He’s All That – Anita

Okay.  I’m de-boozed and feeling more the thing now, so I can tell you All About The Event.  The Man.  The Malle.   The Candles.

M. Malle. so, I got to Barneys a few minutes before 5p, to find M. Malle  in the chic little area devoted to his fragrances (Bauhaus-inspired chairs, elegant fittings and those smelling booths)  looking totally soigne and comfortable in his surroundings.  Christina  (the delightful woman who helped us Chicocoans through the Malles) told me to introduce myself; I did (hey, I am not shy.  I’m a bit insane.  But not shy.)  I told him about the Posse, of which he is aware (positive), bless him. He was agreeable to my yakking with him for a Posse post, bless him again.  We had a lovely 5-10 min pre-Event chat, about blogging (he has definite opinions), cows (not so much), Catholic school upbringing (both of us and don’t ask me how we got on that – it seemed germane at the time), the scent of our parents’ lives (the Coffee Society candle is most often equated with that, for his clients).  He would be a great person to spend some time with at a real cocktail party, I think.

May I just tell you how charming he is?  Absolutely charming.   He is that fascinating French-in-America hybrid.  TOTALLY French.  But an attractive, pragmatic respect and appreciation for the US that is delightful .   Very urbane, very good-looking, in that Very French Way.  Very polished.  In that… yeah, you get the idea.

And he’s very gracious.  Which is great because…..

He let me smell him! Seriously.  What a sport!  I explained that THE POSSE ASKED ME TO DO IT.  After the briefest pause he realized a) I wasn’t any crazier than anybody else he’d met that day and b) apparently I really had been asked by people who admire him and what he’s done for perfume  – and I was respectful – as respectful as you can be, I guess, when you are asking a total stranger if you can smell them! You people are freaks and obviously I am even freakier for doing what you ask!   He had the barest traces of Geranium pour Monsieur, which seems to be his scent choice, if recent interviews are anything to go by.  What was really lovely was, he was so damn NICE about it, understanding that it really was a serious request.   He opened up his shirt so he (HE) could smell the inside, which he said still smelled like GpM – I wasn’t going there.   Not even for y’all.  Somehow it didn’t seem like Quite the Thing to Do, y’know? I didn’t ask.   And he didn’t offer.

HE SMELLED MURRAY! Y’all know Murray – he’s my adored vintage Murray Kruger blue croc handbag.  He’s pretty fragile so he doesn’t get out much – but often I’ll take him out of his sleeper just to smell his insides.  They smell like my mother’s handbag from when I was 6 – good leather, shards of tobacco from her Philip Morris Commanders that slipped out of her gold cigarette case, Shalimar, face powder.  I really wanted to know if he smelled 1960 like I did and was totally perplexed when he said it smelled like decomposing (that is not the word he used – hang on I’ll try to remembernopesorry) oranges.  Later I remembered that I’d thrown a cotton ball with one drop of bigarade absolute into Murray’s inner pocket, for about 32 seconds, about a year ago. I need to get my sinuses fixed.  Murray and I are Big Fans Now.(Murray was so excited to be there!)

So, the Event.  We went upstairs to the Personal Shopper suite ..… nicely lit, crystal flutes with Veuve Cliquot, soft music…

…and here’s where M. Malle became Editions des Parfumsthe Candles; as he said, when I later queried him (for the second time) about the upcoming Portrait of a Lady “not tonight.  Tonight it’s all about the candles”.  It sounds really lovely when said with a charming accent, trust me.   I got sidetracked so he was already seated and chatting with another guest when I came in – this is important because I was not at all prepped re the candles – I kinda boobled into the room, still focused on perfume with no clear sense of what was going on.  Before I tell you about them, let me tell you that I was hoping he was gonna bust out some PoaL (which he said has something to do with Geranium but not the regular parts of geranium – or something like that.  I was already into my 3rd glass of the widder’s brew and I’d missed lunch and …I’m sorry – it’ll be out in Nov and we can figure it out then, okay?).  Anyway, not candles. I. Hate. Candles.  My sinuses are shot.  A scented candle sends my septum into Red Alert and in a few ticks I cannot breathe.   Add the incipient sinus infection and I should’ve been in a Disaster Zone.    Instead, I kept thinking ‘wow, this bouquet really smells lovely’.  It wasn’t until I began to focus on the conversation that I realized the flowers were silk and I was smelling the lit candle!  Did I mention I am NOT an investigative journalist?  I am an exhausted bonehead who missed the obvious marketing cues. Like the big-ass buncho GIANT RED CANDLES!  Oooopsie.  But I have to say, this is the absolute first-evah! Candle that doesn’t smell like a candle AT ALL!  Ier Mai (May Day) is a joyful bouquet of muguet blossoms, with none of that sinus-searing stuff.  None.  For the whole two hours.  Whoa!  Rosa Rugosa smells exactly like the bloom – and I should know – I have had at least 20 of those bushes in my past 5 gardens.  I don’t know if it’s supposed to but Jurassic Flower (modeled on magnolia) reminds me of a gorgeous night-blooming tuberose.  Are they worth between $80 – $140?  Not in the life I am currently living but that’s not their fault –  in my former life I would’ve bought all three of those, right then, without blinking, they are that lovely.  Patty did some nosework on the candles on Friday’s post and she’s way better versed than me.

