Find Your Perfume

At Editions de Frédéric Malleicon, matching a person to the right perfume – whether in person or virtually – has always been a crucial part of the brand’s mission. «From the get-go – twenty years ago – I thought that, while a face-to-face session with one of our specialists was always going to be the ultimate, you shouldn’t have to go to a store to get a great experience or find the right match,» says Frédéric Malle today. «Not everyone was able to visit our stores, but we had a perfume for almost everyone. That’s why we were the first perfumers to launch a website, which at the time seemed to many people counterintuitive. I always knew that a virtual experience could eventually be just as fun and accurate – a similar type of exchange, but in a way, more intimate, and quite extraordinary

With Frédéric Malle

The original e-commerce site contained the first attempt, an almost Proustian questionnaire that – seemingly by magic, or intuition – produced amazingly accurate recommendations. At first, Malle answered each one personally. It was so good it’s still there, 20 years later.

This acuity was a triumph of study and observation of people’s visual language, individual style choices, and aesthetic preferences. In the early years, Malle had made a point of personally working the floor at the rue de Grenelle boutique, getting to know the clientele, learning the art of pairing customer and scent, and training his perfume consultants to be expert matchmakers. This felt crucial: the combination of rationality and instinct, meticulous refinement and fantasy, was to Malle the ethos of the company embodied. «By simply observing and really listening to people, we learn so much,» he says, «and as a result, we can give really precise advice. And this made-to-measure, very careful way of looking at people, helps them to find the freedom they really want – the freedom to be themselves. And they, in turn, because they are so varied and multifaceted, allow us the freedom of incredible creativity and the desire to generate an even-more eclectic perfume collection.»

Enter Kakanias. The Athens-born, LA-based artist, known for the whimsy and theatrical drama of his illustration, would seem at first glance an unlikely match for the painstaking Malle. «When I work with him, I try to get into his skin,» says Kakanias. «He’s so precise – and I’m not.» And yet, the two are not only longtime collaborators, but have become dear friends. Their skill-sets are in fact complementary and both share a fascination with observing and capturing the world in all its fabulous, glamorous, complex dimensions. Together, they combined their different landscapes, experiences, and intuitions to create a series of deft visual character sketches.

The Find your Match quiz combines both: at first glance a beautiful collage of images, of characters, the questionnaire will, in fact, result in the perfect perfume. What’s your ideal setting?  What shoes do you wear – what coat – and what underwear? What do you drive? This self representation is reflected by an algorithm, based on Malle’s years of observation, that he calls «a true representation of my brain,» translated into images with Kakanias‘s inimitable whimsical grace («It wasn’t easy – there were so many objects!») and leads to a result of uncanny accuracy.

What starts as a delightful escape from your day can become so much more. How do you want to use perfume – as weapon, as seduction, as discretion, as disguise? Will you want to sparkle, dominate, charm? What are the important moments in life, when you want to shine? Do you see yourself running a board meeting in Louboutins? Trysting in the woods with abandoned hair? Meeting in-laws while carrying a Birkin? Riding a Vespa across the Bridge of Sighs at midnight, en route to a highly exclusive and vaguely sinister after-hours club, with Dante in your pocket? Maybe all four at once!

It’s almost like going to a psychologist, a meeting of the minds in your telephone – but at the end, you’ll have the perfect scent. Who are you? Who do you want to be? What was your childhood like? (OK, maybe not that – but who knows? This stuff is powerful.) You’ll gradually hone in on a reflection of how you see yourself, and how you wish to be seen: your perfect match. And it will change your life.

Here are my results. Musc Ravageuricon is one of my favorite scents. So the quiz truly works… have fun! YOU CAN START THE QUIZ HERE.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Frédéric Malle and © Sandra Bauknecht
 – #whoareyou? – #findyourperfume
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More Niche Fragrances I Love

This week, I strolled through Perfumery Osswald in Zurich and explored some of their gourmand fragrances. In the end, some of my old gourmand favorites as well as some new treasures landed in my basket. Their dessert-like qualities and embracing aldehyde accords that tickle our taste buds as well as our nose are enough to make one salivate! Enjoy those beautiful scents below – I wish you could smell them while scrolling:


This musc de peau is capturing the sensation of feeling so high on love that it seems to almost «get under the skin.» Working with perfumer Pascal Gaurin, Kilian Hennessy took an entirely new direction. Rolling in Love is more direct and less faceted than his previous fragrances – almost «monochromatic» in its focused representation of a single emotion. Rolling in Love is a «white» scent, layering different textures along the scent’s trail with notes of ambrette seeds, almond milk, iris, and musk.

