Perfumer Frédéric Malle's Tips For Choosing The Perfect Scent
The grandson of the founder of Parfums Christian Dior, Frédéric Malle has spent his entire career developing his deep knowledge of the art of fragrance. His concept for his brand, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, has been to invite the world’s greatest noses to compose exclusive, creative fragrances to be sold under their own names.
Fresh from releasing a new fragrance called "Music for a While" with master perfumer Carlos Benaim, we caught up with Malle to get his top tips for selecting your signature scent:
How did you get into the creation of scents?
My history with perfume runs deep. My grandfather was a prominent figure in the perfume business; he founded Parfums Christian Dior amongst other brands, and my mother inherited her profession from him. She always tried different perfumes on us growing up, so I sensed the power that fragrance had on me from an early age.
As a teenager, I realised that wearing the right scent could make me feel bigger than I was. That experience took me to another level, which is why this business felt so natural to me.
Growing up in a family of perfumers, were there any specific fragrances that influenced you?
I always remember playing sports as a child being covered with Eau Sauvage (that my mother had worked on), and at that point, I understood what being addicted to a perfume meant. I was 12.
Is there a scent that you wear every day?
When I am at work in New York, I generally don’t wear perfume as I am testing different fragrances throughout the day. But when I travel, it is a matter of mood, of seasons and of where I am. I always have five fragrances in my suitcase so I can choose the right one according to the light and atmosphere of a given day.
What are your top tips for choosing a signature scent?
Give yourself time to smell and test out few fragrances.
Wear the few that you like best on your arm. 20 minutes later, do you still see yourself wearing that scent in the future? Does it last, does it diffuse? When you are alone with the smell without the imagery around it, without the packaging, do you still feel the same way about it?
Take a moment to think about who you are.
How do you want to come across in life? How do you see yourself? Once you understand how you are and who you are, then you are in a good place to determine which fragrance is meant for you.
Never look for an instant reward.
It's like hit songs of the summer; you like it for two weeks and then you never want to hear it again. If you are true to yourself, and you take the time to really understand how the perfume relates to you personally, then you will find something that truly stands out to you.
Find out more at fredericmalle.com