Dries Van Noten is one of those designers who evokes awe and adoration among fashion insiders. “He is one of the few designers whose clothes don’t age,” The New York Times has claimed, while Vogue calls his aesthetic “a calm chic, a relaxed confidence.”

The words used most to describe his collections—romantic, sensitive, emotional—suggest that people form a relationship to his clothes that feels personal rather than simply sartorial. Now, this Dries Van Noten mindset has been translated into a fragrance—Dries Van Noten par Frederic Malle.

From the outset, Frederic Malle was the only man for the job. Barneys, Malle & Van Noten share an interestingly intertwined history. Van Noten’s first customer was Barneys New York, which snapped up his debut collection in 1986. Meanwhile, Barneys was the second store outside of Paris to sell Malle’s fragrances. The first? Dries Van Noten, who had long admired Malle’s work.

This perfume is the first in a new collection of scents by Frederic Malle, a series of olfactory portraits of extraordinary individuals. It is a modern oriental fragrance evocative of classic perfumes that translate the distinctive sensuality of Dries Van Noten’s world. Sandalwood, vanilla, patchouli, saffron and jasmine are a few of the main notes.

Below, Malle and Van Noten discuss their collaboration…