Our Perfumes, Our Vision
Parfums Clandestins is being born now, in 2019, on Malta, an archipelago at the near centre of the Mediterranean. Islands on ancient trading routes that once brought sensual scents, resins and spices from the East, with their allure and promise of riches.
Our creations are relaxed, luxe interpretations of Mediterranean lifestyle. We work with passion to create small batch perfumes that are contemporary and edgy. Our perfumes are designed with exquisite, botanical materials at their heart.
My ethos is to work in a minimalist fashion, using only those materials I need to create the desired scent. Less is more. My first choice always is to use naturals. For bespoke commissions, I may blend in a select number of aromachemicals to enhance a perfume’s performance, such as its longevity, and to replace or boost natural materials that prove unsustainable or ethically unsound to source or whose use is heavily restricted by IFRA.
Rose damascena and oakmoss are just two such materials that have been indispensable to the perfumer for centuries. However, now they can be used in their natural state only in extremely low amounts, perfumers turn to aromachemicals to replace or as in my case, to boost naturals in a blend.
Most of Parfums Clandestins’ perfumes, such as The Sicily Quartet, are composed of botanicals only. A great many individual, natural ingredients I use are also certified organic. My mission is to choose materials, whether natural or synthetic, of the highest quality and traceable to known sources that manufacture and harvest to ethical business practices.
My creative aim is to design perfumes that impart a seductive, clandestine liaison between scent and skin revealed only to the wearer and those intimately close. I eschew trailing sillages and perfumes that overpower both wearer and surroundings.
Above all, I hope Parfums Clandestins’ fragrances are worn at cherished moments in life and have the power to evoke their memories in later years.
Our Launch: Sicilian Quartet EDP
Our launch EDP owe their inspiration to our nearest neighbour, Sicily, with whom we share much of our own island’s history. Sicily has always had a clandestine heart hidden in the shadows, behind closed shutters and away from any tourist’s gaze. It seemed the perfect muse for our first perfumes.
Perfumer and founder Liz Grech looked to late 19th century to mid 20th century Sicilian literature for clues to unlocking a creative brief. The Sicily Quartet evokes in scent the words of Tomasi di Lampedusa in his novel Il Gattopardo (The Leopord) which is set in Donnafugata, the palazzo pictured above. Its prose gives glimpses into the island’s psyche and drew heavily on the stark, claustrophobic beauty of Sicily. Liz came across the novel while studying Italian at university and the opulent scenes from Luchino Visconti’s film of the same name stayed imprinted on her mind.
The Sicily Quartet comprises four, classically-constructed yet thought-provoking, modern-day blends of natural botanical oils. Together, they cover the oriental, floral, cologne and leather perfume families. Each perfume has its role in Il Gattopardo, and its own story to tell.
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