There were about 15 of us willing captives enthralled as M. Malle discussed how he came to the idea of making candles, how he really doesn’t like what’s on the market currently (he used NO names, so don’t ask) and how few, if any, other companies employ perfumers to create candles.   Passed bell jars around – these candles have some serious ‘throw’.   He talked about how he feels a home should smell (hint:  it ain’t ‘sexy’), ‘headspace’ technology and how he sends more flowers to Dominique Ropion than any other man…he OWNED that room.  I was spellbound but for a slightly odd reason –  perfumista warred with the business owner in me –  I sat in total awe of the elegant juggernaut that was Barneys and Editions, there in that lovely little  sitting room. Signed candles flew into shopping bags like Halloween candy!   Man, I gotta figure out how to translate that into container loaders!  M. Malle is no dilettante.  He is passionate about his love for perfumery but also for his business – and you know what?  I can totally get with that.  It was a great presentation and I came away with serious respect for him as an artiste, a muse (if he isn’t Muse to those perfumers I don’t know who is – his respect for their craft  is palpable) and a businessman.  As much as I wanted to ask him everything PERFUME (he loves Mitsouko!  Fracas! Yay!) it was obvious he was there to do a job, so I had to let him.  But it was tough!  The crowd got into a  heated discussion about Fracas v. Carnal Flower and he charmingly redirected the focus before it turned into a brawl…..but it was close!  Okay, not really.  Uh, it was  Me v. The Room.  Yeah, like you’re surprised.

A couple of Other Event Things: Here is my petard.  I iz hoist with it.

I think I might’ve been a tad bitch erm testy about whom I perceived as the invited ‘spendies’.  Oho!  I was SO wa-ronnng!  The people at this Event were ……wow.  Let’s just say I would be delighted to have dinner with any one – or all – of them.  Erudite, engaged, engaging!  None of this ‘I’m herebecausehe’sacelebritywhere’smygoodiebag’ nonsense.  These were serious devotees of the perfumer’s craft, or at least seriously into perfume.  One very interested gentleman had just recovered his sense of smell after a 20yr loss!  His lady wife, an excellent nose, recalled being in a pitched battle with a chef over the use of scented candles and fragrant flowers on an haute cuisine dinner table. An excellent conversation, there.  Another lovely lady, Susan, wearing a vintage Yohji Yamamoto jacket that has convinced me that a brisk walk is way better than a chocolate cupcake writes poetry about the scents she loves – she shared a lovely one she wrote about Dans Tes Bras.  Incredibly interesting people.  I was in heaven.  And I apologize to each and every one of you for that mean, snipey haiku.  I have put down the Haterade and picked up the Love Jug.

Also, I met a lovely Posse lurker who gave me a bit of street cred (her shriek of ‘YOU’RE MUSETTE!!” brought the house down (in a good way).    Thanks, Tally!  She has promised to de-lurk.  She is nervous about commenting because she says she doesn’t know anything about perfume. Ha!  She obviously has not read my posts! Her beautiful friend Olena (a designer of incredible jewelry) stunned her silly by gifting her with a Russian Nights candle!  Wow!  That was Much Fun to watch!  More champagne!

