In this edition, ParfumPlus talks to perfume couple Geoffrey Nejman and Martine Micallef regarding the brand-M. Micallef, its road ahead and the new creations
1. What have been the challenges of bringing your brand to the Middle East?
Geoffrey: Dubai is a great city for business since it provides endless opportunities worth investing in. The niche luxury perfume industry is a unique market and it can be challenging in the beginning. When we first came here, there was already competition that increased gradually over the years; but we took it as a positive challenge. We remain true to the brand’s philosophy that is to carry on with the concept of Art & Perfume, also creating bespoke pieces that make us unique among others. It makes us proud that over the years since M.Micallef’s inception, we became a signature brand in the region as well as internationally.
2. What are the new ingredients that you are looking at for the upcoming fragrances from your brand?
Martine: Geoffrey and I love to travel and that’s where we draw inspiration from. We are entering a new area of scent creation that will undoubtedly start replacing the aoud mixed scents. But at the moment, we are keeping this as a secret. The first scent of its kind will be launched by the end of this year and it will definitely shock the market.
3. Please tell us something about the line of products that you have introduced specifically in accordance to the requirements of the Middle Eastern market?
Geoffrey: We create perfumes aiming to target the niche perfume market in general. However, scents like Royal Rose Aoud and Emir combine aoud and French notes which suits the perfume connoisseurs in the Middle East.
4. How is the brand looking at expanding its presence in UAE?
Geoffrey: We’re very excited about expanding. It’s overwhelming how people in the region continue to be responsive to our boutiques. We’re planning to open several more across the region after the success of Grosvenor House and Burjuman. We’re also looking into expanding in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
5. Being French perfumers, what inspired you to explore the potential of oud, an intrinsically Middle Eastern ingredient, in your fragrances?
Martine: We were introduced to this wonderful ingredient because of our love for travel. We came to Middle East in 2002 and fell in love with it, which was the same year we discovered the agarwood oil, oud. We were mesmerized by its leathery, almost animalistic scent so we took a small bottle back to France and worked with Jean Claude Astier. After experimenting and mixing it with western notes to create French-style aoud, the rest was history.
6. How important is the packaging of the perfume, according to you, especially when it comes to catering the connoisseurs of niche fragrances?
Martine: I am the artist of the brand so I am definitely hands-on in designing each of the bottles – making sure each bottle represents its own unique qualities. Designing the bottle is as important as creating the scent for both Geoffrey and I do it with love and passion. We bear in mind that each fragrance embodies the personality and essence of the wearer.
7. Of the collections that you have, please tell us which one is your favourite and why?
Martine: Mon Parfum will always have a special place in my heart because my husband Geoffrey created it as a symbol of his love for me. He told me that the perfume is my ‘message in a bottle’ and that it’s a perfect embodiment of what he sees through my heart and soul – timeless and memorable.
Geoffrey: It’s hard to pick one but if I had to, it would have to be Royal Vintage. Its sophisticated fragrance reminds me of the timeless scent found in vintage cars – manly and elegant.
8. Any upcoming perfume that you would like to tell us about…
Martine: We’ve recently launched Ananda Dolce, the third fragrance in theAnanda Collection. We are definitely in the process of creating new fragrances so watch out for that!