Frédéric Malle kicks of new series with fragrance for designer, Dries van Noten

05th February, 2013

Frédéric Malle is launching a new collection, separate from Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle. He says the purpose of the new collection is to "translate the world of people and brands that I admire into scents". The new range is called "XXX by Frédéric Malle", and the first 'translation' is of Belgian fashion designer, Dries van Notes.

Of the new collection, Malle says "Asking perfumers to work on the olfactory illustration of someone else’s world meant losing the closeness that Editions de Parfums had allowed us. The ease of communication between two perfume experts, and the fact that until now we did not have to be accountable to anyone, was to be replaced by a “ménage à trois”! From now on we would be nourished by the world and guided by the requirements of a creator foreign to our trade, but capable of enriching our creative process with his aesthetics, thoughts and ideas. It certainly made up for this breach in our intimacy."

Perfumer for the new scent is IFF's Bruno Jovanovic. Malle says that he is "a great listener, his perfume technique allows him to master any subject, and he has a taste for warm scents that seemed adapted to my perception of Dries’s desire."

Notes for the fragrance are designed to reflect different parts of Van Noten's life. The fragrance is built around natural sandalwood, "which [Bruno] chose for its softness and its character, and the fact that it is simultaneously exotic and evocative of the tradition of “ great classic perfumes ”." Malle continues "To the milky smell of Santal Mysore he added the vanilla sweetness of Flemish pastries with a hint of vanilla, ethyle maltol, sacrasol (sulfurol) and Peruvian balm. This monumental warmth is tempered by a large dose of jasmine absolute and a musk accord. A trace of saffron and patchouli gives this ensemble, already very distinct, a unique - almost leathery - vibration. An overdose of lemon and bergamot offers a boost to this particularly contemporary structure and gives it the timeless aspect of the great perfumes of the beginning of the XXth century.

This very short formula composed of very precious materials, generates a sober but distinct sensuality. It is, in my eyes, a fair parallel to Dries van Noten’s world."

The fragrance will be available at stockists of Fréderic Malle, and in Dries van Noten stores.

We will be featuring an interview with Frédéric Malle talking about this new scent in the coming weeks.

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    • pince_nez | 5th February 2013 16:00

      Hmm. An expansion of the scent vision of Malle that now includes one

      "other" person whose vision must be interpreted by a duo.


    • PureBoy | 5th February 2013 16:30

      sounds very very nice!!! Want it!

    • gandhajala | 5th February 2013 19:44

      Looking forward to reading the interview.

    • L'Aventurier | 6th February 2013 02:02

      Great marketing. The notes and the combination sound boring, but I trust that the fragrance will smell great (too).

    • sin_is_in | 7th February 2013 18:07

      I moved to Antwerp recently to study and Dries van Noten has the most beautiful store here in town. If you know Antwerp you kind of know and understand Dries van Noten as a designer I think. In that way I'm not expecting anything too interesting as a perfume translation because the core of his designs is unpretentious elegance but I would have liked them to do a perfume in relation to his color approach e.g. since he said he likes to use unusual and almost ugly colors and combination and tries to make them work somehow. This could have been an interesting point of view to create a perfume from... this however sounds rather safe and focused on the somewhat aristocratic side of van Noten's designs. Safe and distinct sensuality.

    • michailG | 9th February 2013 12:13

      I agree with sin_is_in. I too really like van Noten's work and visiting his Antwerp store was quite an experience back in 1997. However, the description of the perfume sounds overly safe in representing a designer who over the years has been taking quite a few risks in making the artfully awkward look desirable and elegant. And I also agree with L'Aventurier: surely the perfume will smell nice ... but honestly the description makes me feel a bit indifferent.

    • mr. reasonable | 12th February 2013 06:17

      I'm intrigued by the mention of Santal Mysore - looks like it is coming back on stream earlier than expected after the ban on harvesting (or just plain lack of trees). I like the menage a trois concept - opens things up a bit to have Malle and a project based perfumer working to a concept - he is putting himself on the line here, great! Can't wait to try this.

    • redrose | 12th February 2013 11:52

      I love Dries Van Noten and wish I could afford his clothes - can't wait to sample the scent. My take on his work is sort of deluxe hippy, elegant and original.

    • Birdboy48 | 15th February 2013 00:53

      I must say, I can't quite see the necessity of Malle being a part of this project. A designer frag, and a nose that's not one of Malle's either. I guess just slapping Malle's name on the thing is a way to add extra status (and price-points) to the line, but aside from that, it all kind of sounds like the normal designer gig to me.

      Not that the stuff won't be nice, but I'm still not clear as to why Malle needs to be a part of it. It sounds more like they are simply pimping out their name to various designers, which I can't really see as a step foreword for their previously-established image.

    • Gblue | 15th February 2013 23:57

      Birdboy48 - Malle and Jovanovic have worked together before on 3 of his candles... Chez Monsieur, Notre Dame and Marius et Jeanette.

      Apparently Ropion and Roucel both had gone for the brief but Jovanovic was closest to the right direction in Malle's mind.

    • Francop | 22nd February 2013 19:35

      I have just tried it in Liberty London and take my hat to this scent, very nice indeed!