The Art of flaconnage

Incurved, sculpted, rounded, adorned with crystals, painted with liquid gold, satin-finished, brushed… The bottles designed by Martine Micallef magnify the seductive power and refinement of each perfume. Following the tradition of artisanal haute perfumery, each bottle requires several stages of handwork, giving each piece its unique character.

“Even before founding my own house, I have always been amazed by artistic bottles. The crystal creations by René Lalique provoked a special emotion in me. The Air du Temps bottle by Nina Ricci, created by Marc Lalique (René’s son), is also an iconic bottle for me. If it had to be summarized by a symbol, it would be by the graceful duet of doves adorning the bottle,” confides Martine Micallef. The artist also pays great attention to the caps of her bottles, which are elements of differentiation in the world of niche perfumery.


Creating a bottle: the steps


Everything starts with a sketch. It is then vectorized so that the glassmaker can elaborate the technical steps required to determine the capacity and weight of the glass. Often, Martine Micallef first makes a model by hand, made of resin or plaster, in order to establish a multidimensional contact with the object. Then, thanks to a 3D printer, the bottle comes to life before being “immersed” to check its capacity—for a 100 ml bottle, the latter is accurate to the nearest 3 or 4 ml. “For the creation of a complete collection, I develop a language between the content and the container. When we came up with the idea for the Secrets of Love line, we wanted to transcribe the different stages of the state of love. I imagined openwork metal love cages in order to create an intriguing chiaroscuro: a form of love game is then expressed between what is shown, what is said and what is felt. ”


Mon Parfum: an extraordinary bottle


Evoking both a pebble and a fish (Martine Micallef’s astrological sign is Pisces), the bottle of the Mon Parfum Collection can be placed in different ways. This creation is a true technical feat.


Real jewels: the Crystal Collection


Emblematic of Maison M. Micallef, the ovoid Bohemian crystal bottles are mouth-blown, then chiseled and painted by hand, before being covered with enamel, 24-karat liquid gold and Swarovski crystals. Packaged in a wooden mold and baked in Grasse, these art bottles are decorated with patterns that evolve according to the wishes expressed by customers. Martine Micallef’s favorite themes—nature, travel and poetic dreams—also preside over their design.

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