Top notes: almond milk, ambrette seeds
Heart notes: iris, freesia
Base notesmusk, vanilla, tonka bean

50ml Eau de Parfum for CHF 259.00

Pierre Guillaume Paris

Osmanthus is a most bewitching flower, its elegant petals often scenting the rice fields of China with their potently smoky, fruity fragrance. In Suede Osmanthe, the delicate flower’s seductive contrasts are deconstructed and magnified to gorgeous effect. A precious suede, a thin and delicate skin, infused with apricot and black tea notes, olfactive illusion of an osmanthus, conspicuous by its absence.

Top notes: aldehydes, orange blossom absolute, apricot
Heart notes: leather notes of Suederal, black tea notes, osmanthus
Base notes: Moroccan cedar wood, cashmeran, honey sweet musk, myrrh

100ml Eau de Parfum for CHF 188.00

Tiziana Terenzi

This chypre fruity fragrance for women and men was launched in 2015 and an immediate success. It is inspired by the Goddess Circe’s famous enchanted potions – nectareous and mysterious and infused with a lush bouquet of sweet fruit including passion fruit, raspberries and pears. Kirkè’s juicy scent is warmed by the sweet, indulgent heliotrope flower and a sensual base of musk.

Top notes: passion fruit, peach, raspberry, cassis, pear, warm sand
Heart notes: lily-of-the-valley
Base notesheliotrope, sandalwood, vanilla, patchouli, musk

100ml Extrait de Parfum for CHF 218.00


Like waking up from a dream of eating something delicious with the taste still lingering on your tongue – sweet, elusive and ambrosial. As airy as a meringue, as fragile as first love, this feels like honey melting in your mouth, enveloped by tender relaxation.

Top notes: wild berries
Heart notes: orange blossom
Base notesvanilla

100ml Perfume for CHF 280.00


A gourmet and bewitching fragrance, subtly mixing milk, grilled almond, warm caramel and vanilla from Madagascar. A real yoghurt cake just out of the oven with a delicious meringue sillage, reminiscent of your childhood days when your mum prepared a cake for you.

Top notes: almond powder, butter cream
Heart notes: milky mousse, caramel, yoghourt cake
Base notes: baiser, vanilla

100ml Eau de Parfum for CHF 119.60

In Switzerland, all these fragrances are available at Perfumery Osswald.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands

The Art of Perfuming

We all know the beauty of a well chosen perfume that is a reflection of you. After you have found your favorite scent, you should also master the art of perfuming. Here are some tips on how to perfume yourself in a way you might have not thought about before.

Perfume behind your wrists, ankles and knees
These blood pulse points « heat up » the perfume on the skin and allow it to exhale in an unexpected and subtle manner each time you move.

Perfume your ribbons or hair accessories
To add rejoicing scented touches to your hairstyle, as if it was styled with flowers.

Perfume the hem of your dress or skirt
Fragrant notes are revealed with elegance, enhancing the movement of the body and leaving on you an exquisite perfume trail.

Perfume the inner side of your belt
As it was traditionally done in royal and imperial courts, perfuming the inner side of a leather accessory brings an additional touch of femininity.

Perfume the inner lining of your coat or jacket
To sign your appearances, each time you take it off at a rendez-vous, a dinner or a party.

Perfume your fan
Each movement brings a subtle refinement to the room by liberating a delicate scent.

Perfume the inside of your handbag
Each time you open your bag, a joyful shot arises, expression of an extreme sophistication.

LoL, Sandra

Illustration: Courtesy of Roger & Gallet

Serge Lutens – L’incendiaire

L'incendiaire by Serge Lutens

Firing of all wood, the arsonist turning the page of a new history of the senses.
– Serge Lutens

Serge Lutens L'incendiaire

SERGE LUTENS is launching a new line of pure perfumes with a gold label. The first one of the so-called Golden Section is L’incendiaire (the arsonist, the pyromaniac). In the cryptic press release, Serge Lutens, who is a real poet (you can read an interview I did once with him here), introduces the new collection with a few words suggesting they make a break with the black labels, bringing forth a new idea, like his “Eau” line was separate in concept than the rest.

