Niche perfumery: Frédéric Malle to leave his eponymous Maison

A new chapter in high-end niche perfumery. A quarter of a century after founding Éditions de Parfums, a disruptive Maison showcasing the creators of juices hitherto unknown to the general public, and ten years after selling it to the Estée Lauder group, Frédéric Malle is preparing to step down as CEO in June.


Frédéric Malle is preparing…his own!

This pioneer of niche perfumery, founder of the Maison “Les Editions de Parfums” in 2000, has announced his departure from management next June.

His Maison, which had blazed a new trail in Perfumery by drawing perfumers out of their anonymity, had been bought for $12 million in 2014 by the Estée Lauder group. Frédéric Malle remained at the helm of the company, however.


Free expression for noses

“Twenty-five years ago, I began working on Éditions de Parfums with the aim of creating a direct link between the industry’s best perfumers and the most demanding public,” Frédéric Malle said in a statement. “In doing so, I created a platform where noses could express themselves fully and be so proud of their work that they wanted to sign it with their name. I could not have foreseen that what has become the leading publishing house for ‘noses’ would reveal these artists to the world in such a powerful way, show the public that perfume can be an art form, and lay the foundations for the artisan perfumery movement.


“When Frédéric launched his brand in 2000, he shook up the perfume industry by giving a voice and a platform to the world’s leading perfumers. Frédéric’s avant-garde approach to restoring freedom and creativity to perfumery has resulted in the creation of a truly luxury brand of perfumery masterpieces,” said Stéphane de La Faverie, Executive Chairman of the Estée Lauder Group.


Perfume dynasty

Born into a dynasty of industrialists, artists and perfumers, and the nephew of French film director Louis Malle, Frédéric Malle was immersed in the world of fragrances from an early age. He is the grandson of Serge Heftler-Louiche, founder of Parfums Christian Dior, who was succeeded as artistic director by his daughter, Frédéric Malle’s mother.

At the start of his career at the prestigious Roure, Bertrand et Dupont laboratories, specialists in perfumes and aromas, he was initially a salesman. But he was gradually introduced to the art of scenting, working on a daily basis with the noses that inspired the brilliant, disruptive idea for his future Maison. After leaving the company, “he realized that the perfume market, which had become too global, no longer allowed him to create products with the freedom and attention to detail to which he aspired” explains his Wikipedia profile.

At Roure, Bertrand and Dupont, he made friends with “those who would become his close friends in the restricted world of the perfume elite“.

Renowned perfumers

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Featured Photo: © Frédéric Malle

Picture of Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef has worked for more than 30 years in the professional press. For fifteen years, she managed the French and international editorial staff of the Journal du Textile. She now puts her press, textile, fashion, and luxury expertise at the service of newspapers, professional organizations, and companies.

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