Frédéric Malle: 20 Years of Creative Freedom - The Gloss Magazine

Frédéric Malle: 20 Years of Creative Freedom

Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle celebrates 20 years with a new book and seven limited-edition collector’s bottles of the most iconic perfumes …

The Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle are a world apart. And if you’ve ever smelt Portrait of a Lady, Bigarade Concentrée or L’Eau d’Hiver, you’ll know why. These are scents created by the finest perfumers in the business, using only the most precious raw ingredients. In the busy perfume market, the Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle stand out from the crowd.

There are many reasons why they are in their own league – crucially, the focus is on the contents of the bottle, rather than its packaging, image or “face”. Frédéric Malle’s innovation, back in the mid-eighties, was putting the perfumer centre-stage. At that time, no one mentioned the perfumers; the focus was on advertising and image. Malle connected with the finest perfumers of their generation and, taking the role of perfume “publisher”, gave them absolute creative freedom. “The idea was to give these artists the freedom to innovate, to create something they can be proud of.”

“Putting the name of the perfumer on the bottles was a huge change,” explains master perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. “It was such an extraordinary difference: as a perfumer, it meant you put your responsibility on the line, took ownership of the perfume. It gave us a voice, and shed a light on our perfumes. And we never talk about costs or pricing – that is just so freeing. We are free to create.”

898 Madison Avenue Shop in Manhattan, New York

“Whenever we work we want to make something that’s timeless,” says Frédéric Malle. “We want excellence. Each perfume has its own personality. Excellence has many shades – and this eclectic collection has many different feelings and desires. We want to provide the best for every perfume category.”

To celebrate two decades in business, Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle have released a set of collector’s items: seven of the most iconic perfumes in a limited-edition transparent bottle with red Bakelite lid. Discover modern classics such as Dominique Ropion’s Portrait of a Lady and Carnal Flower, Pierre Bourdon’s French Lover and Jean-Claude Ellena’s L’Eau d’Hiver. And be warned – you will never want to wear anything else again …

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Milan, Italy

The permanent collection ranges from designer collaborations, such as Superstitious, a full-blown floral created in collaboration with designer Alber Elbaz, to travel sizes and discovery sets so that you can experience each of these olfactory creations, according to your mood and the occasion.

A new book, Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle: The First Twenty Years by Frédéric Malle (Rizzoli New York), traces the journey so far, with a foreword by master perfumer Ellena. The book is a collection of memories, and gives a clear insight into the working process between Malle and his stable of master perfumers. “I’m so proud to work with the best perfumers in the business,” says Malle.

Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Portrait of a Lady 100ml, €265,,, Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle: The First Twenty Years by Frédéric Malle (Rizzoli New York), €70, at Brown Thomas.


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