in Collaborations , Videos | 12 OCT 20

‘Flamboyant, Theatrical, Slightly Playful’

Alastair Sooke is transported to another world with Geranium Pour Monsieur at Sir John Soane’s Museum

in Collaborations , Videos | 12 OCT 20
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Combining the visions of multiple artists, while bearing the inimitable stamp of its founder: the parallel between a great private art collection and Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle - an eclectic range resulting from great perfumers being given total freedom to create by Frédéric Malle - are intriguing. To mark the 20th anniversary of Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle this year, Frieze pursued this parallel by inviting two art experts to each explore a significant art collection founded by an individual, in relation to a perfume of their choosing from the Frédéric Malle range.

Art critic and broadcaster Alistair Sooke explores Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, UK, where the titular founder’s diverse collection of art, antiquities, architectural aids and more besides is presented with great drama and not a little mischief. Sooke is accompanied by the perfume Geranium pour Monsieur, created by Dominique Ropion, which has been likened to ‘an eccentric Englishman in a blue velvet jacket,’it was allegedly inspired by a mouthwash used by Louis XV, and Malle’s own father.

With strong notes of aniseed, Chinese geranium and mint, Sooke says, Geranium Pour Monsieur ‘takes you into another world’, an experience he connects with the Soane Museum’s evocations of distant climes: as in its Picture Room’s views of Italy in sketches by Giovanni Piranesi and paintings by Canaletto. The perfume’s flamboyance he connects with Soane’s own sense of theatre, like the Egyptian sarcophagus he presented to London society at several nocturnal parties, lit with torches, in a room at the museum he called ‘the sepulchral chamber’. Sooke finally observes the duality of Soane’s vision, simultaneously looking backwards and forwards: a parallel to Geranium Pour Monsieur’s combination of nostalgia (its inspiration lying in a mouthwash used by Louis XV) and a modern sleekness and freshness.

Founded in 2000, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle was conceived to champion perfumery. Frédéric Malle acts as a ‘publisher’, granting renowned perfumers with very different characters and styles total freedom to create. As a result, the Editions de Parfums collection is as rich as it is eclectic, providing everyone with the opportunity to find the perfume that connects with their personality.

Discover the collection at: