Frédéric Malle


Before Christmas I wrote about a Frederic Malle fragrance in one of my Christmas Gift Guides, and I promised to tell you all more about the brand, sorry it took so long! Frédéric Malle was born into dynasty of French perfumers, his grandfather, Serge Heftler-Louiche, founded Parfums Christian Dior before passing on its direction to Frédéric’s mother. While working in the prestigious perfume laboratory Roure Bertrand Dupont he acquired extensive knowledge of raw materials and olfactory balance. It was while he worked here for twenty-five years that he became with the leading perfumers in the industry. When Frédéric Malle set up Editions de Perfums these elite perfumers all accepted his invitation to join and they set out to revive the luxury perfumery industry. Set up in the mid 90’s when we all bought fragrance because of who was on the posters, not what they smelled like. If Kate Moss was not the face of Obsession would 90% of girls have worn it? Maybe not. In the past perfume was a whole different experience, yes it was not as affordable as it was not mass produced, the ingredients were rarer and more difficult to cultivate, all this meant that the scents were interesting and would stop you in  your tracks when you got a whiff. I will never forget being in a 90’s rave and the smell of Dior’s Fahrenheit and sweat was all you could smell, it was very sickening.

With the imminent demise of the perfume industry, Frédéric Malle decided to bring back what the industry used to be and make it great again. Giving creative freedom to the perfumers that joined him to create some of the worlds most beautiful fragrances. What is different with the brand is that the creator/perfumer who designed the fragrance is front and centre, they actually have images of them on the boxes. No other brand celebrated the perfumer like this, even now most brands do not publicise who created the fragrance. In essence he created a publishing house for perfume, where perfumers create a scent and get full credit for their work, it is a genius idea. My personal favourite is Dominique Ropion who makes the most incredible and complex floral fragrances.

Another thing that I think is great is that the fragrances are priced individually, so depending on the cost of the raw materials the price can change. All too often we are charged the same price for a fragrance from a house but some of them would be far less expensive for them to make. We are paying for the brand name, the celebrity who is endorsing it, the beautiful packaging even the uber famous singer who is singing on the ad.

Now with all the beautiful and rare ingredients this brand is not cheap, it is definitely an investment. There is one scent called The Night which has a heavy oud fragrance and it costs €650. This fragrance was not for me (thank goodness) but I had smelt it on one of my clients and to be honest didn’t really like it. It has a definite audience and a gay makeup artist is not part of it! Now they do have the most beautiful fragrances, Carnal Flower being my absolute favourite, with Tuber rose being the main star of the show but it also has a warmth to it that most floral fragrances don’t have, I was actually stopped in a shopping centre and asked what I was wearing, I almost didn’t want to tell them what it was as I don’t want anyone to have my fragrance!! But here I am telling y’all about it so of course I did tell them. The cost of the fragrances range from about €100 to €250, excluding The Night, so be sure to ask what the cost is before you commit to purchasing it. There is one guy who works on the counter in Brown Thomas who has incredible knowledge of the brand and fragrance notes.


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