Fragrance and film: A beautiful friendship
Perfumer Frédéric Malle shares his movie muses.
By: Karen Kwan
Amongst all of the TIFF madness, we met up with Frédéric Malle in Toronto. The famed fragrance designer—he’s worked on scents for clients like Hermès and Christian Lacroix–was in town during the film fest to launch his collection of fragrances at Holt Renfrew.
And it turns out that film plays a key role to the perfumer when creating a fragrance. Malle grew up immersed in movies—he is the nephew of French director Louis Malle—and when he came to New York, it was a character in his uncle’s film Le Feu Follet that inspired the men’s fragrance he was working on, Bois d’Orage. When he was creating Vetiver Extraordinaire, it was the Michelangelo Antonioni film L’Avventura that Malle had in mind. On his creative process: “I have a bank of images in my head, many from movies, and I am a very visual person. When I work on a fragrance I try to associate them with certain characters—sometimes from real life and sometimes from movies.” As for the inspiration of a fragrance he’s currently working on? Not a movie, but rather a location: Los Angeles’s Sunset Boulevard.
Frédéric Malle’s fragrance collection, Éditions de Parfums, is available now at Holt Renfrew. Look for his scented candles to arrive next month.