MALIN+GOETZ was created by a maverick duo in New York, in 2004. Their easy-to-use, easy-to-understand skincare rapidly became a ‘cult’ favourite, and is now a force to be reckoned with. But at The Perfume Society, what got us really excited was their move into fragrance…
First, let’s rewind – back to Chelsea, that hip corner of Manhattan, where Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz (left) first launched their distinctively-packaged skincare. From the word ‘go’, this was something different. Throwing open the doors of their first store, they took a modern, local apothecary approach to luxury skincare. ‘Our mission was simple,’ MALIN+GOETZ tell us. ‘To provide easy-to-use treatments that are both gentle and effective. For all skin types. Women and men. And we still live by those words today.’
Before launching their venture, Matthew Malin worked as the apothecary buyer for Barneys department stores, while Andrew Goetz was US Marketing Director for the Swiss family-owned stylish furniture name, Vitra, much-loved by architects world-wide. With a strong visual aesthetic, it’s perhaps unsurprising that their fabulous, clean graphics have become iconic – chosen for a retrospective a the San Francisco Museum of Art, no less. And MALIN+GOETZ’s portfolio of award-winning skincare formulations have made their way into a growing portfolio of stores in New York, Los Angeles and London, including some of the best-loved luxury retailers around the world.
Their shared love of fragrance was first expressed via a line of candles. Grabbing headlines, in particular, was the Cannabis candle – a tongue-in-cheek name, yes (not least because Andrew and Matthew advise having ‘something savoury or sweet on hand when burning’!) But also a fabulously spicy, herbaceous scent in which fresh top notes of lemon and orange mingle with fig and pepper, underpinned by deep, dark base note of oakmoss, sandalwood, patchouli and amber.
Equally popular proved Dark Rum, Mojito and Neroli… Today, these – and the rest of the candle range – are still hand-made in Brooklyn, reflecting MALIN+GOETZ’s commitment to manufacture products only via small, family-run businesses in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
And from candles, it was surely a natural progression to fragrances we can enjoy on our skins. One distinguishing feature of the MALIN+GOETZ fragrance range, actually is that quite a few of the fragrances are available as perfume oils (right) – wonderfully long-lasting on the body, and ideal as a base for layering beneath the eaux de parfum, or eaux de toilette to create a customised signature.
Already popular in Liberty (and a top-selling line at SpaceNK across the UK), MALIN+GOETZ have now opened two beautiful London stores – in Islington, and on Covent Garden’s Monmouth Street – in which to discover, explore and enjoy their fragrance collections. Expansive, airy, with clean designs, they offer a truly relaxing shopping experience in which to browse and spritz to your heart’s content.
The growing portfolio of fragrances includes the popular Dark Rum, a twist on the original masculine formula for Bay Rum, but with unisex appeal (and way more intrigue, to us), a-swirl with leather, rum, vanilla and jammy plum notes, warmed addictively by amber. MALIN+GOETZ Vetiver, meanwhile, highlights the duality of that ingredient – clean, but with a hint of smoke running through it, the Haitian vetiver sitting alongside citrus notes including African bigarade (bitter orange), white iris, guaiac wood and amber. The Perfume Society’s regular contributor Viola Levy, meanwhile (who also writes the scentsandthecitylondon.com blog), is a fan of Bergamot: ‘A sparkly, peppery number that’s a glorious summer scent but jazzy enough for evenings, too.’
Excitingly, there’s one very special perfume experience which can only be enjoyed in one of their own stores – Malin+Goetz’s signature ‘dramming’ service. From the early days, customers would ask if they could buy MALIN+GOETZ’s concentrated fragrance oils, which were kept on the shelves of the original store in their brown apothecary bottles. Although these weren’t ‘officially’ available, M+G would decant the oils for VIP customers, hand-labelling and hand-writing the bottles for them. (It’s called ‘dramming’ because of the measurement of the oils decanted, which is in drams.)
Now (officially!) MALIN+GOETZ offer the opportunity for customers to choose from a very limited selection of oils – perhaps having the label hand-written, for a friend or loved one. They’re blink-and-you-miss-them opportunities, because these oils are available only in finite amounts – but a very good reason for any keen perfumista to keep regularly popping into the stores.
MALIN+GOETZ describe their curated collection of modern fine fragrances as being ‘inspired by traditional single notes + elevated with our unique interpretations’. And with their quirky worldview, inherent style – and a great nose for interesting ingredients and fabulous smells – we think MALIN+GOETZ deserve a place on every perfume-lover’s radar…