Dries Van Noten by Frédéric Malle

Lovers of niche perfumes certainly know Edition de Parfum Frédéric Malle. After years of working as a consultant to some of the best French and International perfume companies Frédéric Malle decided in 2000 to embark on a singular venture to return perfumery to its luxury status by inviting nine top perfumers to create a perfume with complete creative and financial freedom and Edition de Parfum Frédéric Malle was born.

In 2010, he decides to start a new collection of fragrances whose purpose is to translate people or brands he admires into a scent:  'by Frédéric Malle.' The first scent in this collection will be no one other than Belgian designer Dries Van Noten, which is not totally a surprise since Dries has been selling the perfumes in his shops since the beginning and Frédéric Malle is a great admirer of the designer. It took 18 months to create the perfume and it will be launched all over the world at the end of February under the name: Dries Van Noten by Frédéric Malle.

You can imagine that the I Love Belgium team was more than excited when they heard this news. Dries is not the first Belgian designer launching a fragrance but he's doing it the 'Dries'-way meaning, not making this a huge marketing operation (the Martin Margiela fragrance was launched by L'Oréal and you know the smell of money is not far away when you work with these kind of multinational corporations).

Dries Van Noten's fashion makes Frédéric Malle think of interiors of northern countries combining baroque furniture, modern paintings and exotic objects, or other unexpected combinations: "Every element finds its breath because it is highlighted by the cold light of this part of the world and because the minimalist styling will never be ostentatious. The style of Dries Van Noten also shares this sense of style and comfort that never sacrifices the idea of style at any price."

Frédéric Malle worked with nose Bruno Jovanovic work on this project. He had long discussions with him about the  recurring subjects in the work of  Dries such as Indian embroideries, eighteenth century etchings or very graphic prints often contrasted with vibrant colors to create - like a perfumer - unexpected arrangements. He also talked about the modest and inviting nature of Belgians the sweetness of their food, and especially their desserts like waffles, gingerbread or sugar pies; many different elements who, all combined, create the universe of the designer.

The perfume is built around natural sandalwood chosen for its softness and character at once exotic and evocative of the great classic perfumery. To the milky smell of  mysore sandalwood they've added the sweetness of  Belgian pastries adding vanilla, ethyl maltol, balsam of Peru and sacrasol, softened by a strong dose of jasmin absolute and a hint of musk. A trace of saffron and patchouli offers this set a very special, unique vibration which makes it almost leathery. Like the great perfumes of the early twentieth century, an overdose of lemon and bergamot lifts it up to a particularly contemporary composition.

The I Love Belgium could smell the perfume in avant-première and we can assure you it's already in our top 5 of favourite fragrances. It's like Belgium in a bottle. Avant-garde but modest, sweet but not sugary and a little bit strange. Do you want to see our favourite Dries looks for women and men this Summer, than check out our facebook page.

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