And then, just like Cinderella’s ball, it was all over.  M. Malle bid us au revoir and slid out of the room and off to O’Hare, unless he had a G-V parked at Midway which wouldn’t surprise me one bit – and I ain’t hatin’.  Me?  I walked home.  I was soaked to the gills in Veuve Cliquot, it was a beautiful autumn night and I really would like to fit into a Yohji jacket once again.  Muchisimas Gracias to Bradley, Lydia, Christina and Marie – you are the only reason I pay Chicago sales tax!  Barneys is very lucky to have you.

By the way, in answer to my query ( knowing my love for Mitsouko but also accepting that I use it when I need to wield an olfactory broadsword, though he describes it as ‘ladylike’ – well yeah, if you’re Lady Macbeth!) he determined that the best Editions scent for me, when I need to bust some construction heads, is not Angeliques, which he said was too timid for my needs.  It should be Noir Epices. What say you?

83 Comments

  1. SO MUCH JEALOUS. [-( =:)

    I don’t even know where to start. The fact that you smelled Mr. Malle = ^:) And he sniffed Murray! And you look fabulous! I am so happy for you, this sounds divine. And did you wear Noir Epices? I think it’s the spice-bomb, in a good way, but some people find it a bit 8-x

    • I did wear NE…well, I sprayed it on after he recommended it. You told me to go commando so I did – he liked it (duh), everybody else seemed to, also – but we were all pretty hammered by then (except M. Malle)

      I thought I would try it again, once my sinuses settle back down…

      xo >-)

  2. I’m so jealous….. I wish I were there! I thought it was invite only, but I was at Barney’s yesterday, and was told, well, yes, but… I would have been able to meet Mr. Malle!

    I agree with you that the Barney’s SAs are pretty much the only reason I pay Chicago sales tax for fragrance. They’re great! I’m especially a fan of Lydia and Terri.

    • It was fun! I would’ve loved to meet you!!! Lydia is incredible, isn’t she? She has such a sparkling personality and a great love of perfume.

      xo >-)

      • btw – that was a VERY confusing Event, as far as invitations went. I was given not one but THREE separate notions re the exclusivity of it. First he wasn’t going to be on the floor, then I got a postcard that said “meet Frederic Malle” – and it was a mass mailing! I dunno….

        I didn’t come back on here and clarify because I really had NO idea what was going on – and I didn’t want any of you making the trip on a ‘maybe’ – the ‘private’ event, I think, was def Invitation Only – that was with the candles and the presentation and the champers.

        Did you smell any of the candles whilst there?

        xo >-)

        • I was under the impression that it was for regular Malle customers there…. Oh, well.

          No, I didn’t sniff the candles when I was there Friday. Your description has me intrigued, though. Next time! I liked the display!

          • It was…

            but it was worded so oddly. What if you are a Candlewhore? Wouldn’t you want that person to come? Who knows how they structured the whole invite-thing/ I was only invited by backstory accident!

            Def sniff the candles – I can only attest to the florals being shocking un-candlelike but they are worth a sniff, just for the ‘whoa’ factor!

            xo >-)

  3. Love your post, Anita! Thanks for letting us all experience the event through your eyes. Also, so nice to hear how charming Monsieur Malle is. And BTW, you look MAH-velous!!!

    • You must be drinking Veuve Cliquot, my dear (but thank you) – I looked like 7 kinds of Fat 8-x – but you know what? It’s photos like this that keep me on track and off the cupcakes. I refuse to buy any new clothes so I must drop the lbs before I am hauled off for indecent exposure! :))

      xoxoxo >-)

  4. I have fond memories of the Barneys in Chicago. I made a special trip there just for the Editions perfumes and made my first “real” perfume purchase there(Bigarade Concentree and Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur). The SA’s were lovely and very patient with my inability to pronounce the names of the things I wanted to try.

    Thanks for sharing what sounds like a great evening and reminding me of my own little adventure!

    • It was fun and you’re welcome! Next time you’re heading into the City, let us know!

      The Barneys SAs are a special breed. I think Barneys, more than any other store (can’t speak to BG – it’s been too long since I’ve shopped there, ditto Bendel) still pushes the notion of Customer, rather than Consumer. I’ve known these people for so long, I don’t count (they’ve been my SAs through Major Spendy Time through ” :-?…I dunno if I can afford this $14 lipstick Time” ) – but I’ve noticed how they treat other customers, with patience and graciousness, whether they’re dropping $50 or $5000!

      xo >-)

      • Lydia, especially, has had long conversations with me about fragrance without my even buying anything.

