of a little bit of bragging.
“What I like to do is new things—to break boundaries,” Malle admits, which is presumably why he has managed to attract the talents of some of the world’s most renowned perfumers, like Maurice Roucel and Dominique Ropion, who are given carte blanche to produce olfactory art for Malle. “That’s what these guys like to do with me because it’s such a free world, my company, whether it’s high-tech or trashy or expensive.” The collaborations, which Malle says grow out of conversations and ideas, have produced such undisputed hits as Ropion’s tuberose-heavy, musk-tinged Carnal Flower and the rose and patchouli-laced Portrait of a Lady; others remain acquired tastes, even to Malle himself. “If you said to your world, you want a signature fragrance by me, this is that,” he says of Roucel’s Musc Ravageur. “It was controversial because no one wanted that fragrance. But I smelled it, I loved it, we did it.”
Malle is quick to point out that he is merely curating work from a stable of contributors—”I don’t really consider myself an artist. I work with artists. I have this great privilege in life,” he insists—but he has put pen to paper, or mouse to mousepad, rather, to create new, original packaging to celebrate his “healthy ten-year marriage” with Barneys. “I have this funny brain,” he says, alluding to his synesthesia, which allows him to see colors, layers and textures when he smells—visuals he has now illustrated on a limited series of 200 boxes for the 18 scents in his library. The artwork is something of a consolation prize for people in his inner circle who were expecting a new perfume this month, he jokes. “I thought it was going to be ready for Christmas, but I blew it! Some people at Barneys aren’t very happy with me. But they got my pretty pictures instead.”
Despite the unending array of new and classic fragrances that line my personal perfume shrine, the only one I ever reach for is Frédéric Malle’s Carnal Flower. The impressive work of perfumer Dominique Ropion is laden with the scent of tuberose, a hypnotic note that has been considered an intense aphrodisiac since days of old. The flacon is heady to say the least—it’s rounded out by hints of jasmine, orange blossom absolute, and coconut—which often makes it unfit for, say, a conservative work environment, or a hot summer day when humid air makes it a little too intoxicating. But for those of you (read: me) for whom it’s hard to part with the beloved bottle, Malle has developed the perfect solution: Carnal Flower, the hair mist. His new Brume Pour Cheveux is subtler than the original eau, yet it still offers its oh-so-seductive effects; a liberal spritz plus a calculated hair flip will render you unstoppable.
Have you ever imagined a world where you could walk into a beauty emporium, get an on-site, digitized skin evaluation, and then select products based upon what your skin truly needs? DDF skincare intends on making that world a reality when its DDF Skin Evaluation System hits Sephora stores next month. [WWD]
Frédéric Malle is about to get his U.S. distribution on. The renowned fragrance curator has plans to expand beyond the confines of Barneys with new eponymous boutiques and select retail partners. Flacons of Geranium Pour Monsieur for all! [WWD]
Birchbox isn’t the only beauty sampling program on the block anymore. DermStore’s Beautyfix, New Beauty magazine’s TestTube, and naturally minded Eco Emi are giving the customizable, beauty product-of-the-month club a run for its money. [WSJ]
That indoor tanning beds can cause melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of cancer, is old news. But a new study indicates that the fake rays are a dangerous cause of the most common form of the disease, namely early-onset basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Your best bet? Avoid the bed at all costs. [msnbc]
The art of perfume making is fascinating and complex, but even the most fervent consumers of fragrance are rarely privy to the process. All we know is that we like certain floral, musk, and fruity notes; how or why they wound up in a specific flacon—in a specific concentration and combination—more often than not remains a mystery. But the story behind scents can be as intoxicating as the aromas themselves. That’s the premise of Frédéric Malle’s first print endeavor, On Perfume Making, which recalls the inception of each of Malle’s 18 cult-favorite collaborations alongside original illustrations from artist Konstantin Kakanias. “It’s more than an introduction,” Malle said of the book last night at Barneys, where fans like the evening’s hosts, Uma Thurman and Arpad Busson, gathered to celebrate the man and his métier. “It’s about the way [my] business is organized and the way we work. It’s not one thing, it’s a cocktail: 1) I’m very picky; 2) I only work with the best perfumers; and 3) I have time, money, and freedom”—and friends in high places. “I wouldn’t do it for any other person,” Kakanias said of his contributions to the tome. “It’s like working with the new Guerlain!” Thurman, who moonlights as the face of Givenchy’s Ange ou Demon, was not at liberty to discuss perfume last night, but she was inclined to lavish Malle with praise. “It’s nice to see someone putting integrity back into fragrance,” she said—a sentiment seconded by guests including Muriel Brandolini and Carolina Herrera. “I love his Carnal Flower,” Herrera said, singling out Malle’s jasmine and tuberose eau.
While the hardback won’t hit shelves until March, there are a limited number of advanced copies currently on sale at Barneys and at the Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle atelier while supplies last. We’ve got a preview of some of Kakanias’ abstract images here.
I’m not usually one for claiming a signature scent, as my preferences tend to vacillate from season to season. But there’s one perfume that always winds up in the rotation, be it winter, spring, summer, or fall. That would be Frédéric Malle’s Carnal Flower, a tuberose-heavy sensual blend that perfumer Dominique Ropion created as an ode to Candice Bergen’s turn in the seventies film Carnal Knowledge. It is for this reason that we’ve pledged undying devotion to the house of Malle—and everything it produces, including its recent expansion into the home fragrance category. Malle’s latest trio of candles helmed by IFF perfumer Bruno Jovanovic are every bit as lust-worthy as his eaux and are meant to evoke three very specific places: a men’s den, a holiday by the Mediterranean, and the interior of a cathedral. Chez Monsieur boasts a cozy blend of woods and tobacco, while Marius & Jeannette is meant to recall summers spent in Saint-Tropez, with the locale’s popular anise-flavored pastis beverage in hand. But my personal favorite is Notre Dame. I may not be religious, but I find the dense aroma of incense and resin that permeates most European churches hugely appealing, and this votive perfectly captures that, well, holy smoke. Much like everything else in Malle’s oeuvre, all three are worth their hefty price tags.
From $80, available at Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, 898 Madison Ave., NYC, (212) 249-7941, www.fredericmalle.com.