Serge Lutens

The new scent is very Lutens, a sensual and opulent skin perfumery. Rare resins, ambers and tarmac…. insanely elegant and deep combined with notes of geranium, carnation, woods and incense. In stores end of October for CHF 545.00 (50ml).

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Serge Lutens

Chanel N°5 – The Story of a Famous Quote

Cover Chanel

Once upon a time there was the most desirable woman of the 20th century…
Marilyn Monroe – the icon with a fresh sensuality – was the very essence of femininity. When she adopted CHANEL N°5, did she know what Mademoiselle Chanel had said of the bold fragrance back in 1921 : “I want a woman’s fragrance that smells like a woman” ?


Back then, the legend that this free and passionate woman wore nothing to bed but a few drops of CHANEL N°5 rocked the world. Her candid declaration of love for the quintessential feminine fragrance was there in black and white, in an article published on August 7, 1952 that accompanied her first cover of Life Magazine (see photos below) : “Marilyn, what do you wear to bed ? So I said I only wear CHANEL N°5.”

Marilyn Monroe_copyright Philippe Halsman Magnum Photos

Today, that legend has become a reality. While perusing the archives on the star, the House of CHANEL discovered an unreleased recording capturing the spontaneous ambassadress’ original words. Flashback on the soundtrack : in 1960, Georges Belmont, editor-in-chief of Marie-Claire magazine *, interviewed the star of the film “Let’s Make Love” by Georges Cukor. On the spur of the moment, Marilyn confirmed the sincerity of her love for N°5 : “You know, they ask me questions. Just an example : ‘What do you wear to bed ? A pyjama top ? The bottoms of the pyjamas ? A nightgown ?’ So I said, ‘CHANEL N°5’, because it’s the truth… And yet, I don’t want to say ‘nude’. But it’s the truth !”

1955 Marilyn Monroe
With this declaration, and the photo by Ed Feingersh ** showing her with a bottle of N°5 nestled in her décolleté, she definitively established N°5 as the fragrance of timeless femininity
This advertising campaign will start this Fall in print and on TV.



N°5 is the first truly abstract fragrance: no identifiable dominant note stands out from the eighty ingredients used in its composition. A radical change that Jacques Polge, Creator of CHANEL Perfumes, describes as an olfactory symphony that blends notes of Ylang Ylang, Grasse Jasmine and May Rose, amplified by Aldehydes like a perfect accord.
N°5 has, since its creation, disrupted the codes of seduction and served the desires of women.
To complete the full perfuming ritual, CHANEL prolongs the trail of this legendary fragrance by creating a new sense-awakening moment with new bath and body products that invite you to fully immerse your senses in the world of N°5.

Chanel N5 - 1

A fine, generous foam, true to the fragrance, forms immediately upon contact with water for a pure moment of sensory relaxation. CHF 62.00
A cream with a rich lather that envelops the body and fills the shower with its scent. CHF 60.00

Chanel 5-7

Like a caress, it delicately wraps the body in a deliciously scented veil that moisturizes and protects the skin. CHF 68.00
A fresh breeze with the enveloping notes of N°5. CHF 56.00

Chanel 5-2
A delicate and sensual application for an aura of seduction and femininity. A fragrant mist that is gentle on hair. CHF 59.00
A few drops are all you need for your bath to take on a fragrant milky appearance. CHF 125.00

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Chanel, © Bob Beerman, Philippe Halsman Magnum Photos, MOA/DALLE, © Sandra Bauknecht, * © Marie Claire 1960, ** © Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images



Calyx Perfume was launched already in 1986 by the house of Prescriptives. It is a very special fragrance that combines floral sweetness with fruity freshness in a very sophisticated way.

Sophia Chodosz Grojsman, the mastermind behind Calyx, worked some alchemical magic by reproducing the overripe sweetness of tropical fruits and combining it with the citrusy bitterness of a grapefruit accord. It smells so authentically that you can almost taste the rind. She added green and woody notes plus fresh florals for an interesting and luxurious experience.
Different from the fruity scents that often stink up the perfume aisles today, it is very elegant and feminine. If you are looking for a summery scent that is romantic and fresh in one, than you might have found it.

