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Monday, January 21, 2008

Perfume in the Glossies February 2008: It's All About Malle

As far as perfume content in the glossies is concerned, February is the month of Frederic. French Twisted, an article in Men's Vogue by Christopher Petkanas, allows us to steal a look into the private world of Malle and his family, in their Upper East apartment. Perfumes are basically not even mentioned, but those of us, perfume maniacs, for whom these kinds of people are true celebrities, should be thrilled to see "the breakfast nook that doubles as Malle's office", his tie and shirt collection, to admire the picture of Malles' four children, to read about Mme Malle's training to receive a master's degree in social work and about her dislike for hairy knuckles, and to learn about Malle's reasons for leaving France (France voting down the European constitution). (Men's Vogue, February 2008, pages 110-114)

Allure features Malle's column, (the not-so-chic-named "The Fragrance Guy"), this one focusing on tuberose, the "Passion Flower":

"Like a demure woman with a husky, come-hither voice - Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not comes to mind- tuberose is an intriguing contradiction" (...)"The challenge in creating a new tuberose perfume is to get away from Fracas. Dominique Ropion and I went through 690 trials before we arrived at Carnal Flower because we wanted it to be as close as possible to the natural tuberose scent." (Allure, February 2008, page 116)

Also in Allure, Romance in a Bottle (well, what can you do, it's February) by Judy Bachrach, quoting Tania Sanchez, Sofia Grojsman, Christopher Sheldrake and LL Cool J, among others, on the subject of romance-inducing fragrances. Interesting tidbits: Grojsman advises to wear to bed baby-talc inspired perfumes: "because everyone has warm memories of wearing baby talc on their bottoms."Sheldrake explains the term "bedroom smell": " our industry, 'bedroom smell' means the sensuality of jasmine, a powdery, musky soft entity - something that makes the wearer comfortable - and with a comfortable smell that pleases. It means not too violet or too rose or too animalic or too mossy." As far as Sheldrake is concerned, Beautiful by Estee Lauder "is a very romantic fragrance. (...) It has a powdery note and a fruitiness: a slightly jammy strawberry scent that as a perfumer I can appreciate." (Allure, February 2008, pages 198-2001)

Image source,


Blogger elle said...

Hairy knuckles? Fascinating. Can't say I've ever given much thought to whether or not a man has hairy knuckles - although have never gone out w/ anyone who did, but doubt it would be a sticking point. Am guessing Freddie doesn't. And definitely want to check out their taste in decor. The Allure pieces sound like must reads as well. So interesting what different people think of as sexy or romantic in terms of scent. Can't say I think of baby talc as conducive to romance. I suppose I find woods and resins to be the sexiest notes. Maybe some spices as well.

10:07 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I guess I am very much indifferent to the (non)hairiness of knuckles, because, believe it or not, I am trying to remember now if Mr C's knuckles are or are not hairy, and I can't. So clearly that aspect doesn't matter to me at all :-)))))

Baby talc is the very opposite of romance to me. It is comfort, yes. But not romance.

Sexiest notes...well, leather. Tuberose (Fm is right), gardenia. Aoud.

10:12 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can imagine a smattering of talc being sexy on the right woman, but on a man? The only powdery scent I wear (and love, actually) is cologne blanche by CDior, which, after having an initial reaction of "This just smells like baby powder," I learned to appreciate. It's one of my favorite comfort scents.

While I'm an admirer of the hirsute male myself, I can't say I would ever admire neanderthal knuckles on another man.

10:37 PM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

I THINK Mr. Lily might have hairy knuckles--but maybe not. I know he has a hairy chin and a not-hairy head:)

I do well with some powder in scents (I think my skin eats part of it); Habanita, for example, smells sexy on me (confirmed by independent noses). But it needs to be mixed with something--preferably leather or tobacco. Something like Teint de Neige turns my stomach. I agree with M. that tuberose is sexy, and aoud too. Also dark roses.

On men--well, this may surprise you, but on men I like leather:) Also vetiver and tobacco.

7:26 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

Nope--no hair on his knuckles; Ihave maligned him. I think SOMEONE I have been with had hairy knuckles, though; obviously, it's not a deterrent.:)

7:36 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought your hair had to be between your knuckles (mainly on the proximal phalanx) or on the back of your hand, rather than on the knuckles themselves (knuckles don't have hair follicles, do they?). My, I'm nitpicky.

Chris can make me comfortable any time he likes...

8:06 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

You reminded me how much I love Cologne Blanche. But in summer, it is too cold on me in winter.

9:16 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I had to check too. Hairy. Although, as Lee said, knuckles themselves can't be hairy, can they be? The finger up to the knuckle is though :-)
I used to love Teint de Neige and similar scents but now not only do they turn my stomach, they also give me horrible headache. That's not a romantic feeling.

9:19 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Yep, not a deterrent :-)

9:19 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That's what I thought too. Hmm.

9:19 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, "sir jane grey" is hairy between the knuckles - we have to have a talk tonight !
And yes, Frederick looks handsome on the photo (almost too handsome to be true...)

9:57 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

"Have to have a talk", LOL!
Yes, I agree, quite handsome.

