Best Frederic Malle Perfumes


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Legacy may not be everything, but a certain degree of talent and a pool of family experience can give a huge boost, especially in the world of fragrance. We have identified and reviewed the 10 best Frederic Malle perfumes that are perfect examples of precisely what such talents coupled with supreme attention-to-detail can achieve.

Best Frederic Malle Perfumes For Women

Below is a summary of the best Frederic Malle perfumes for women that we will review fully today. Are all worthy contenders for a place in your perfume collection.

  1. Portrait of a Lady
  2. French Lover
  3. Carnal Flower
  4. Musc Ravageur
  5. Music For a While
  6. Vetiver Extraordinaire
  7. Rose & Cuir
  8. Cologne Bigarade
  9. Cologne Indelebile
  10. Superstitious

Background Of Frederic Malle

Coming from a family heavily involved in the perfume industry (his grandfather helped to found Christian Dior Perfumes, and his mother worked as their art director), it seemed fated that Frederic Malle would follow in their footsteps. Thus it was no surprise when, after initially studying Art History in New York, he was offered a position at the famed perfume lab Roure Bertrand Dupont.

In this position, he added to his already extensive insider knowledge of the perfume industry with an understanding of the raw ingredients and composition of some of the finest perfumes and scents in the world. Over the following 15 years, he honed his skills and gained experience.

The result of this varied and interesting career was the niche perfume house Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, which opened in 2000 and takes the revolutionary step of naming the perfumer behind each scent on the bottle. This has been a runaway success and has garnered praise from almost every corner of the industry.

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Top 10 Best Frederic Malle Perfumes For Women

Each of these fragrances are in our opinion the 10 best Frederic Malle Perfumes for women currently available. No matter who you are, how you are feeling, or whatever the occasion is, there is a scent here that will feel as if it’s tailor made.

1. Portrait of a Lady

Frederic Malle Portrait Of A Lady Eau de Parfum
Frederic Malle Portrait Of A Lady Eau de Parfum

Review

Launched in 2010, Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle was blended by the inimitable Dominique Ropion and name after the 1881 novel written by Henry James. Intended to evoke the spirit of the novel’s heroine, Isabel Archer, Portrait of a Lady is an intense and complex blend of spice, musk, and floral scents with light, fruity notes to save it from becoming too heavy.

With a modern twist on classically sensual ingredients, Portrait of a Lady is a perfect evening perfume for fall and winter, when cold nights overpower lighter scents. The warm, heavy scents used to give this perfume a strong base also help it to last for hours.

A single application will generally last a full 6 to 8 hours (depending on your activity level) and help it to hang in the air well. It can be too strong for those with sensitive noses, however, and so should be applied sparingly in confined spaces.

Top Notes:

Cinnamon, Clove, Turkish Rose, Blackcurrant, Raspberry.

Mid Notes:

Patchouli, Sandalwood, Incense

Base Notes:

Musk, Amber, Benzoin

Price & Reviews

You can check the latest pricing, see customer reviews and shop online at one of these well known stores:

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2. French Lover

Frederic Malle French Lover Eau de Parfum
Frederic Malle French Lover Eau de Parfum

Review

A classic and clean unisex fragrance blended by Pierre Bourdon, French Lover by Frederic Malle was launched in 2007 and has been enduringly popular since. The woody and aromatic notes of this cologne make it perfect for daytime wear, especially in spring and fall, but it can also be a crisp, clean fragrance for those who like to bring a light of natures lightness into the evenings with them.

A subtle and understated fragrance, this cologne lasts well (you shouldn’t need to reapply it during your working day), but has a low sillage level which means it won’t irritate any sensitive noses around you.

Top Notes:

Spices, Galbanum

Mid Notes:

Incense, Cedar, Angelica

Base Notes:

Oakmoss, White Musk, Vetiver

Price & Reviews

You can check the latest pricing, see customer reviews and shop online at one of these well known stores:

3. Carnal Flower

Frederic Malle Carnal Flower Eau de Parfum
Frederic Malle Carnal Flower Eau de Parfum

Review

Another offering from Dominique Ropion, Carnal Flower (or Forbidden Flower) is based around the scent of tuberose which is a beautiful and dangerous flower forbidden to young women by some cultures.

As a night-blooming flower, tuberose represents forbidden pleasures and hidden passions. Evoking hot, sultry summer nights, it makes sense that this perfume is best worn on just those occasions. However, the floral overtones make it just as lovely on a spring day.

Created in 2005, Carnal Flower contains a larger dose of tuberose absolute than any other perfume on the market right now. Despite this, it is a complex fragrance which has other floral notes along with fruity scents and herbal undertones.