CALYX RoseTop notes: Guava, passionfruit, mango and grapefruit
Heart notes: Rose, freesia, jasmine, marigold and lily of the valley
Base notes: Green leafs, sandalwood, vetiver and oakwood

For my Swiss based readers, Calyx will be available starting March 2011 at Globus and Jelmoli among others.

LoL, Sandra

Calyx Exhilarating Fragrance Spray 15 ml CHF 46.-
Calyx Exhilarating Fragrance Spray 50 ml CHF 86.-
Calyx Exhilarating Fragrance Spray 100 ml CHF 120.- (NEW)
Calyx Exhilarating Fragrance Shower Gel 200ml CHF 43.- (NEW)
Calyx Exhilarating Fragrance Body Lotion 200ml CHF 52.- (NEW)

Crazy Anna goes Beyond

Anna-Dello-Russo_Fragrance_BottleAnna Dello Russo, Fashion Director at Large and Creative Consultant at Vogue Japan and a global fashion icon, revels in glamour and lives high fashion at its best. During fashion week, I always admire her wild style. Now, she is paving a new path for fashion editors worldwide with the launch of her own perfume Beyond. The scent will be available from December 3rd exclusively at, and contains two of my favourite ingredients, vanilla and almond. The bottle is very Anna: A golden high heel shoe, reminiscent of the Cinderella fairytale.

With Anna leading the way, it seems like fashion editors can become the new superstars.
I actually like that… very much!

LoL, Sandra


Photo Credit: Giampaolo Sgura, Art Director: Marco Braga

Photo Credit: Giampaolo Sgura, Art Direction: Marco Braga

Photo Credit: Juergen Teller, Art Direction: Marco Braga and Giuliano Federico for Modecracy, Fashion Credit: Moschino

Photo Credit: Juergen Teller, Art Direction: Marco Braga and Giuliano Federico for Modecracy, Fashion Credit: Moschino

My Favourite Poison


Pack EAU SENSUELLEOn September 3rd, a new olfactory chapter in Dior’s Poison saga will be opened: Hypnotic Poison Eau Sensuelle, a floral variation on 1998’s Hypnotic Poison fronted by actress Monica Bellucci.
François Demachy, the nose behind this creation, gave one of my favourite aromatic components vanilla (belonging to the orchid family) the leading part. Those velvety soft petals surrounded by ingredients like jasmine, heliotrope, bitter almond, and caraway offer this new composition a lively frame and a more luminous heart without betraying the original scent. It is still warm, exotic and seductive.

Hypnotic Poison Eau Sensuelle EdT Vapo 50ml CHF 95.-

Hypnotic Poison Eau Sensuelle EdT Vapo 100ml CHF 132.-

Also new: Hypnotic Poison Déodorant parfumé CHF 56.-

The new Eau Sensuelle will work perfectly during the warmer season, Elixir for winter and the classic one in between.

As I am a perfume-junky, I am so happy about my new addition to my favourite poison.

As I am a perfume-junky, I am so happy about my new addition to my favourite poison collection.

The bottle has been revisited in a more translucent way but still deep red. I have found the making of them so beautiful that I want to share the photos with you.

LoL, Sandra

Glass1Glass2Glass3Glass4Glass6ORQ 014004E

Balenciaga Paris – The new Scent


Last weekend I went to Paris and got a truly adorable present for the launch of the new Balenciaga scent: A personalized engraved perfume bottle. To me, this is such a wonderful idea. A lovely gift that every girl would adore, something very special.

CIMG4121In anticipation of Valentine`s Day, the famous couture house Balenciaga Paris is launching its first new fragrance. After almost 15 years of absence in the fragrance business, the new scent named simply “Balenciaga Paris” is meant to revive the house`s perfume label. Created by the award-winning perfumer Olivier Polge of IFF and inspired by Balenciaga`s designer Nicolas Ghesquière, it is in the floral chypre family with accentuated violet. The scent is not as powdery as expected due to the natural effect of the violet leaves, instead it has more of a metallic freshness to it. I love the traditional ingredients like carnation, violet, cedar and patchouli that are transformed with a new contemporary twist.

Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, is the face of the advertising campaign shot by Steven Meisel. The scent debuts in most countries in the beginning of February.

Happy smelling!

LoL, Sandra

BalenciagaScentPhotos: Courtesy of Balenciaga and © Sandra Bauknecht