        The only other SA that has come close is one at the Hermès store across the street. (I don’t know her name.) She is very helpful and generous with the samples. I feel I must buy something there one day because the service is so good.

        The absolute worst is the Chanel boutique at the Drake….. they usually won’t even wait on me! Maybe I am too grubby, or not cute enough. Friday I dropped in, and asked about the smaller bottles of Les Exclusifs and someone actually spoke with me! However, she said there was no such thing as the smaller bottles and that they must be counterfeit and I had better not buy them, even when I mentioned that it was on Chanel’s own website!

        • For every yin, eh? The Chanel boutique is weird – I have always been treated with courtesy and respect but I think it’s because they can’t figure out if I am some crazy old rich lady or a crazy old lady who is likely to smack the stuffing out of them! Either way, they treat carefully. But the entire boutique is tension-filled. I wonder if sales are down? The Chanel (and Hermes) spendies are whom I thought I would get at the Malle event – hence the snarkolicious haiku on the update. I probably shouldn’t be so snarky but Lord, I hope that when I was spendy I wasn’t as….I dunno..I’mo shut up now.

          Hermes…well, I finally got over my 8-x at the insanely rude treatment my VERY SPENDY POSSE got at the Chicocoa and have returned to the fold, somewhat. Alivia and Jose are my SAs there – great folks!

          If you’re looking for something to buy, you can get me that slate-green Shoulder Kelly! ;))

          xo >-)

            • she’s still there? 😮

              I’ve not seen her since that Fateful Day. I was so pissed (especially as, whilst she was taking her life in her hands, chastising me in public, my peeps were buying right and left!) that I didn’t go back into the shop for fear of running into her and throwing her through the plate glass window, onto the street! 8-x Normally I am the soul of gracious behavior – really – and wouldn’t dream of behaving badly out in public but if you bring it I will BRING IT! And she came theees close to me having to go to Stateville.

              Why don’t we ever see you at perfumey stuff? were you at Chicocoa?

              xo >-)

          • For some reason I missed your last line about the Shoulder Kelly… lol!

  5. Oh, such a lovely time, and a fabulous write-up! Thanks for sharing this event with us?

    I don’t know if I’ll be buying one of the lovely candles soon, but ooooh-ahhhh!

    Does Murray have a brother?

    • Murray has a sister – she was one of the Mad Men handbags. Perhaps I’ll show her on one of the autumn posts – I carry her when I wear vintage Femme – and real clothes.

      xo >-)

        • You know, I can’t either. I compared him to a Nancy Gonzales satchel and they feel the same but that means nothing. I dunno…if he’s embossed they did a great job.

          Did I ever show you Murray’s sister Brenda? I’ll post a photo on FB or just send it to you. If Murray Kruger and your gal Roberta dC had a love child it would be Brenda.

          xoxo >-)

  6. I am happy you got to do this and happy I got to read about it. As for me, I’m one of the ones who think Epices Noir is kind of 8-x.
    But if it works for you, more power to you….thanks again for a great write up!

    • I think that’s (maybe) what M. Malle intended, given what I told him I was looking for? It was late, he was tired, I was blitzed – who knows? 😕 I was looking for something out of his line that would project a sense of command because, you know, I am such a retiring little thing ;)) But construction guys can be very literal – wearing something like Diorissimo means I would have to project even MORE forcefulness – I’d rather let my perfume do some of the heavy lifting!

      xo >-)

  7. Hey, where’s my death head? Can’t see it on my computer….Oh well.

  8. I’m so jealous! Sounds like a wonderful time. Enjoyed being there vicariously through you.

    • Murray had the best time of all, I think. Much was made of him, which made him happy, he got smelled by a lot of people (he really does have that 1940 smell – I said 1960 in the post because I didn’t want people to think I was that old (I’m not) but my mom was just entering her young adult, socialite life in the early 40s (her first marriage was very glam) – and all her stuff from then reeks of that time.

      xo >-)