Frederic Malle’s aunt, actress Candice Bergen, and her role in the movie Carnal Knowledge was the muse for this long-lasting perfume; the way it hangs in the air as you pass adds an air of the glamour and mystery that the tuberose flower embodies.

Top Notes:

Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Bergamot

Mid Notes:

Eucalyptus, Melon, Orange Blossom

Base Notes:

Coconut, White Musk, Tuberose

Price & Reviews

You can check the latest pricing, see customer reviews and shop online at one of these well known stores:

4. Musc Ravageur

Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur Eau de Parfum
Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur Eau de Parfum

Review

The orientally inspired Musc Ravageur was blended by Maurice Roucel as a unisex fragrance. Bold, intense, and yet complex, this is a fragrance which gives no quarter and is best worn when winter nights draw in.

The warming notes of cinnamon and cloves are the perfect counterbalance to more unusual ingredients such as tonka bean in order to produce a truly unique perfume.

The base notes of musk, amber, and various woods mean that this scent lasts well, and though it has a low sillage, it mellows into a pleasant and more intricate version of the intense fragrance evident at first application. This means that it can work as a bold daytime perfume for winter and spring when the cold, fresh mornings will complement it best.

Top Notes:

Lavender, Bergamot, Tangerine

Mid Notes:

Cinnamon, Cloves

Base Notes:

Sandalwood, Cedar, Guaiac Wood, Tonka Bean, Amber, Musk, Vanilla

Price & Reviews

You can check the latest pricing, see customer reviews and shop online at one of these well known stores:

5. Music For a While

Frederic Malle Music For A While Eau de Parfum
Frederic Malle Music For A While Eau de Parfum

Review

Mixe by Carlos Benam and launched in 2018, Music For a While is a sweet and spicy fragrance which perfectly encompasses the balance of masculine and feminine required for a unisex perfume.

With a caramel base and notes of musky patchouli and spicy anise, this is a fragrance which blooms as the day goes on.

Perfect for spring and summer, a single application should last all-day and will mature as it mellows, becoming more complex as the strongest notes mellow and bring fruity, floral notes to the fore. This also means that while it hangs well in the air at first, the level of sillage drops as the day goes on.

Top Notes:

Lavender, Bergamot, Anise, Mandarin Orange, Fruity Notes

Mid Notes:

Geranium, Pineapple

Base Notes:

Patchouli, Vanilla, Caramel, Sugar, Labdanum

Price & Reviews

You can check the latest pricing, see customer reviews and shop online at one of these well known stores:

6. Vetiver Extraordinaire

Frederic Malle Vétiver Extraordinaire Eau de Parfum
Frederic Malle Vétiver Extraordinaire Eau de Parfum

Review

Another gem from Dominique Ropion, Vetiver Extraordinaire is an orientally inspired, unisex woody fragrance which utilizes citrusy top notes to cut through the musk and provide a clean, fresh smell that is perfect for daytime wear in spring and summer.

An unsurprisingly durable cologne, Vetiver Extraordinaire can be too heavy for some and has a heavy sillage that means overapplication is easy.

Launched in 2002, this has been one of Frederic Malles best and most loved perfumes since then. Overwhelmingly popular, Vetiver Extraordinaire is a modern twist on classically masculine scents.

An intense and complex fragrance journey revealing what those ingredients can achieve in the hands of a master. This is a comfortingly familiar fragrance.

Top Notes:

Bergamot, Bitter Orange

Mid Notes:

Pink Pepper, Cloves, Vetiver

Base Notes:

Sandalwood, Cedar, Oak Moss, Myrhh, Musk

Price & Reviews

You can check the latest pricing, see customer reviews and shop online at one of these well known stores:

7. Rose & Cuir

Frederic Malle Rose & Cuir Eau de Parfum
Frederic Malle Rose & Cuir Eau de Parfum

Review

Frederic Malle’s newest perfume, Rose & Cuir was blended by Jean-Claude Ellena and launched in 2019. A truly unique fragrance based around leather, this is an aromatic perfume with a woody base and fruity notes and a touch of rose to elevate the overall scent palette.

The complex and unusual array of scents means that this fragrance really defies solid categorisation (which is one of the main draws for many of those who love it dearly).

However, the base notes and overall fragrance perform best in the colder, fresher weather of fall and spring when the woody notes blend well and it’s not so cold that spicy notes are preferable. Long-lasting with a heavy sillage, this perfume could be too much for those who like light scents or who have sensitive noses.

