Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle stands for the expertise and integrity of the perfume trade by creating perfumes on the basis of total creative freedom and the nurture of quality. As an editor-figure to his perfumers, always pushing them to transcend their creative limits, Frédéric Malle’s vision of perfumery is absolute: its standard of quality must remain uncompromised, and its creativity, unbiased.
Frédéric Malle was born into a French family of industrialists, artists and perfumers. His grandfather, Serge Heftler-Louiche, founded Parfums Christian Dior before passing on its direction to Frédéric’s mother. Frédéric himself now represents the third generation of perfume specialists in his family and has become a world authority on perfume making.
Frédéric acquired an extensive knowledge of raw materials and olfactory balance at the prestigious perfume laboratory Roure Bertrand Dupont, where he also befriended the leading perfumers of the industry. He worked with them for over 25 years, cultivating personal relationships defined to this day by mutual trust and respect. When it became known in the perfumery world that he had created his own brand, many of these celebrated perfumers were eager to collaborate with him.
Frédéric Malle’s decision to create Editions de Parfums was first and foremost a reaction to the commercial boom of the mid-1990s, when our mass consumption of goods was smothering the expertise and integrity of the perfume trade. Perfumers were equally frustrated by a market that favored image over product. Perfumes as works of art were dying, along with the artistic status of their makers.
Confronted with the imminent disappearance of the perfume trade, Frédéric went back to what perfumery used to be and to what it could be again in our modern context: a trade in which a perfume is the result of total creative freedom, liberated from the pressure of marketing strategies and deadlines. In essence, a return to the nurturing of quality, something he felt was slipping through the fingers of the luxury industry. Frédéric’s ambition to restore quality was matched by a truly modern approach to perfumers: he wished to celebrate them as artists by selling their perfumes under their own names.
Thus was born the idea of a publishing house for perfume, where perfumes are created and published as unique works of art. Frédéric Malle, whose role is much like that of an editor, accompanies his perfumers individually on their paths to transcend creative limits and compose the perfume classics of tomorrow.
The development of a signature scent is a lengthy process, generally lasting between 6 and 18 months. Each perfume begins with an idea, an “olfactory sketch,” which can either take the form of a material base – the combining of two or three raw materials, like colors in an abstract painting – or in that of an initial feeling, a desire to translate or convey a specific emotion. From there, the perfumer gradually builds a full-scale composition, tinkering and problem-solving until a perfect balance is achieved.
Frédéric Malle has created a world that is very much his own. Having grown up in a family of perfumers to whom perfume was an expression of character and individual elegance, Frédéric’s vision of perfume is not only extensive, but also personal. His deep appreciation and flair for everything aesthetic has fashioned a new face for the perfume industry.