  9. I have not smelled anything by Mr. Malle. Could someone tell me where I can find his scents in Boston? I live north of the city, so I think it’s about time for an excursion into Saks, Neiman Marcus, etc. The stores out in the suburbs are merely o.k. when it comes to scent selection.
    And don’t you just love French accents and French charm? I went to a French high school in Los Angeles. My professors were handsome, Sorbonne educated men in their 20’s, (doing their compulsory military service teaching in high schools around the globe), and let me tell you,having Baudelaire read by these men was enough to send me, at age 16, into a swoon. I love French culture and men and perfume and food and accents and…

  10. Thanks for smellin’ THEE MAN for all us FREAKIZOIDZ out here Musette! Your the s$*#!

    And for puttzin’ around for all the little people.
    I’m glad you had a wonderful time and for who you are in these posts and your life, we would get along madly my dear! :D

    • Thanks, doll! We already get along madly! It was a fun time and I thought it was really sweet of him to put all the pieces together and figure out that I really wasn’t some insaneazoid who was going to try to assault him or whatever – he is approachable and nice but I’m sure there are people who have tried to take odd liberties. This sounds weird, but I made sure not to actually TOUCH him whilst smelling, y’know? If you think about it, it was sort of a professional request so I tried to be as professional about it as possible. My guts are heaving with laughter as I write this, it sounds so insane! But I really meant it. And I think (hope!) he appreciated that I tried to keep it impersonal, even as I was seriously invading his personal space!

      xo >-)

      • Like he was a lovely glass of rare wine and you were taking a professional opinion of it rather than a lush that’s thirsty for the good stuff?! Well done love! teehee ;)

  11. Hee, hee, hee! Thanks for this wonderful write up, Musette. And for just being…Musette.

    As we say in my household, you are A Force for The Good.

  12. Lucky lucky to be so near as to sniff him! Trying to imagine you gingerly boobling into him, inhaling politely.
    Ah, the vicarious life.
    You didn’t disappoint with this post. Well done, and yes I am jealous.
    Murray is a glorious piece of art, wish I could smell him-love your description.

    • Murray is wonderful, isn’t he?

      I wish there could’ve been a Real Perfumista Event with him – wonder if he ever does Sniffa?

      see my response to Tamara J – I wonder if anybody else has ever asked to smell him? ;))

      xo >-)

  13. J’approve! Thanks for representin’ the Posse, i’ll bet you are a fab ambassador! Murray is just stunning!

    I just have to ask…. the fracas about Fracas vs. Carnal Flower? Do tell!

    I also wanted to thank you and the Posse folks for my latest heart-stopping perfume experience. I finally tried some vintage Mitsouko edp– so far I’ve only sniffed the EDT, which is 60% concrete saw to my nose. But the parfum…. I FINALLY GET IT, AND IT’S SO FREAKIN’ GENIUS I CAN’T STAND IT! There really, really are perfumes that will make you cry, and that’s one of them.

    • Well..

      1) thank you for the compliment! And Murray thanks you, too. He’s on his way to rehab again. Poor thing. He has a bink (alligators are not found blue in the wild, as you can imagine – and this dye-job is 9million years old, I suspect)

      Before I get onto the F v. CF debacle, let me congratulate you on experiencing the beauty that is vintage Mitsouko (and the =)) re the 60% concrete saw visual – I actually wear contemp Edp (preform) when I need to terrify my guys, BECAUSE it has that buzzsaw quality about it. You can smell what M. Malle described as ‘ladylike’ buried deep below. But she’s guarded by a squadron of pissed-off Army Rangers who just field-stripped their rifles – and one of them pinched his trigger finger! 8-x

      The F v. CF: simple – everybody there, except me, was totally Malle-centric, at least for that night. I adore what he does and what he is trying to do for perfumery and I think his scents are lovely – and I adore Carnal Flower. Because I had him in my clutches for a hot seconds, I wanted to ask him about his opinion of Fracas, which is the Tuberose Standard, imo – and he agreed. It got momentarily difficult because people there assumed I was saying ‘either/or’ or challenging CF – and I wasn’t having it. M. Malle and I agreed that Mme. Cellier constructed Fracas as a PERFUME which was the brief, I’m sure (and the general style of perfume construction at that time), whereas he was attempting something slightly different with Carnal Flower – and here is where the Veuve Cliquot and general jollity comes in: I cannot remember ‘exactly’ what he said so I’m a bit leery of recounting. I’m going to skate near it by saying that he said something about ‘skin’ and leave it at that. Not being coy but I really don’t want to quote without being sure. Again with the Graciousness! He was so smooth about it and let folks know, simply by acknowledging Mme Cellier’s genius, that it was okay to love both. He loves Fracas! I didn’t have to make anybody cry. Everybody went away happy!

      xo >-)

  14. Anita..Perfect post for the perfect event! It was truly one of the best evenings Ive ever had! I have burned my gorgeous candle that Olena gifted me every night and I keep reliving this special evening!FM was such a gentleman, so passionate about the new line. I wish I could have bought one of each! And I got to meet you!! We had such a great time with you! Thank you for everything! We need to share a glass of Veuve together again! And finally, thats for encouraging me to delurk!!

