Editions de Parfums, has made a place for itself in the niche perfume market creating scents that encapsulate the personalities of their wearers. Rather than going for the populist satisfaction of creating a crowd-pleaser Frederic Malle and his coterie of renowned perfumers have dedicated themselves to the art of individuality. Every fragrance within the Malle line is a study in contradiction. From the powder coated, syrupy girlishness of Lipstick Rose to the sharp almost fermented sparkle of Angéliques sous la pluie – these are perfumes with presence and as such they provoke strong, often divisive reactions.
Reaction to the brand’s latest offering, the complex Das Tes Bras is sure to be polarizing – some will find it’s heady skin scent unforgettable while others will find it unforgivable. There is something wonderfully intimate about the composition of Dans Tes Bras, unlike it’s hot-blooded sister scent Musc Ravaguer, it doesn’t automatically scream sex. There is a carnality to be found in the combination of cashmeren (a woody molecule that gives DTB it’s mystery), musk, violet and bergamot – a ribald yet hidden factor that makes the aroma sensual but it refrains from ever becoming overt. The pleasures are real but they are exceedingly personal – the scent stays close to the body and mimics it’s rich intricacy. There is salt, there is sweat and then there is the delicate sweetness and familiarity of a lover’s embrace. It may seem histrionic to call a perfume an emotional experience but for some wearers it may be just that.
That said I am a decidedly partial jury, my own Malle collection has been growing steadily for some time and I’ve yet to stumble upon a fragrance within the line that wasn’t original at the very least. The scents call to mind personas rather an aromas and for me, Das Tes Bras’ richly textured feel instantly conjured thoughts of Francoise Hardy and the soulful and at times staggeringly intimate tone of her voice. This melodic factor coupled with Hardy’s innate sexiness and aura of mystery make her the perfect muse for such a creation. It’s impossible to know (without asking Maurice Roucel) just who was the inspiration behind Dans Tes Bras, but I’d like to think that a woman of such caliber could have been.