When I first heard the news that Estée Lauder had purchased Frédéric Malle’s Editions de Parfums my first reaction was to go outside wave a lit candle in the air followed by releasing 21 white doves into the sky each marinated in a perfume from the Editions de Parfums line.
Then I stopped, took a deep breath, and actually thought about it.
Since the announcement I have been reading various reactions to it throughout the perfuminati blogosphere, and I just began to wonder if it is not a bit too soon to really have an extreme negative reaction to.
Sure, I am just a novice to the perfume world, and I am quite aware that the specter of reformulation may now be leaning sinisterly close to our favorite Malle fragrances; however, I think it is also worth remembering that Editions de Parfums has obviously built itself up as a successful brand at the heart of which is its fragrances, which in turn made the brand appealing to Estée Lauder to want to purchase. So would it really make sense to reformulate the perfumes now, especially when Estée Lauder is most likely expecting a good return on its investment, and risk the loss in sales?? I do sincerely hope that Frédéric Malle (and Le Labo and Rodin) are allowed to carry on their successful lines as they have done so since their inception, winning their ways into our perfume wardrobes and hearts. And perhaps at best Estée Lauder can act as a sort of Medici style benefactor to allow these artists and craftsmen reach new heights in their oeuvre.
My entrée into what used to be the niche perfume market was Lipstick Rose, a fragrance I still adore to this day. As I have witnessed the growth of the “niche” market, I always felt comfortable going back to Malle’s Editions de Parfums. They never made me feel cynical or made roll my eyes at being extolled the virtues of a fragrance by some sort of suave and debonair Cagliostro style “creative director” whose involvement in the actual construction of the perfume always felt rather questionable to me.
So will I be upset if Malle’s fragrances are subjected to reformulation?? Undoubtedly. However, aside from trying to buy as many pre-reformulation bottles as my overdraft will allow, there is nothing that can really be done about it. We live in a world where there is a new perfume launch almost on a daily basis. Yes, replacing any perfume is always difficult, but there are always new discoveries to be made and new fragrances to fall in love with.