Malle Content

 

French apartment meets 2001 in the perfume house’s first London store

With Frederic Malle joining Chanel and Penhaligon’s in London’s Burlington Arcade, the iconic Mayfair shopping strip is rapidly becoming a key destination for the capital’s high-end scenthounds. Indeed, wistonestoneth the coming additions of Roja Perfumes and Kilian, the arcade may soon be smellable from space.

An editor rather than conventional perfumer, Malle collaborates with carefully selected experts to concoct the house’s scents. As in all his stores, black and white portraits of the featured perfumers adorn the walls of Malle’s London outlet. Other common features include refrigerated display cases and patented ‘smelling columns’. To create a welcoming and homely feel, each store is also designed to resemble Malle’s apartment – though with individual touches. In Mayfair, Malle wanted to add a ‘single transformative object to an almost too-familiar décor’, citing the monolith in 2001 as an inspiration. As negotiating a gigantic black slab down the arcade would probably test Piccadilly’s loading bay restrictions to the limit, Malle has settled instead on a marble table by designer Martin Szekely. Other details include low bookcases inspired by English country houses, curtains woven by a historic French, um, curtainier and carpets referencing Malle’s favourite room at the 19th century Chateau de Groussay.

POALFears that Estée Lauder’s acquisition of Malle might take it too mass-market seem unfounded – the Mayfair launch suggests that brand remains as esoteric and well-curated as ever.

Frederic Malle is open now at 14 Burlington Arcade, London.

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