Frederic Malle is the man behind the niche fragrance house Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle. Born in Paris in 1962 to a family in the perfume industry (Grandfather Serge Heftler founded Christian Dior Perfumes, and Frederic’s mother later worked as an Art Director for the same perfume house), Frederic was exposed to the inner workings of the industry at a tender age.
Initially choosing to study Art History in New York, Frederic made a change in 1986 and accepted a position at the famed perfume lab Roure Bertrand Dupont. At Roure, Frederic learned about raw ingredients, composition and all aspects of perfume creation from some of the finest professionals in the business.
Frederic collaborated with another “nose,” Pierre Bourdon, on Mark Birley for Men in 1996. After working in the industry for more than 15 years, Frederic was ready to embark on a new adventure.
In 2000, using his connections and experience in the industry, Frederic invited nine top perfumers to create their own original perfumes, with complete creative freedom and with no financial restrictions regarding ingredients or technologies. These fragrances were packaged in bottles that feature the name of the perfumer—a first in the industry, where the perfumer is traditionally behind the scenes and credit for the scent is given to the fashion house or celebrity on the bottle. The perfumes were marketed at a specially-designed store that featured photos of each perfumer and refrigerated cabinets for storage and presentation of the scents. (Later, the perfumes were also distributed in partnership with select department stores around the world.)
The end result was a smashing success, with the original nine perfumes now legendary in the industry, and with the perfumers behind each creation finally getting the recognition they deserved. Frederic Malle, who describes himself as an “editor of perfumes” has since worked with other top perfumers in the industry (whom he refers to as “authors of perfumes”) to “publish” more Editions. Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle has expanded to offers candles, innovative home scents, soap and body care products, all created with the same freedom as the first nine fragrances.