I think that fragrance is a very personal thing. Body chemistry changes fragrance, so a perfume that smells one way on me will probably smell totally different on you. With that in mind, when it comes to gift giving I think that fragrance collections are really the best way to go.
Frédéric Malle is known for his beautiful fragrances, and twelve years ago he asked other perfumers to come up with their own version of a ‘dream fragrance’. 18 perfumes were created from that challenge, and they are available now in three different Coffret Collections for the holiday season.
There are three coffrets available: the Complete Collection ($320), the Women’s Collection ($285), and the Men’s Collection ($180).
Malle says, “A fragrance is a chronological composition that evolves with time. The top notes function for about 15 minutes, then leave way to the heart of the perfume, which is its real personality. Some fragrances also change from one skin to the other. These Coffret collections allow the most curious individuals to try each perfume at their own pace and to maybe adopt the one perfume he or she would never have thought of.”
The website is excellent, and they have a questionnaire that you can fill out. Based on your answers, you get a personal email from them with recommendations for scents that might work for you. Questions they ask include:
DO YOU HAVE ANY PARTICULAR DESIRE AT THE MOMENT?
WHY DO YOU WEAR PERFUME? TO SEDUCE, TO REFRESH, TO ADD A FINAL TOUCH…
WHICH PERFUMES HAVE MOST MARKED YOU?
WHAT STYLE CLOTHING WOULD YOU LIKE TO WEAR WITH THIS PERFUME? EX: FORMAL ATTIRE, EVENING DRESS, CITY WEAR, SPORT, COUNTRY, ETC…
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BRANDS OF CLOTHING?
I tried small sample versions of a number of the fragrances, including the ones that were recommended for me, and here are my personal thoughts on each:
Dans Tes Bras – ‘Dans Tes Bras’ means ‘in your arms’, which is a fabulous name for this scent. I never thought I would like this, but I actually love it. It’s my favorite of all the scents I tested. It smells sort of salty, almost like sweat – but in a good way!! Notes include bergamot, clove, violet, jasmine, sandalwood, patchouli, incense, cashmeran, heliotrope and white musk. It is a fragrance that could easily become a ‘signature scent’ for you. I highly recommend trying this.
Une Rose – this is a truly gorgeous, grown up rose scent that does NOT smell old-fashioned. If you like rose scents, you must try this one. It’s not sweet or powdery, it’s a true to life scent. I normally do not like rose scents, but this one is pretty much perfection.
Lys Mediterranee – this was the top suggestion from my questionnaire results. It is a delicate take on lilies. It’s not overly flowery, as it has some green and salty notes. It’s what I think of as a spring or summer scent. I like it, although I like Dans Tes Bras even better.
L’eau D’hiver - This was the 2nd suggestion for me based on my questionnaire. It smells like honey, musk, and almonds. It’s a very comforting scent, a little spicy and very warm. I wouldn’t have picked this for myself, but it’s a great fragrance – perfect for snuggling by the fire when it’s cold and snowy outside.
Angeliques Sous La Pluie – This was the 3rd scent suggestion for me. I find it to be a nicely green scent. It smells very clean and like cedar. This is a scent for those who like natural, outdoorsy fragrances.
If you have a fragrance lover on your list this season, the Coffret Collections are wonderful options. Here’s what you will find in each one. Happy shopping! – Lisa
Complete collection ($320):
Includes: Musc Ravageur, Une Fleur de Cassie, Le Parfum de Thérèse, Noir Epices, En Passant, Lipstick Rose, Lys Méditerranée, Iris Poudre, Angéliques sous la Pluie, Bigarade Concentrée, Vétiver Extraordinaire, Une Rose, L’Eau d’Hiver, Carnal Flower, French Lover, Dans tes Bras, Géranium pour Monsieur, Portrait of a Lady.
Women’s collection ($285):
Includes: Musc Ravageur, Une Fleur de Cassie, Le Parfum de Thérèse, Noir Epices, En Passant, Lipstick Rose, Lys Méditerranée, Iris Poudre, Angéliques sous la Pluie, Cologne Bigarade, Une Rose, L’Eau d’Hiver, Carnal Flower, Dans tes Bras, Portrait of a Lady.
Men’s collection ($180):
Includes: Musc Ravageur, Noir Epices, Angéliques sous la Pluie, Bigarade Concentrée, Vétiver Extraordinaire, L’Eau d’Hiver, French Lover, Géranium pour Monsieur.
WHERE TO BUY: Available now at Editions de Parfums in NYC and shop.fredericmalle.com