Imagine Malle saying that in a totally sneering voice, and THEN it becomes offensive.
Just about anything that anyone would say in a totally sneering voice would be offensive.
Given the tone of the article and the lack of contextual support from the author (Then with a sneer and a uppity little snort, Malle said, " Maids stink!"), I just simply can't see the point in assuming he meant anything offensive by it, nor can I even get offended by it as it stands.
I don't want to smell like a mechanic, a garbage man, a fry cook, or a bartender. Not any SPECIFIC person who happens to BE of that profession, since we all know Indie Guy is a bartender and probably smells great. However, I was also a bartender and I know that most bartenders generally tend to smell like beer past a certain point in their shift (depending on which bar and/or what TYPE of bar they work at...I worked at a college dive bar...I stunk...you did not want to smell like me...end of story). I imagine that at some point in the day, garbagemen smell fabulous, or at least some of them do, however, for a good portion of their day, I'm sure they smell like something I don't want to smell like.
He's not talking about anyone specific. He's using a generalization and a similie to get a point across. Maids, at some point, will smell like cleaning supplies, dust, and floor wax, furniture polish, and probably sweat. Malle wants his friends to not smell like that. (If he did, he'd have created Demeter Fragrance Library instead of his company, no?)
What's wrong with that? Peronsally, i think its a little strange for people on a fragrance forum to read so much into a scent-maker or fragrance company owner's comments that they think he's making some kind of social commentary and attacking the working class when all he's doing is presenting a justification for why he got into what he does. For god's sake, he simply saying he wanted his friends to smell nice. He didn't say he wanted his friends not to smell like Mary, that shiftless cretin that cleans his troilet and is barely fit to lick his shoes. He didn't say he didn't want his friends to smell like a member of any particular race or country. If he had, then I'd definitely see the point. "Oh wow! Frederic Malle said he didn't want his friends to smell like Albanians! The outrage!" (Note: no offense meant if there are any Albanians on the forums...I picked your country at random...I imagine there's no "National Smell" for Albania, hence my point...that would actually be worthy of being offended by if he'd said something like that...if you ARE here and ARE Albanian, you smell great, I'm sure...which is the whole point).
I think the people who are freaking out over what he said are simply reading WAY too much into it and looking for something to freak out about.
It would be the same thing if somehow, someone were to become outraged at Marlen's last article about Jasina and tried to claim that he was making some sort of social commentary about Singaporeans, simply because they had lots of cheap and discontinued fragrances at that store.