Early this week I had the special opportunity to meet famed perfume publisher Frédéric Malle at his brand new store – which incidentally is opening today. Joining his passions of both architecture and fragrance, Malle is now beginning to showcase the work of top architects in the same way he showcases perfumers via a new series of standalone Editions de Parfums stores.
For each new store, Frédéric will identify an architect with an innate understanding of the space and region. Chosen architects are then given complete control over the store design except for the inclusion of three trademarks of every freestanding Frédéric Malle store:
1. portraits of the perfumers whose works of art Frédéric has published
2. a refrigerated cabinet for storing the fragrances
3. smelling chambers for testing the fragrances
Unlike most design ventures, the architect is given carte blanche to design the space of their dreams—just as Frédéric does with the perfumers he works with. This new series of stores begins today, June 6 at 94 Greenwich Avenue in New York’s West Village as Frédéric’s second New York store, designed by Steven Holl, opens to the public.
Malle explains: “My plan to open more free-standing stores around the world allows me to live my childhood dream: ‘publishing’ the work of great architects in the form of Editions de Parfums stores. I will have the same sort of creative relations with architects that I have with perfumers. I will ask them to design their dream shop with no compromise, nor limitation, although this time there will be a budget.”
The newest Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle store in NYC’s West Village, captures the area’s vibe with astounding architectural features: a semicircle shape carries throughout the space and the private back garden, reserved for small gatherings. Holl used aluminum foam (a material produced in Canada that has never been used in the United States before) throughout the interior of the store. The silver, textured foam covers the walls and ceiling contrasted by dark walnut shelving and furniture. The contrast continues between the blue carpeting and iconic red-orange fragrance packaging. Hervé Descottes created an indirect lighting system for the store that changes intensity throughout the day, playing off the natural sunlight.
Frédéric chose to open his second New York store today, on the 14th anniversary of the opening of his first shop at 37 Rue de Grenelle in Paris. In celebration of this milestone, Frédéric himself will be selling fragrance at the new location from 12pm to 8pm on Friday, June 6, and Saturday, June 7. If you have the chance go and meet him. He is truly fascinating.
94 Greenwich Avenue (between West 12th Street & Jane Street)
New York, NY 10011
TEL: + 1 646 666 0330
Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 8pm
Sunday: 1pm – 6pm
– Lauren Dimet Waters