    • YAY! You de-lurked! YAY!

      Folks, say hi! to Tally!

      I’m so glad you are enjoying the Russian Nights. That’s one I didn’t ‘get’ but everybody else seemed to love it!

      Def we will get together again. I come in every couple of weeks to torture my SAs and have lunch or something with SHelley – you and Olena will have to join us, okay? That was a really fun night, made even more special upon meeting you and Olena.

      xooxox >-)

  15. You got to smell Frederic Malle? I’d say you can die a happy woman! ;)

    Thanks for the great write-up, musette!

    • You’re welcome!

      Gah, I do hope somebody links him to this post! It will really confirm that I am the Not Crazy Lady and will establish my Posse Ambassadorship, y’know? That quick, appraising look he gave (which I would’ve given, too, were I him) spoke volumes! That he allowed it, given how bizarre a request it was, spoke volumes about his graciousness!

      xo >-)

  16. Thanks for this newsy and funny post. I’m so glad you represented us to M. Malle in such a stunning and thorough manner! I’m enjoying reading the comments, too. I met Lydia in August while in Chicago and I agree with all the comments here about her. I’m no longer regretting that I missed getting to the Chanel boutique, so thanks for the observations.

    • Oh, Chanel is okay – you just have to know how to handle them. I think they are so used to being ‘exclusive’ that they sometimes have to take a minute to breathe the regular air – which is strange, given that they are probably not in the chips enough to buy anything retail there – but I’m being bitc – erm – tetchy again. 8-| When you plan your next trip to Chicago, let me know and I’ll escort you over there, if I can get to town. They will treat you well. The Les E are worth the sniff.

      Lydia is absolutely amazing – she was one of the jewels of the now-shuttered L’Artisan boutique – such a sparkler, isn’t she? I know everybody has their favorite SAs (Lyd is a rep now) – mine is Bradley. But you know, the hallmark of a good company is how folks who are NOT your regular SA treat you – and never have I gone in there and been treated with anything other than cheerful courtesy – by anybody! Yay, Barneys!

      xo >-)

  17. Holy cow this is one hoot of a post! Between you smelling him and him smelling Murray, I laughed my way through this. If you’re ever asked to do a series of “best of Anita” posts, this needs to be included. What a gem!

    In your free time, do you hit up the local comedy clubs?!

      • Well I was kinda serious! This was a scream and more than the last routine I saw! You and Murray, together!

        • :”>

          You would love Murray – he is absolutely beautiful! I’m so glad you enjoyed the report – it does sound funny in the retell, now that I think about it. WHO asks a total stranger if they can smell them? And WHO asks that same stranger, who isn’t a Regular Joe by any stretch of the imagination, to smell their handbag?

          #:-s you know, I probably shouldn’t think about that too much – it could’ve gone WAY different….which would’ve been :-s. In Bizarro World, I’m probably sitting in jail right now.

          xoxo >-)

  18. Remember the “help you find a fragrance” service the Malle website offers? I just now went back to see what they recommended for me (I try this about once a year). A most prompt reply (as always) came from a rep recommending…brrrrrrmmmmmm….Noir Epices! Signs are now pointing to me needing to try that one again.

    Especially since the alternates (“I would also show you…”) were Dans Tes Bras and Iris Poudre. IP is easy; I’ve been happy with that since I first met it, early into my journey into perfume. But it’s interesting that Dans Tes Bras only recently “clicked” with me; perhaps Noir Epices will become something other than “interesting” now.

