Malin+Goetz founders share their Five Favourite Smells

MALIN+GOETZ was created by a maverick duo in New York, back in 2004. Their easy-to-use, easy-to-understand skincare rapidly became a ‘cult’ favourite, and now their incredible, ground-breaking perfumes are also a fragrant force to be reckoned with…

When Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz first launched the brand, from the word ‘go’, it was clear this was something different. Throwing open the doors of their first store in Chelsea, that hip corner of Manhattan, they took a contemporary apothecary approach to luxury skincare. ‘Our mission was simple,’ they told 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.’

Their shared love of fragrance is something that drove their creativity and continues to inspire, and this 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.

And from candles, it was surely a natural progression to fragrances we can enjoy on our skins. No ingredient in any of the products is there simply for the sake of it, or merely to smell nice, and so it was especially important to them to create perfumes that revolved around a central ingredient but explored every single facet of the scent. Another  distinguishing feature of the MALIN+GOETZ fragrance range, is that quite a few of the fragrances are available as perfume oils – 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.

But something we like to do at The Perfume Society is catch up with the founders of houses and dig a little bit deeper, asking their 5 Favourite Smells. We truly believe the answers are always incredibly revealing – a scented shortcut to working out how someone truly ticks. So, let’s get closer…

Matthew Malin

Musk –anything musk. A college friend of mine, Verna, always wore a musk that she would buy off a street vendor. It was soft and warm and sexy. It is a scent that has stayed with me for over thirty years. LOVE.

Cedar – as a kid, I had two chores: mowing the lawn and making a fire in the winter. Hauling wood in from the garage to the family room always left the scent of cedar sap on my hands.

Grass – similarly, my other chore was mowing the lawn (which I despise). However, I cannot walk past a freshly mown lawn (by another) and not be transfixed by the smell of fresh cut grass.

Library – and the smell of books. It reminds me of college and the energy used cramming for a test. It is weirdly calming and exciting at the same time.

Lilacs – we have groves of lilacs at our weekend home in the Hudson Valley. There is this ephemeral moment in time when our harsh New York Winter has turned, and it is warmer, but not yet “warm”. And, for only a few days, the first Spring days, lilacs burst into the crisp clean air. The whole yard is filled with their perfume. It is overwhelming. And, then they are gone. I get chills thinking of it as I write…

Andrew Goetz

Dew – I love the subtleness of this scent. And I love the mood it evokes. It’s particularly alluring in the autumn up at our farm house. I love getting up early and seeing the due blanketed on the grass and meadows. There is a subtly sweet aroma in the atmosphere that I find incredibly calming, and makes me feel a bit moody in the best possible way. Having lived in Amsterdam for many years where there is no shortage of dampness, the morning due often evokes me of the romantic darkness that consumes Amsterdam in the Autumn.

Tomato – Or more specifically tomato leaves and stems. Our garden up in the country produces a prolific amount of tomatoes every August. The season is incredibly short, but incredibly intense. I love when the intense green perfume of the leaves and stem rub off on your hands as we prune, stake, and ultimately pick the tomatoes. As the tomatoes ripen in mid-August, the scent of the fruit blends with the powerful scent of stems and leaves. To me it is the defining scent of Summer.

Salt – Salt is always magical to me. In the right measure, it makes the ordinary taste, and smell sublime. So the scent of salt can often depend on where we find it. But it always reminds me of the sea. I’m always seduced by anything briny. Good raw oysters always have that quiet salty scent. The scent of salt can transport me to Mediterranean or amazing sandy dunes of Provincetown in Cape Cod. It is the scent of calm for me.

Our Garden – Gardening came late to me in life. But I’ve embraced it with a real passion. Our garden up in the Hudson Valley is a mixture of vegetables, herbs and flowers. There is never one dominant scent. In fact it changes by the week, as some things ripen and bloom, and other die off. The crescendo at the end of the summer is like an orchestra of different fragrances and scents. It’s practically operatic. But even the finale is gorgeous, as fruits and florals fade to earth, crispness and warmth.

Leather – The scent of leather is so three dimensional for me. I love the hardiness and sexiness it projects when you smell an old warn in leather garment. But you just can’t just smell leather, you are compelled to touch it. It smells even more intense as your skin interact with it. It’s irresistible. And of course there is nothing like your favourite old weathered leather jacket. It just doesn’t look good; it feels good – and it smells amazing. Leather has a way of releasing pheromones and endorphins of smokiness, sexiness and confidence when I put on that favourite jacket.

You can read more about MALIN+GOETZ on our page dedicated to their history, and do yourselves a favour by checking out the full range of their fabulous fragrances in-store or online!

Written by Suzy Nightingale