x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

M. Micallef: The right notes

M. Micallef Parfums has opened its first stand-alone store at Grosvenor House in Dubai.

Crystal Daisy Black-head Falcon perfume from M. Micallef Parfums. Courtesy: M. Micallef Parfums
Crystal Daisy Black-head Falcon perfume from M. Micallef Parfums. Courtesy: M. Micallef Parfums

Like many a great idea, M. Micallef was hatched at the kitchen table, during late-night conversations between the husband-and-wife team, Geoffrey Nejman and Martine Micallef.

Nejman was working in the banking industry at the time, and had been hired to look at the finances of a perfume-making laboratory in Grasse, France. He promptly “fell into a love affair with this business”.

In 1996, M. Micallef Parfums was born, with Nejman, Micallef and one assistant working from the basement of their home to create high-end perfumes stored in beautiful Swarovski-encrusted bottles designed by Micallef. “Creating a perfume house in France in the 90s was not so easy as a no-name company. We wanted to go back with nostalgia, to the handmade and to natural ingredients,” says Nejman.

One of the first perfumeries to combine oud with more traditional European formulations, M. Micallef now sells in 60 countries. In a major milestone, the first stand-alone M. Micallef store opened at Grosvenor House in Dubai at the end of November. A limited-edition fragrance, stored in a handmade one-litre bottle topped with a crystal eagle’s head – worth Dh70,000 – was created to mark the occasion.

Nejman and Micallef are currently looking at a new and exciting ingredient to include in their scents. “Of course, it’s a very volatile process, like the perfume itself. You might have an inspiration and you’ll have the formula almost done in a couple of weeks; with others, it’s a real negotiation process with nature and with fate,” says Nejman. “But we are firm believers in love and passion, as well as hard work.”

www.mmicallef.com

sdenman@thenational.ae