When your dad is a bit of a genius in his line of work then the idea of following him in the same trade may seem a little daunting …but not so much for Benjamin Almairac, or his mother and brother Romain, as they all have come together in a family venture built on (father) Michel Almairac’s perfume brilliance. The family must be perfume addicts (and whats wrong with that?); after all, the name of the brand is Parle Moi de Parfum (talk to me about perfume).
Michel grew up in Grasse, the home of French perfumery, and trained as a perfumer at a time when this was considered a trade and was not seen as the craft that it is today. He then went on to much commercial success working across many brands but said this of starting his own line…
“Because a life spent searching, imagining and composing for others makes you want to create for one moment in your own dreams and to share, with your children first, then others afterwards. ” He did, after all, create some of the most renowned perfumes in the world including, for Gucci , pour Homme Rush, as well as for L’Artisan Parfumeur, Bottega Veneta, la Labo, Rochas, Jimmy Choo, Porche… the list goes on and on, from niche to mainstream.
For a collection of fragrances, what is first noteworthy is the cleanness, centred, exacting, and congruent elements across each and every fragrance. When clean is mentioned, we are not talking soap and washing powder, but a cut through straight to the fragrance. This is because Michael uses short formulas, which means there are not a ton of ingredients, allowing for a succinct experience when you smell each fragrance; it’s like having the clearest of heads on a hot summers day – a wonderful achievement of this master perfumer and his family.
There are 10 in the collection with a new one coming soon, Papyrus Oud…(keep an eye out at Selfridges for the stunning new launch), but here below are the ten already available.
Une Tonne de Roses / 8 straight away, you cut through to the very essence of rose, its utter sweetness and a small hit of green and root. Any great rose fragrance will smell not just of the sweetness but also a hint of a thorn, a leaf or a stem, and this one is one regal, passionate rose perfume
Guimauve de Noël / 31 A christmas marshmallow, yum..the hint of where sugar meets vanilla, cut through by the absolute scent of Christmas ..Orange..warm like a blanket in the cold.
Flavia Vanilla / 82 Another sweet, but this time vanilla offset by wood, giving an all together sexier facet.
Chypre Mojo / 45 Another sexy one; this one for chypre lovers..bergamot, carnation, mango and patchouli, yet without the expected oakmoss. This still has the wonderful dryness expected from the style; a superbly modern take on a perfume classic.
Totally White / 126 whereas Une Tonne de Roses is a ode to the rose so is Totally White an ode to flowers, especially French flowers in the park in Paris called Parc Monceau: mixed pure whites and soft pastels of lilacs, syringa, hawthorn and wisteria with an undoubted hint of fresh green that lingers. This is the smell of flowers growing, not cut flowers in a vase. .
Milky Musk / 39 just as it says, a milk accord doubles up with musk rich and creamy, with a dark edge to it.
Tomboy Neroli / 65 orange blossom (Neroli -from the bitter orange tree) is such a delightful feminine and sharp smell, but here we see the addition of amber to give its base a masculine boost, hence being a tomboy of neroli with a slight sense of bitter marmalade deliciousness.
Woody Perfecto / 107 is alive! it’s alive with wood leather coffee, steeped in vetiver; this has the life of rock and roll written all over it: the grunge and the glamour, a modern male or female fragrance.
Orris Tattoo / 29 Now if you do happen to love Orris (the root of the iris), one of the most revered of all ingredients in fragrance, then this is the perfume for you. It’s so very pure, its unmistakably orris, powdery, green and wrapped in a suede-esque blanket; but the star of the show is the Orris; the divine, sensual, seductive Orris. This is the marvellous bold grown sister to Chanel 19, so remarkable that were it possible, you would want it tattooed on to your skin, so you can smell of it forever…
Cedar Woodpecker / 10 and just to finish with the magnificent Iris, how about it wrapped in wood – cedar wood to be precise, with hints of warmth and spice; directed at men, it’s intense, elegant and of course seductive.
Now one little question you may have; why are there numbers at the end of each of the remarkable names of each fragrance? Well, this lets you know how many times they had to retry to get the balance right before they felt the perfume was hitting the right notes! From as little as 8 and to as high as 126, it’s another element of the brand’s openness and willingness for the juices to be a point of discussion. Masterfully blended by one of the contemporary masters, you can, should you be lucky enough, find their small store in the Marais district of Paris. But should that not be feasible, they are available at Selfridges, priced at £98 for 50ml and £158 for 100ml EDP. Parle Moi de Parfume will also launch at Les Senteurs in August.
So should you be in the market (or even if you are not and love new finds) parle moi is the perfume to hunt out, not just for a range of exquisite delights but because it will give you more than a little something to talk about.