PARFUM D'EMPIRE Mal-Aimé EDP 50ml
Banks, hillsides, ravines, and wastelands. You see them everywhere. Smell them nowhere. No fragrance celebrates them. And yet, they are fragrant, those plants we call weeds because they are unwanted. Because they grow on their own, spontaneous, carefree, perennial, untamable. Scorned by men, like the misfits and outcasts who fiercely guard their true nobility out of reticence, or because they ask nothing of anyone...
Mal-Aimé is Marc-Antoine Corticchiato’s tribute to plants banished from perfume bottles and posh neighborhoods. Going against the grain of fine fragrance, which only lays claim to noble materials, the iconoclastic Mal-Aimé draws its inspiration from a plant as common as its essence is rare. In fact, this is the first time it is used in perfumery.
Fragrant inula – known to botanists as Inula graveolens – grows all over Corsica in disheveled tufts of tiny yellow flowers. Its essential oil, distilled from plants harvested in the maquis and certified organic, is a genuine treasure trove for a perfumer. Over the hours, the emerald green essence unfolds wildly generous facets.
Herbal? That’s the least one could expect, given its nature. But inula also borrows its fragrance from roses and its sweetness from honey. Its scent is as solar as the color of its flowers, yet it is also woody, saline, musky. Around this beautiful rebel, it is the procession of all the unloved – thistles, nettles, brambles, and roots – that Marc-Antoine Corticchiato calls up to celebrate, once again, his native Corsica.
Disruptive, avant-garde, never smelled before... Naturally noble. Unquestionably iconoclastic. A perfume like no other.
A word from the perfumer: a tribute to a companion from the maquis and the bush
“In French, weeds are called ‘mauvaises herbes’, bad herbs. I think it’s unfair, because they are bountiful and have many healthful properties – like inula or nettle, for instance. I’ve never had the heart to pull out the wild inula that grows in my garden in the heart of the maquis.”
Mal-Aimé is a tribute to a friend. The essence used by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato is distilled by Stéphane and Alexandre Acquarone, the sons of Lucien Acquarone, “my companion from the maquis and the bush, from Corsica to Vietnam by way of Madagascar and La Réunion”, the perfumer explains. An engineer specialized in botanical extraction equipment, “Lucien was a wizard who could obtain the best of a plant’s fragrance without altering its original scent, always as close as possible to nature.” He was also an adventurer, “who could decide overnight to embark on some crazy project on the other side of the world”. With Marc-Antoine Corticchiato, he shared, along with his love of good food, wine and perfume plants, a fondness for inula, “a plant with a ver y special scent, though it is rejected by all. For a great many years, we talked about introducing the uncommon fragrance of this ‘weed’ to the world. But he left too early.”
Mal-Aimé, a fragrance gorged with inula essential oil extracted by his sons, is “a nod to Lucien. Lucien, who must be having a laugh up there, with a glass in his hand and a twinkle in his eyes – eyes as green as the essence of inula, and as sparkling as his favorite champagne.”
Olfactory group: green
Nose: Marc-Antonio Corticchiato
Creation date: 2021