Top Notes:

Geranium, Blackcurrant, Sichuan Pepper

Mid Notes:

Rose, Leather

Base Notes:

Cedar, Vetiver

Price & Reviews

You can check the latest pricing, see customer reviews and shop online at one of these well known stores:

8. Cologne Bigarade

Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade
Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade

Review

Launched in 2001, Cologne Bigarade was one of the first unisex fragrance blended by Jean-Claude Ellena for the Editions line.

A citrus/fresh perfume which excels during spring and summer days when the vibrant top notes can cut through the air and lift the spirits. The bitter orange top notes cut through the classically sweeter scents like rose and makes way for the fresh and natural smells of grass and hay to produce a unique result.

Refreshingly simple, Cologne Bigarade embodies what the classic unisex fragrance was about; a pick-me-up scent which defies gender restrictions and evokes the happiest moments and memories of our lives.

Light but durable, Cologne Bigarade should last most of the day with just one application, but those on the move may need to top-up.

Top Notes:

Bitter Orange

Mid Notes:

Rose

Base Notes:

Cedar, Grass, Hay

Price & Reviews

You can check the latest pricing, see customer reviews and shop online at one of these well known stores:

9. Cologne Indelebile

Frederic Malle Cologne Indélébile
Frederic Malle Cologne Indélébile

Review

A 2015 scent blended by Dominique Ropion, Cologne Indelebile is uncharacteristically simple and light. Of course, that doesn’t make it any less sublime; the perfectly balanced floral and citrusy notes are supported by a musky base that takes their edge and leaves the overall product soft and seductive.

As a lighter perfume, Cologne Indelebile has a lower staying power than other Ropion blends and the sillage is moderate which means that it may need reapplication throughout the day.

The upside to this is that it’s unlikely to irritate those around you unless applied heavily, and the fruity, citrusy notes make it a perfect perfume for lifting a hot summers day.

Top Notes:

Bergamot, Lemon

Mid Notes:

Narcissus, Orange Blossom, Neroli

Base Notes:

Musk

Price & Reviews

You can check the latest pricing, see customer reviews and shop online at one of these well known stores:

10. Superstitious

Frederic Malle Superstitious Eau de Parfum
Frederic Malle Superstitious Eau de Parfum

Review

Dominique Ropion has a reputation for blending perfumes which defy both expectations and norms, but in the case of Superstition this is doubly so.

One of the defining features of the Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle is their uniform packaging. Each bottle has the same shape, top, and black and red label (unless they are a limited or special edition). Superstition, however, stands alone in a pure black bottle with a gold top and a stylised icon as its only marker.

Launched in 2016 to general acclaim, Superstition is a smoky, seductive perfume which uses aldehydic elements to lift the notes and bring each ingredient into its own.

The mix of fruity, floral, and woody notes are both long-lasting and complex; they hang in the air well but don’t overwhelm. The result, in true Ropion style is a perfume which is hard to fully categorise, as such Superstition can really be worn any time. Nonetheless, the smoky and woody notes lend themself to fall nights in particular.

Top Notes:

Aldehydes

Mid Notes:

Rose, Jasmine, Peach

Base Notes:

Vetiver, Patchouli, Amber, Incense

Price & Reviews

You can check the latest pricing, see customer reviews and shop online at one of these well known stores:

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Conclusion.

Each of these are some of the best Frederic Malle Perfumes for women, and offer a unique and personal method of expression. There are few perfume houses which produce such consistently dynamic and unusual unisex fragrances.

Related: 10 Best Intense Perfumes For Women

Frederic Malle is revolutionary in more ways than one. As such there is no single Frederic Malle perfume which is best for any situation or person; the ‘editions’ have been designed to capture the heart and mind. Choosing a scent which invokes some hidden part of yourself is always the best policy with Frederic Malle fragrances.

Each fragrance has been tested, and ‘edited’ by Frederic Malle himself, as a result, they tend to be refined, complex scents; perfect for those who like to stand out from the crowd.

For those who like to stick to traditional perfumers etiquette, however, choosing spicy or musky perfumes for evenings and fruity or light floral perfumes for daytime wear is standard practice. Likewise, white floral notes and citrusy notes are preferred for spring and summer, while spicy and woody notes are more commonly chosen for winter perfumes.

What matters most, of course, is that you find joy in the perfume that you choose and that you feel it accurately represents your tastes. So, before you dive into the base notes, lifted notes, sillage, and wear strength simply take a moment to appreciate the overall effect that each scent has on you before making your choice.

Before you go, I have put together a review of the most elegant perfumes ranging from timeless classics to modern day sophistication that I think you will enjoy.

Discover Your Perfect Fragrance

Please take a moment to browse through my hand-picked collection of exquisite perfumes.

There may just be the perfect fragrance waiting there for you!

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