    You know how I love the Malle line and concept; one of the few I have more than one full bottle of, and there’s always a Malle on the “get a bottle of this/ask for a bottle of this” highly limited list. As opposed to the “get a split/decant/’nother sample of” list. Which would not be the “sample this” list. ;) ;)

    Sounds like great fun. Candles. Hunh. Who knew?? Now I’m candle-curious…

    • Oh! I forgot to share my chuckle at your variation on the Perfumista-Encounter Dance; usually, it’s huffing each other’s skin. Mr. Malle sniffed your *bag*??? You charmer, you….

      • Actually, ’twas he who was the ‘charmer’ – when he realized I was looking for a serious ‘nose’s take on what Murray smelled like, he was totally game. Murray reminds me of Bettye Davis (who reminds me of my mother). I think he enjoys the curiosity and energy and sheer focus that attends so many perfumistas – after all, it is folks like us who drive the niche business! Plus, how can you not love those who love what you love?

        😕 (did any of that make sense?)

        and the candles are definitely a ‘must-sniff’ for you – I will be very interested to see what you think of the Rugosa and the Ier Mai – we’ll have to get together and do this, okay?

        xo >-)

  19. Great report, Musette! I was very grumpy that FM left SF off his “candle tour,” but your report was almost as fun as the real thing. And what a surprise to find mention of “Olena (a designer of incredible jewelry)”! She’s my friend – responsible for opening my eyes to the world of fragrance after first seducing me with her gorgeous jewelry. If anyone is curious about what Musette and I are talking about, check out Olena’s website – olenadesigns.com.

    Suzanne M.

    • 6 Degrees, baby. Six Degrees. Olena is da bomb! I adored her at first meet! And thank you – it was a fun report to write!

      Hey, I’m not feeling your pain AT ALL! If you live in SF, that is bounty enough! :-w I can’t even – omg! – were I to list all the jealous-making things here:

      Recchiuti
      Miette
      xox Truffles
      Ferry Building Farmer’s Market (though I miss the old one in the parking lot across the street)
      Firefly
      Yank Sing
      Ton Kiang
      that you can get to Big Sur to Ventana for dinner and back without having to board your dogs.

      and let’s not go over either bridge right now, okay? :((

      but you’ll get the candles there, right? check out the florals.
      xo >-)

      • Oh, man, Musette, your faves have me yearning heavily for SF!! Some yummy good stuff there (altho’ we must mention See’s Chocolates, too). I didn’t get to go this year due to unemployment, son’s accident, etc. Loved everything on the list except for Firefly and Ton Kiang, which I have heard good things about but have yet to experience.

  20. “The Posse asked me to do it” – was there ever a better excuse?

    I’m glad to hear that FM is the charming gentleman I always imagine, and that the floral candles smell so fabulous. The one that also fascinates me is Cafe Society – wish there were a way to order samples of the candles.

    Perhaps I shouldn’t remind you of this, but NE is LT’s favorite FM (at least it was when The Guide was published). I find it pretty excellent, too, so I’m jealous that he recommended it for you! =:)

    • I really had my guts in my hand when I asked him – I thought “he is gonna really NOT like this one” – but I explained a bit and you know, I think he has a deep respect for real perfume people and he knows he’s a celeb to us, so he was cool.

      Cafe Society – he said that one reminds most of his clients of their parents, much in the way that Murray reminds me of my mother. I got a good whiff of it and could see exactly what he meant. Like Murray, it’s ……….it’s almost evanescent but there’s a scent memory that stays and sort of triggers lots of other memories. I suspect it is definitely a candle for nostalgic folk ‘of a certain age’ – younger people will just think it’s cool.

      Interestingly, I did remember that LT was fond of NE and that’s okay – I’m no LT hater. It is a very complex scent and I could see where it caught his fancy more than a lot of the other ones.
      I was going to wear it this pm but it is a bit challenging for the meeting I was taking – I’ll try tomorrow.

      xoxo >-)

  21. well let me say that i agree 100% about the whole Noir Epice thing. it is my favorite in the line, hands down! i get a lot of flack for this from my perfume loving friends but its a spice bomb to be cherished. thanks for the great writeup and the whole smelling Malle thing had me laughing until my sides hurt in a really good way. :)

  22. Musette, what a fantastic evening, and a hilarious report. You and Tally look mah-vel-lous :D Wish I could have been there, slurping Veuve and sniffin’ M. Malle’s candles with you.

