Eighteen years ago Jean Paul Gaultier, the legendary French fashion designer, unleashed a fragrance upon us which was to go on and be as recognisable and synonymous as his trademark breton tops, a fondness for wearing kilts and suicide blond hair. “Le Male” irreversibly shook up the world of scents by introducing an unprecedented masculine archetype: the sensual sailor with a soft heart, to accompany this launch came an Ad campaign which equally shook up the world and is still remembered with fondness today, see above.
Time doesn’t stand still and Gaultier who is known for his forward thinking nature too has evolved Le Male into LE BEAU MALE ! Gaultier returned to the original creator of the fragrance, Francis Kurkdjian and challenged him to recompose a new fragrance to fit in with third millennium.
“I really wanted to reclaim ownership of the formula. With hindsight, some things were obvious. Preserving the original structure and unfolding of accords while stretching the note to the maximum,” Kurkdjian explained.
The scent is an unconventional mix of an excessive dose of mint which gives off an unusually intense freshness, this is then rubbed with Mugwort, used in ancient times as a talisman against poisoning and sunburn, also sometimes known as ‘felon herb’, releases an aura close to that of rtemisia absinthium, it’s deadly botanical cousin. Lavender maintains its role as the backbone of the fragrance. Orange blossom and clary sage accents give the fragrance a boost of bursting energy. The palpable sensual qualities of the musky base creates a freshness that makes men hot, not in an unpleasant way, but in a primeval way. Phew !