Robert standing in front of the Frederic Malle boutique in the Marais© (photo by Ron Hall)
Sometime in the mid-2000’s I stumbled across Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower and started my rapid descent down the rabbit hole of niche perfumes. From that first swoon-worthy sniff I have been partial to the Malle range ever since. I can’t even count the number of favorites I have from Malle. So on our recent jaunt to Paris and discovering that our AirB&B was only two blocks from the Malle boutique in the Marais, well…. you know how the story ends. The jewel box of a boutique is an extraordinary architectural collaboration between Frederic Malle and architects Jakob + MacFarlane. Although tiny, the boutique surfaces are all mirrored creating the effect of endless space into infinity. The shelving is all ‘hive-like plywood that undulates sensually and perfectly showcases Malle’s fragrances. Displayed prominently too, are the photos of the world class perfumers Malle chose to create his fragrances and read like a Who’s Who of Perfume royalty; Jean-Claude Ellena, Dominique Ropion, Maurice Roucel, Bruno Jovanovic, Carlos Benaim, Olivia Giacobetti, Pierre Bourdon, Edmond & Michael Roudnitska, Ralf Schwieger, Edouard Flechier, Sophia Grojsman and Fanny Bal.
Photo by Robert H©
The boutique is staffed by two bright, young, and knowledgeable SAs who were able to answer all my questions, and created a truly enjoyable shopping experience. I walked out with the two newest perfumes from 2017: Music For A While (a really terrific lavender) and the new EU Exclusive limited edition called Frederic Malle Sale Gosse By Fanny Bal.
Fanny Bal and Frederic Malle in New York (photo courtesy of Fanny Bal)
Fanny Bal is one of the new up and coming perfumers,(you can read her CaFleureBon Young Perfumer feature here) and although still in her early 30’s is already known for her work for Armani Privé, Issey Miyaki, Paco Rabanne, and the new Hemingway for Masque Milano.
Via Candy magazine©
Frederic Malle Sale Gosse by Fanny Bal is a “play on words” (a French colloquialism for ‘bratty little child’) and described as “An ode to ‘enfants terribles’ and all manner of monkey business: doodles on the blackboard, devious schemes and pranks galore. Petitgrain, neroli, bergamot and rosemary are infused with a cheeky smile of violet and strawberry for a taste of bubblegum, old-fashioned sweets and getting away with murder.”
Cara Delevingne for Love Magazine©
The concept of a perfume based on the ‘enfant terrible’ is not a new one having been done by Etat Libre d’Orange with Divin ‘Enfant, L’Enfant Terrible by Jovoy Paris, and Enfant Terrible by 2017 Art & Olfaction winner Claire Baxter for Sixteen92 among others, but Fanny Bal’s interpretation twists it a bit. Frederic Malle Sale Gosse by Fanny Bal opens with a bright summery cologne-like blast of neroli, bergamot, petitgrain and herbal rosemary, this is a bad child who has been brought to task and scrubbed clean for Sunday church. Gone are the dirty fingernails, scraped knees, and oily hair; this kid has been shorn of all his (or her) play day grime and now positively glows in their Sunday best. But what you don’t know is that in the child’s pocket are some sticky candies snuck in there on the way out the door, and are now a bit worse for wear from the heat of the day and the cloth confinement. Although the classic cologne notes carry through, they are made a bit subversive by the candied notes of the violet and rose, and the slight strawberry perfume of the fraises de bois makes one realize that the child has once again pulled the wool over your eyes and has still managed to do things in their own inimitable and incorrigible way. This is a scent that one could most happily wear to a Fourth Of July or Bastille Day picnic or fête, it is fun and happy all the while serving to remind us to not take “adulting” so very seriously. Notes: Neroli oil, Bergamot, Petitgrain, Rosemary, Narcisse Absolute, Rose, Violet, Fraises de Bois, Musk
Disclosure: The perfume and opinions are my own.
-Robert Herrmann, Senior Editor
-Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief
Robert's photo of his bottle of Frederic Malle Sale Gosse by Fanny Bal©
Thanks to Robert Herrmann, we have one hand-poured 10 ml. decant of Frederic Malle Sale Gosse By Fanny Bal for one registered reader In the USA,so be sure to register if you have not done so. To be eligible please let us know what appeals to you about Frederic Malle Sale Gosse By Fanny Bal and if you have a favorite Frederic Malle Draw closes 5/24/2018