    I’m so glad you went, asked *our* kooky questions. . .and took Murray out. He’s lovely. I love your description of his scent–I love the scent of good leather, admixed with tobacco and powder. Sounds great. (BTW, my SOTD is SL’s Boxeuses, so you know I’m serious about my leather/suede obsession)

    Seriously, your writing paints such a fun picture, it was like getting to be there with you. No holds barred, enjoying life to the hilt. Anita-style. Wonderful.

    • Darling! Thank you so much! It was a blast. I hope he enjoyed it as much as we did (though I doubt it – this was a lot of work and he looked beat at the end).

      I can’t wait to try Boxeuses. My SOTD is Bas des Soies, which I am adoring! Weird. Shelley just looked at me (albeit over the phone, so she may have been looking elsewhere) – given my well-known anosmia to all Iris except LL39, plus the fact that I have not been able to get with Uncle Serge, the fact that I’ve fallen so hard for this is a bit baffling. But it is very old-fashioned, imo, which might have a lot to do with it.

      xoxo >-)

  23. Woman, I applaud your daring interview of M. Malle and your joyous appreciation of the evening – and most of all your rollicking tale of the event! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. (Not to mention your description of Mitsy as the Lady surrounded by jumpy Army Rangers… worth the price of admission right there. Twice the price, even.)

    Murray looks very, very happy on that perfume counter. Give him a little pat from us, okay? And Ann’s right, you’re glowing in that photo, and it ain’t all champagne, it’s you.

    There’s no way I’m buying any of those candles. But you made me want them.

    • They are spendy, ain’t they? But….well, when you get a chance, sniff the florals. That’s all I’s sayin’.

      Murray is feeling Much Love. and sends it back!

      xoxo >-)

  24. Okay, you have officially had Too Much Fun and have used up your quota for the year. What a swoon-worthy evening! :-D

    • [-(

      You can never be Too Rich or Have Too Much Fun!

      (I do wish you could’ve come ALLL THE WAY ACROSS THE UNIVERSE for this one – it would’ve been a blast!

      xoxo >-)

  25. Sounds like it was a lot of fun! I am really interested in that diffuser thingie, the Fleurs Mécaniques. Did they have one of them fired up while you were there?

      • Yes, it does – but it only makes you LOOK gravatar-fat (which you personally are not). I, however, AM FAT. Which is why I dumped …hey, you’re right! Where IS your reg grav?

        No, on the diffuser thingies, though they did talk about them – sort of. That was when I kinda tuned out but you know 😕 that might be a really great option for a candlephobe like moi…unless it costs 320,0000 dollars or something…

        xoxo >-)

  26. Anita,

    Thanks for a great informative, detailed post about the special event with FM. Sounded amazing! I loved hearing about Murray and the pretty picture. The candle scents sound like they were really something special and out of the ordinary. The way you wrote was so descriptive, I had no problem picturing the scene, the people, and all the fun you had. I’m so glad everyone was friendly and approachable. You’re an Ace Reporter! :-)

  27. Hi Anita- I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your post. It was fun personified and I think you are great! :)

    Shari

    ps- Only you would ask to smell Frederic Malle. Awesome and I’m jealous! :))

    • Wasn’t my idea, remember! IT WAS EL POSSE! YOU guys were the ones who asked. It’s like…it’s like you sent some wackadoo voodoo signal through the ‘tubes, saying

      “Aniiiita…Aniiiiiiita…PLEASE smell Frederic Malle…”

      You are all Flying >:) :(|) s ….and I, your willing >-)

  28. Hi Musette,

    So glad I read your post about FM. You are HILARIOUS!! Asking him if you could smell him, and then him smelling that gorgeous purse!!! LOL
    I can’t believe he is not coming to SF! They are a lot of perfum addicts here.
    Well, maybe next time!
    Thanks for your post and you look lovely!:)

  29. Sweetie, thank you! It was a lot of fun and he was a great sport about it all.

    See what I said to Suzanne M up there – I am not feelin’ NUNY’ALL’S pain out there in SF. I miss it something terrible (did you notice how every. single. thing. I listed was food-related? :o It is Official: I am a :@) But between the great weather (I like it, anyway) the beautiful topography :-? Pacific Ocean v. Spoon River…..Golden Gate v. you get the idea…well, I think you guys hit the lottery! Especially come February, when I can’t get the front door open due to the snowdrifts!

    xo >-)

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