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The Art of Perfume with Frédéric Malle in conversation with Melissa Ceria

Born into the world of perfume, Frédéric Malle acquired a deep knowledge of scents but also a radical vision of perfumes that led him, in 2000, to establish Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle. At a time when the self-service sale of perfumes was on the rise, Malle chose to open a boutique that would provide a luxurious setting for the perfumes he “publishes” with the world’s greatest perfumers.

To mark the 20th anniversary of his brand, Malle released a new book, Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle: The First Twenty Years from Rizzoli. In it, he offers an intimate glimpse of the brand’s history as well as stories behind four of his most successful scents in graphic-novel form.

Malle, who received FIAF’s 2015 Art de Vivre award, will talk to journalist Melissa Ceria about his journey to the pinnacle of perfumery, as well as the future of the industry.

40 minutes with Q&A.


Frédéric Malle is the founder of Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle. The third generation of noted perfume specialists, Frédéric Malle is a world authority on perfume making. His early exposure to the creative and business worlds led him to study art history and economics at New York University. After a brief career in advertising, he joined the prestigious perfume laboratory Roure Bertrand Dupont in 1988, where he befriended industry leaders. Working with them for more than 25 years, he acquired an extensive knowledge of raw materials and olfactory balance. At a time when cosmetics companies were focusing on brand image and celebrity figureheads to generate an illusion of quality, Malle decided to draw attention back to the product itself. When he founded Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle in 2000, he heralded a return to luxury perfumery that gave total creative freedom back to perfumers. Under Malle’s guidance as a perfume publisher, perfumers produce unique works of art sold under their own names. Together, the perfumers and publisher realize a vision of perfume as the masterful result of time, precision, and true talent. His new book, Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle: The First Twenty Years, was published in October 2020 and celebrates the 20th anniversary of the brand.

Melissa Ceria is a journalist and the founder of the communications agency Studio Ceria. She programs, produces, and moderates talks and speaker series for cultural institutions and Fortune 500 companies. For the past five years, she served as the Director of Content and Cultivation for Marriott International’s Luxury Council, producing monthly talks and private events. She has also led interviews for the Women’s Forum speaker series at NeueHouse in New York. From 2007 to 2017, Melissa programmed and moderated the Art de Vivre lifestyle talks at FIAF interviewing renowned guests including the late Oscar de la Renta, Tory Burch, Danny Meyer, Thierry Despont, Bobbi Brown, and Eric Ripert, among others. A graduate of Harvard University, she started her career as the Eye Editor for Women’s Wear Daily and W magazine before becoming a fashion writer at Harper’s Bazaar. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesVogueTimeElle DecorDepartures, and Travel + Leisure. Ms. Ceria is French-American, was raised in London, and currently lives in New York City.

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