Was that a collective 'what a lucky sob' that I just heard?
Welcome to the forum... what an entrance!
Thread: Frederic Malle @ Barneys
I've been spending a lot of time on here and finally decided on writing my first post.
Yesterday I met Frederic Malle at Barneys Dallas. He was very personable and genuine. The passion for his craft was apparent when he spoke about perfume and the industry. I ended up buying a 1.7 oz frag of Bois D'Orage which I am wearing today. The longevity and sillage so far are great, though its only 10 am.
I chatted with him a while, so I thought I'd share some interesting quips. I gravitated toward Bois D'Orage which, as some may or may not know, was made chiefly via the collaboration between Malle and Pierre Bourdon, the latter who created Cool Water, and who, in Frederic's words "revolutionized the fragrance industry in the 80s and 90s." Apparently, Pierre actually worked for Frederic's grandfather who was also in the perfume industry. What is more surprising is that Pierre actually had a very difficult time selling Cool Water after it was created. Sadly, Bois D'Orage will be his last fragrance.
Overall, it was a great experience, though some of his explanations of infusion techniques, etc. went over my head (the latter prompted by my comment on his vetiver extraordinaire and how he was able to get so much vetiver in it compared to guerlain's -- 25% compared to the usual 8%). Initially I wasn't too impressed with the smell, but after his primer I appreciated it a lot more. (Frederic, who was an art history major in NYC, compared it to when he happened to be around when the curator of the Louvre came to the Met and gave the Met's curator a tour of his own museum -- the sophistication of the analysis boosted his appreciation to another level).
What I liked most about his philosophy was his focus of a single scent in his perfumes and idea of stripping out the lowest common denominator in fragrances. He expressed his disappointment at how many fragrances throw in extraneous ingredients to appeal to the widest range of consumers, and how, it changed the focus of whatever scent was supposed to be central. The flip side of that, however, is, in my opinion, a little more linearity and less complexity in some of his fragrances (like en passant). Still it was great getting to talk to someone so knowledgeable in person.
Thanks Pipsta, glad to contribute and learn from you all!
Thanks for sharing. Frederic Malle sounds like a great person from what people who have met him have claimed so far. Unlike most of the pretentious people in that industry....no need to mention names, but we all know perfumes are a part of the fashion industry, which is full of crap. Good to find some Genuine creators out there Lucky for you to have met him.
Welcome to Basenotes mta265 and thanks for your personal insight - absolutely a great way to kick off here!
I had a similar experience some time ago here in HK. I was already a fan of his work and respected his way of putting the perfumers up front - giving credit where credit's due. The disarming thing about the meeting (it was a launch of his candle line, only a handful of people turned up) was that for over an hour he just happily chatted with whoever was there sharing lots of inside stories about how he and JCE and D. Ropion had developed stuff and so on. It was the complete and absolute opposite of so many 'invitation only meet the celeb' type events that are usually staged and involve nervous PR people hanging round. He just wandered in from his hotel by himself and chatted away with the people in front of him. Nice guy.
He mentioned then he was developing another one with D. Ropion - Portrait of a Lady, obviously - but he also said he and Carlos Benaim were 'looking at' a collaboration on a perfume after their work on the candle line . . . so fingers crossed
I couldn't help but notice this as I bumped into the Barneys at the NorthPark Center Mall in Dallas one afternoon about a month ago when I was visiting family in the U.S. I had read so much about Barneys here on Basenotes that I had to take a look-around and I managed to get my wrist sprayed plus several test strips with some Lutens and Byredos and later another SA gave me a free sample of Frederic Malle's Geranium Pour Monsieur - without my even making a purchase. It helped that I told them that I own VE, LM and MR - not to mention "travel sprays" and samples of some of the others. I was almost expecting to not like GPM based on some of the negative comments I've read here on Basenotes. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with it and have managed to increase my stash of it significantly since then. It is a much more complex (and sophisticated) fragrance than some of the simplistic comments would lead one to believe.
I have a sizable sample of Bois d'Orage - which I sprayed on my wrist a few minutes ago. It would have been fun to meet Mr. Frederic Malle himself!