10:01 AM EST  
Blogger Debbie said...

Malle has a monthly article in Allure? Does this mean I need to subscribe?


10:34 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It might be bi-monthly or so. Still, Allure has better (or at least MORE) perfume content than any other magazine.

10:36 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lauren Bacall was a delight in To Have or Have Not, her voice sexy as a panther. Makes me wonder what scent she wore for the making of the movie?
Sexy notes: leather, tobacco, tuberose, jasmin.

10:38 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I love Bacall. Would be fun to know what scents she likes.

10:44 AM EST  
Blogger March said...

I continue to be fascinated by the fragrance coverage in Allure. I'd have expected it in Vogue, maybe. I don't always agree with their perspective, obviously, but the fact that they even have a perspective interests me. Considering their demographic, I hope they're making younger women more interested in non-generic scents.

10:50 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow. Just wow. My husband would toss my powdery butt out of bed if I showed up smelling like talcum.

But the cretin has hairy knuckles, so what does he know?!?! :)))

10:52 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Vogue (US) is hopeless. It's not even about fashion anymore, let alone perfume. :-(

10:52 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

HAHAHA. Thank you for making me laugh out loud on this craptastic morning.

10:53 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lee--you made the point I wanted to, but was too tired to look on wikipedia. thanks!

PS: My phalanxes are hairy. But I work it.

11:49 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...


11:50 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Interesting that he sort of names Fracas as the ultimate tuberose scent..

12:47 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

And his own, as the ultimate alternative.

12:51 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

speaking of lauren bacall ... when i'm writing notes on the perfumes i'm sampling (which i do because i'm a list- and notes-loving geek!), i also write down images that come to my head. those images are sometimes people like old hollywood movie stars. (the newer celebrities don't do much for me.)

so for lauren bacall, i see her wearing something spicy, like tauer l'air du desert marocain or musk ravageur - or an edgy classic, like tabac blond. in "the big sleep," i definitely see her in tabac blond!

--erin k

1:48 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That is a great method, I love that. And those are perfect scents for Bacall.

3:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I the only person who was stunned to read that Sheldrake, a talented perfumer, finds the synthetic nightmare that is EL's Beautiful a great, "romantic fragrance"? Just a single spray of it anywhere in my vicinity brings on an instant migraine. I find it difficult to single out even one merely screams fake floral. I think it is emblematic of the crass commercialism pervading the perfume industry. When most of the fragrance budget goes to marketing, and real ingredients are off the table as too expensive, the "perfumers" give us horrors like Beautiful. Why Sheldrake would give a nod to a perfume that has survived primarily because of the tens of millions that have gone into marketing it is shocking.

7:01 PM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Hmmmmm......Very Interesting. He is so damn handsome, but I'm glad that his knuckles aren't hairy,I'd probably be one of those who noticed:) It still wouldn't be a deal breaker though:) So, I'm out to buy this months Vogue Man!
I'm not sure about the baby powder many memories of Loves Baby Soft, unless of course it was lavender scented and then I'd love it! And of course...I absolutely adore fracas and have found nothing to replace it in my heart (but I'm open!)

7:02 PM EST  
Blogger priscilla said...

M, I just read those Allure articles this weekend myself. The part that killed me was the woman who said she had to get rid of all her perfume because her boyfriend/eventual husband hates perfume. I would have dumped the man!

7:19 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

You know, I rather like Beautiful myself. It definitely is a romantic fragrance. I find it very well done.

7:40 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

can you believe I have never tried Loves Baby Soft? I am so ashamed of myself.

7:41 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Too right I'd have dumped him. But not without spraying him first with the strongest perfumes I own. Nyah ha.

7:42 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To put things back in place.
Before launching editons de parfums Malle was only known as the grand son of and nephew of.
He failed many times at the head of several multi million euro project and it is because of the talent and devotion of all his crew that success suddenly shone on him.
I met the man on several occasion and he has the most arrogant attitude you can imagine. Ok I understand he is French (so am I!!)
But there is no need to overdo the diva.
Anyhow who does really cares of his interior on Upper East? I am sure many New Yorkers have better ones? And his kids? Wife? Dog? Brief or Boxers? Who really cares???
Powdery scent sexy? Sure why not. Fracas is definitely a mind blowing scent. Tubereuse sexy? OH YES! That's the limbic system talking. Indole (molecule found in all white blossoms) hits your system the same way it hits on bees. Don't be surprised when you wear this if you get indecent proposition while drinking your starbucks at the bus stop. I would recommend Scandal of Roja Dove. It contains also Jasmine de Grasse, Rose de Mai and of course Orris and Tubereuse.

Sheldrake on Lauder? Maybe he can't bite the hand that feeds him....

Hairy Knuckles? No comment mines are but I had to look =)

Shalimar (as it was not as it is) probably is for me one of the most sexy scent for women.
Tabac Blond when worn with a little bit of Attitude. Bacall Attitude? Or Bette Davis Attitude?


7:37 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear C,
It is refreshing to hear a different prospective on FM. We (or rather I, can't speak for everybody) are pretty much enamored with him over here at PST :-)

7:42 PM EST  

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