Modest; Short is Beautiful

By Matilda Bourdillon

‘Parle Moi de Parfum’ is a beautifully striking name for a Parisian perfume that Benjamin Almariac created in 2016.

Benjamin grew up in Grasse (the perfume capital of the world) hearing stories about perfume from his father Michel Almairac (a well-regarded perfumer) dreaming of a day where he could begin his own Parisian shop where the public could experience his father’s finest fragrances. And so, he ran with his dream.

Following in his father’s footsteps was a bold move, but for Benjamin ‘it was absolutely obvious! I was steeped in perfume when I was a boy. It was difficult to miss!’ The unusual name literally translates to ‘talk about perfume’ and this is what Benjamin Almariac’s perfume brand is all about, ‘explaining to people how it works, how you create, how you extract. I want to talk to them as my father was talking to me.’ So, ‘Parle Moi de Parfum’ a collection starting with eight unique fragrances, began in 2016.

The family-orientated fragrance then grew into a charming Parisian boutique and creative workspace. Following the family tradition, Benjamin’s brother and mother also helped evolve the dream, whilst Michel took on the role of the ‘nose’ behind the collection.

The boutique that opened in Rue de Sévigné, is not only remarkable in its design; open, airy and minimal, but also offers a unique experience. The bottles of perfume are created right in front of your eyes, just like the laboratories back in Grasse. The Perfumes are set out within the shop elegantly with staff on hand for any customer’s needs.

As for the bottles? Just as chic. Petite and simple. They are communicated without flashy designs; the raw materials tell the story. The brand logo tops off the modern and stylish appeal of this brand – a floral looking design that is in-fact inspired by perfume blotters.

They are a brand that produce a minimalist perfume, meaning they use fewer ingredients than most. This used to be considered cheap but recently it has been proven that the use of short formulas shows a level of balance that pulls out the best of each ingredient. This is also considered one of the most difficult ways of constructing perfume. On top of that, every bottle shows a number that indicates how many stages or ‘modifications’ were needed to give the perfume balance – ranging from 8 to 126 (commercial perfumes can require up to 5,000!).

The names of the perfumes are striking and evocative. They tell us exactly how Michel wants us to feel. For instance, ‘Guimauve de Noël / 31’ translating to ‘Christmas Marshmallow’ gives a charming snapshot of Michels childhood memories and festive treats – scents of orange and vanilla. So idyllic. ‘Flavia Vanilla / 82’ is not only a fantastic name but a delicious sweet treat. It is also darkly seductive. Benjamin’s particular favourite is ‘Une Tonne de Roses / 8’ which he believes is ‘the magnificence of my father’s career working with roses. It’s not heavy or powdery, it is as light as nature can be.’   

Parle Moi de Parfum’s latest release again shows how using a small ratio of ingredients has the ability to astonish. This is true for ‘Gardens of India / 79’ which combines and celebrates three beautiful scents that are typical of India – jasmine, tuberose and sandalwood. It is only what I can imagine walking through the Gardens of India smells like. The scent is romantic, dynamic and refreshing, exactly what you want from a floral scent.  It is a difficult balance to acquire and pays homage to the twenty years that Michal spent polishing the formula.

Another fragrance recently released by Parle Moi de Parfum is ‘Saffron Wood / 91’ which similarly pairs three unique ingredients giving it a strikingly distinct smell. The fragrance pulls together the floral but spicy notes of saffron with the gentle drafts of rose and calming cedarwood. The minimal ingredients are skilfully and artfully blended producing a unique woody scent.

What is so strikingly unique about Parle Moi de Parfum is that you do not only gain a delightful bottle of a fragrance that tells an interesting story, but you are also able to enjoy a unique hands-on experience in which you can learn so much more. To top it off, you are also supporting a heart-warming, family-orientated brand who clearly love what they do.

Stylist Jo Phillips Photo Constantin Botezat

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