“When smelling fragrances I see colors,” admits legendary perfumer Frédéric Malle. Malle is not alone in his ability to translate one sense with another. Artists like David Hockney and Stevie Wonder have been able to hear color or see sound—and the phenomenon is known as synesthesia.
In honor of a ten year anniversary with Barneys, Malle has created unique packaging for his Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, featuring illustrations of each fragrance’s principal notes depicted in unique colors and patterns. “I decided to create a line of packaging with each of these illustrations, so that—for the first time in the history of our brand—the exterior expresses what’s inside the bottle.”
In addition to the limited edition boxes, prints of Malle’s illustrations will also be sold at Chelsea passage in New York (212-826-8900) and in Beverly Hills (310-276-4400).
Below, Simon Doonan discusses with Malle the concept of synesthesia and his artistic process.
On Friday, December 7, Barneys will be toasting 10 years of Frédéric Malle. You’re invited!