Frédéric Malle: “I Find Inspiration for a Perfume on Every Street Corner”

📷 Portrait d’un créateur aux fragrances cultes. Brigitte Lacombe / Photo presse Frédéric Malle.

Frédéric Malle publishes perfumes as a publisher of books. And we immerse ourselves in each effluvium with passion. We asked this master of the fragances to guide us on the one to choose for the man we love or the one that will become our signature.

His perfumes do not need advertising. We talk about it as secrets to share sparingly with friends, like Portrait of a Lady, Vétiver Extraordinaire, Une Rose or Monsieur. Each fragrance is a journey, which seems to be inspired by paintings, music or meetings. A lesson of seduction and refinement. We have asked this perfume publisher, who thinks of each olfactory work as a book, to tell us about the choice of a perfume, whether for the man of our life or the one who will define our style.

What should we take into account before choosing a perfume for a man?

The man in question. It is a question of finding a perfume that is him and not a dress that he will not be able to wear. One can rely so much on one’s personality, character and style.Everything must go together. It seems to me that everything goes wrong for the one whose style does not match his character.

Are there any ingredients that match certain personality traits, such as vetiver?

I believe in compositions rather than ingredients. A perfumer can do what he wants with an ingredient. Everything is a matter of proportion or marriages that one will have chosen to make. A highly concentrated vetiver mixed with vanilla will not have the same effect as vetiver diluted in citrus fruits. The perfumery is complicated enough to be chosen in a simple and intuitive way.

What are the typically masculine scents most popular with women?

Almost all, oddly. Contrary to popular belief, women are much freer than men. Many men find it difficult to dress in women, while women wear tuxedos and wear men’s watches . The same goes for perfumes.

There is a perfume ritual: what do women do that do not do men?

Just a way to apply the product. We do not have the same gestures. We are less delicate.

You have launched a chic grooming line . Do you find that there is a basic societal trend where men take more care of themselves than before?

Thank God that silly idea of ​​believing we are more masculine if we let go is disappearing.

What masculine smells have marked you?

Contrary to the legend that shoemakers are the worst shod, I have never lacked anything. My father, his friends, my friends, or even people I do not know and whom I admire the style have served me as a model. As soon as I meet one that is worth it, I do not hang around and I work with a smell he inspired me. I find inspiration for a perfume on every street corner, going to the movies or traveling in my memory. My heroes all smell.

You live in Manhattan, what Parisian smell do you miss?

That of the subway. It’s the smell of my childhood.

What is the best place for the skin to perfume?

For a man, the torso.

What is the most seductive fragrance in the world for you?

That of the woman we love.

Must we remain faithful all his life to the same perfume?

It’s a question of personality. I hate diktats.

You have, I believe, a special connection with Dior’s Eau Sauvage (Frédéric Malle’s grandfather, Serge Heftler-Louiche, founded the Parfums Christian Dior). It is also the smell that would carry the president, Emmanuel Macron .

I grew up wearing this perfume. I never thought about it before hearing your question, but maybe it’s my presidential side!

What advice should you follow to find your signature perfume?

Do not try to be another. Be the best version of yourself.

SOURCE: Madame Le Figaro France

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