The company say:

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.

Mal-Aimé fragrance notes

    • Inula, Galbazine, Nettle Absolute, Rose, Iris Butter

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Latest Reviews of Mal-Aimé

When dabbling with perfume making, I pondered the use of erigeron (fleabane) essential oil, which I purchased from sadly shuttered White Lotus Aromatics. Fleabane flowers should be familiar to anyone who has studied meadows or even abandoned lots; diminutive, daisy-like flowers that grow in groups. It was described somewhere that the essential oil was "one of the hidden gems of the fragrance world" so I had to experience it. I was stunned by its pastoral quality, very much a bright, ethereal wildflower scent, with a rooty, celeriac undertone.

During my experimentations I wasn't sure exactly how I could effectively integrate it into a composition, but, fast forward a number of years later, and here we are, Marc-Antoine Corticchiato (who also composed Oeillères, which I reviewed yesterday) ingeniously incorporated it into his Mal-Aimé. He also includes Inula Gravolens, an aromatic and aromatherapeutic herb native to the Mediterranean with a beautiful, vibrant teal color. Furthermore, there is nettle, which is herby, minty, spiky, with a tonic quality.

Mal-Aimé is the fragrance I wish I could've created, because I had frequent ideas of making a weed (not that kind of weed) fragrance, showcasing all of the aromatic plants that have not found their place in classic nor modern perfumery. Specifically, I was fascinated with the idea of using essential oils more commonly used in the practice of clinical aromatherapy. Corticchiato achieved this with Mal-Aimé, with a greenness that isn't galbanum nor lawn grass, but rather all the greens of weeds, wildflowers that are sweet, pungent, medicinal, ethereal, like distilled chlorophyll, dried by the sun.

In the heart, I am reminded of two things I love: elderflowers, both fresh and distilled into a syrup and added to a seltzer, and Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda. Yes, for those who know, there is a cult favorite celery flavored soda, and this reminds me of its taste and aroma. The medicinal and spiky smooth over a bit in this stage, and it becomes just a bit sweeter, powdery, rhizomatous into the dry down. This must be the orris root in its base, perhaps lifted with a bit of Orivone and Irival (for my perfumery nerds).

A spectacular creation that speaks to me greatly. I only wish I could've beat Corticchiato to it!
21st April 2022