40 Days and 40 Nights of Beauty Brand Reviews
Day 12, Frederic Malle
Cavewoman: If you want to sample one of the fragrances in the Frederic Malle Editions De Parfums at the boutique in Barney's Madison Avenue store, don't offer your wrist to be sprayed. Well, not at first, anyway. The Malle sales staff will ask you a few questions first. What types of perfumes do you already wear and love? The SA will then choose just a few of the Malle scents for you to try, based on your answers. Your first whiff of one of your chosen Malle scents will happen in a most interesting way. Inside the little Malle boutique are 'scent chambers,' each a clear glass cylinder with a little door. The SA opens the door, sprays the scent into the chamber, closes and opens the door a few times, and then you are instructed to put your face into the chamber and sniff the scent. Only after you sample the scent in the chamber, and like it, will the sales associate spray some on your wrist.
Frederic Malle is not the perfumer of his line of scents, but he enlisted some of the most interesting perfumers of our time to create the Editions De Parfums. My favorite Malle is Lipstick Rose, created by perfumer Ralf Schwieger, who trained in the field of chemistry and then in perfumery at Givaudin-Roure.
Lipstick Rose is one of the most unusual fragrances I have ever smelled. To me it is a masterpiece of blending synthetic and natural notes, very modern and totally unexpected, and yet at the same time, hints at vintage scents from Grandma's era. This dichotomy is the fascination factor in Lipstick Rose. It smells like Grandma's lipstick, but it also smells like candied, sugared violets adorning a wedding cake. In fact, it's the combination of rose and violet at the heart of this scent that captured my own heart. Lipstick Rose is candy-sweet, tasty, enigmatic, whimsical, and addicting. Rose lovers will wonder where the rose is. Rose haters will not smell rose in the typical sense of the flower. The notes in Lipstick Rose are grapefruit, ambrette, coriander, tagette, aldehydes, rose, iris, violet, raspberry, heliotrope, musk, vetiver, vanilla and amber.
It has come to me recently that I love the combination of rose and violet in a scent. One plus one equals more than two. Violet-rose perfumes fill my perfume tray, and with a little research and investigation, I have come up with a list of my perfume loves that contain the rose-violet accord. I knew I loved this combination even before I realized what the combination was! I continue to seek out perfumes with both rose and violet, and I'd love to hear yours, if you know of any.
Just a short list of other rose-violet scents:
Bvlgari Pour Femme and Rose Essentielle, Bond Broadway Nite, Malle (Roudnitska) Le Parfum De Therese, YSL Paris, Shiseido Zen (original, black bottle,) Caron Fleurs De Rocaille and Aimez Moi, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Fragonard Apres-Tout, La Rose De Rosine, Guerlain Apres L'Ondee and Jardins De Bagatelle, FlowerByKenzo, Houbigant Demi-Jour, and last but not least, Deneuve!
Annieytown: Years ago while in NYC, I was bamboozled by a Frederic Malle Sales Associate. I was loitering in the Malle boutique in Barneys sniffing Une Rose and Musc Ravageur. The SA insisted that I needed to try Iris Poudre. I informed her that I was not a powder scent girl and that I would not be interested in trying it.
She looked me up and down noting my pink velvet coat with the peter pan collar.
Later she had two scents on the table. She encouraged me to test both. I was feeling the buzz you get when you shop with some of your favorite people and sniffed both cards without question. I instantly fell in love with the first one. It was gorgeous and feminine.
My SA was triumphant.
The sneak had made me test Iris Poudre.
I thought that was a great move on her part. I was being close minded with a chip on my shoulder.
She introduced me to the world of iris based scents and for that I will be forever grateful.
Notes: Bergamot Orange,Rosewood,Ylang-Ylang Carnation,Magnolia-Jasmine,Lily of the valley,Violette-rose,Aldehydes,Iris-musk,Amber-vanilla,and Sandalwood-ebony.
The aldehydes is subtle in this fragrance. It is not a powerful punch.
Frederic Malle scents can be purchased at Barneys or from their website:
I prefer Barneys in NYC because I adore Luis, the FM counter manager.
Call him for any orders 212-833-2652.
What are your favorite Frederic Malle fragrances? What will be your next purchase?
Photos: Blogdorf Goodman and Anthropologie
Disclosure: All the products in this post were purchased by the reviewers.