French authorial perfume house Editions de Parfums founded by Frédéric Malle in 2000 has launched a new unisex fragrance named Promise in the Middle East collection...
It is well-known that gender distinctions in perfumery hold even less meaning in the Middle East than in Europe. Traditionally, men wear perfumes as lush as that of women, without a second thought. According to Frédéric Malle, what binds these societies furthermore is a common belief in a code of honor he characterizes in French as "unforgiving" ("implacable"), if and when broken. It is this moral atmosphere he finds so striking and close to his heart that he's wanted to translate into fragrance with perfumer Dominique Ropion,
"Promise by Dominique Ropion, the collection's second perfume, celebrates one of the strongest bonds in human relationships: keeping one's word. On his travels throughout the Middle East, Frédéric saw that a promise made between two people is accompanied by the strictest honor code."
The French text, which has evolved since last month on the brand's website, read originally like this,
"Au Moyen Orient, une promesse tenue entre deux personnes implique un code d'honneur implacable. Frédéric Malle rend hommage à ce principe grâce à deux variétés de roses. L'essence de rose de Bulgarie et l'absolu de rose de Turquie sont relevés par de la pomme, du poivre rose et des clous de girofle, et reposent sur un lit sensuel fait de patchouli, de cypriol et de labdanum. Un accord aussi indissoluble, aussi invisible qu'un serment."
In a meeting of sensibilities across cultures - a relief from the Huntingtonian view of a clash of civilizations - Malle explains that he understands where the Orientals' ethos is coming from, observing that he applies these values in his aesthetic work as an art director and expects the same in return from perfumers,
"He identifies with this principle and all binding principles of the same kind, believing that keeping one's word, holding oneself accountable to someone else, unites people around the world. This principle lies at the heart of Editions de Parfums. Frédéric's promise to perfumers, to guide them through their creative process and help them reach the pinnacle of their ability and talent, is a promise that he has kept to this day: he gives them all the time and the resources they require to create their dream perfumes. The perfumers' promise, meanwhile, to produce their best work, has also proved true. To this day, they continue to redefine perfumery's classics."
"Frédéric Malle and Dominique Ropion crystallize these two promises and the artistic standard they demand with [...] an accord as unbreakable, and invisible, as a vow."
The composition features rose essence from Bulgaria and rose absolute from Turkey "lifted by" green apple, pink pepper, black pepper and clove, and "bound to a sensuous base" of patchouli, labdanum including a "substantial dose" of ambroxan.
[Via press release]