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Frédéric Malle

Frédéric Malle introduced the Editions de Parfums in 2000, as a completely original concept whereby the world’s greatest noses composed exclusive, creative fragrances that would be sold under their creator’s names. In an era in which most companies attach more importance to brand names, by intensified marketing campaigns, Malle brings the attention back to the product itself: perfume. Through a simple “back to basics” ideology, the Editions de Parfums are challenging all prevailing trends. Frédéric Malle grew up immersed in the world of perfumery; his grandfather, Serge Heftler, was most notably the founder of Parfums Christian Dior. Malle started his own career in 1986, at the prestigious perfume creation labs Roure Bertrand Dupont. Over the years, he acquired a profound knowledge of the raw materials of which perfumes are composed, as well as a strong sense of olfactory balance. Simply, he is an “evaluator,” the professional term defining a specialist whose deep understanding of fragrance structure and accords enables him to critique a perfume’s composition. Frédéric Malle’s contribution to the creation of the different fragrances sold under the Editions de Parfums varies depending on the nose’s personal desire. Perfumers call on him to assess their works in progress and to exchange ideas. His involvement depends on the project and ranges from total non-intervention to sleeves-rolled-up creative partnerships with the noses. The development of a signature scent through the creative collaboration of Malle and one of his represented noses is a lengthy process, generally lasting between 6 and 18 moths. Each fragrance starts with an idea, an “olfactory sketch,” which can either take the form of a material base – the mix of two or three raw materials as though colors in an abstract painting – or of an initial sentiment- the desire to translate or convey a specific emotion. From there, the perfumers gradually build a full-scale composition, tinkering and problem-solving until a perfect balance is achieved. The challenge is to polish and perfect without losing the impact and personality of the original idea. “Eliminate all that is superfluous or merely decorative” – This, Frédéric Malle’s credo, is the only rule imposed on the house perfumers. Malle requests that each fragrance be designed to uniquely embrace the body of each wearer rather than just be a “pretty scent.” The blend of Frédéric Malle’s ideals with the distinct personalities of each perfumer, and the total freedom provided to them by the Editions de Parfums, has created a brand with no defined house style. Its singularity comes from its striking heterogeneity, where each nose has expressed and unleashed his or her creative instinct to the fullest. Similar to the finest literary publishing houses, the current collection is ever expanding. Out of respect for both client and perfumer, Frédéric Malle is not interested in ephemeral creations.

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