The Best 10 perfumes in the World, by Frédéric Malle

Frédéric Malle is regarded as one the most important players in the perfume industry. Grandson of Parfums Christian Dior founder, Malle started working as a consultant of French and international, one day decided to found his own business in the industry with ’Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle’, a publishing house for exclusive perfumers where its creators had their own space to express themselves.

The last creation by the house is ‚Eau de Magnolia‘ by Carlos Benaim, joining ‚Polo‘ by Ralph Lauren, ‚Flowerbomb‘ by Viktor & Rolf and ‚Prada’s Amber. A true businessman, scent fanatic, consultant and also trendscout, Frédéric Malle compiles here his top 10 all-time favourite perfumes.

Created in 1937 for the Schiaparelli fashion boutique and inspired by the curves of Mae West.

FM: ’An almost unknown perfume which introduced coriander in the perfume industry, and a ground-breaking composition from the beginning of the fruity-bloomy Chypre-perfumes’.


Francois Coty designed this perfume in 1905 creating at once the perfume standard for the rest of the century.

FM: ’The first bloomy-oriental perfume ever created. A brilliant endless declinable composition and and emblem for discret sensualism, with a highly addictive potential’.


Fracas was a big success for the long forgotten couturier Robert Piguet in 1947. A composition made from white blossom with focus on tuberose and based on vetiver and musk.

FM: ’The archetype for the tuberose-based perfumes. Fracas is a flower turned into a Femme Fatale’.


One of the top 5 worldwide perfume best-sellers. Created for Nina Ricci by Francis Fabron in 1948.

FM: ’its base from musk, wood, spicy notes, and amber, has inspired hundreds of perfumes afterwards like ‚Paris‘ by YSL’.

l'air du temps

Chanel first perfume was launched in 1921 is one of  the first synthetic perfumes. It was designed by Ernest Beaux who then was the official perfumer of the Russian Royal Court.

FM: ’The first bloomy aldehyde. A perfume combining all extremes. Cool by the aldehyde side but bloomy and oriental in the other side. The sensual perfume par excellence’.



Jean-Paul Guerlain created this perfume in 1925, taking the gardens of Shalimar in Agra as inspiration.

FM: ’The most beautiful amber-scent ever created. A true inspiration source for every perfumer focused in this kind of perfumes’.


Mitsouko consecrated Jacques Guerlain in 1919. It was named allegedly after the Japanese mother of the author Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi.

FM: ’Inspired by Coty’s ’Le Chypre’, this perfume is actually one of the most mysterious perfumes. Mitsouko is a UFO’.


First developed as a bath oil by Estée Lauder, it was launched in 1953. With top notes from spices, bergamot, peaches, aldehyde and orange. Heart notes from nelke, ylang-ylang, cinnamon, rose orchidee and bottom notes from tolu, benzoin, vanilla and patchouli.

FM: ’One of the nicest american perfumes ever. Always a milestone when it comes to oriental perfumes’.

youth dew

Jean-Paul Guerlain was inspired by the 1979 Film, Benjamin, where there was a scene of Catherine Deneuve surrounded by roses.

FM: ’One of the finest rose-made perfumes, and one of the most stunning perfumes oft he 70s’.


This creation by the house Dior originated in 1956. The amazing thing about this ’lily of the valley’ perfume is ist simulation of different scents without being extracted directly from the flowers.

FM: ’The Big Bang of the minimalist perfumery. One of the first figurative perfumes which reflects the sensuality and tenderness of a blossom’.


*Information taken from Welt am Sonntag Brigitte Lacombe/Martin Haake

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