Sunday, July 1, 2012

Malin+Goetz: Shared Simplicity

It was early evening when I arrived at Borough Hall, as I walked toward my destination, Brooklyn’s landscape seemed different. Passing by City Hall, the sky seemed exceptionally close and the clouds were moving furiously; trees formed canopies overhead; lighting fixtures glowed inside long brownstone windows. I had a feeling that Andrew Goetz had something to do with this renewed interest in my constant surroundings. I had a chance to sit-down and talk to him earlier that day.

Andrew Goetz is "one half of a pair" that makes up the excellent SHARED skincare, body, hair and perfumery line Malin+Goetz. The M+G office is an open space with staff working side by side. Two larger desks are placed perpendicularly to the rest with ample space between them, one for Andrew and the other for Matthew Malin. Several meetings were happening at the same time which made the room feel part family dinner part sophisticated Santa’s workshop, and as I sat across from Andrew at his desk his warmth and intellect created an ease to our conversation. Andrew was born and lived the first two years of his life in Brooklyn, he spoke about his continued fondness for Brooklyn, especially its architecture and landscape, and how the Brooklyn of today reminds him of the Upper West Side in the 70s and 80s, bustling with artisans opening boutiques and restaurants. His father worked on building the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, then his family settled in Manhattan's Upper West Side, and that's where he ultimately grew up. Goetz shared some olfactive memories, which include the smell of ditto paper (so funny), his Grandmother and the smell of Rose, the fresh flowery kind, and how the smell of food can unlock many olfactive memories. His thoughts on olfaction were focused, "it's cerebral, Proustian." When pushed he thought that fragrance can improve the quality of life, he added, "anytime you can enhance the 5 senses it can improve the quality of life." In fact, his attitude toward fragrance almost borders on aloof, which I found refreshing. He explained that he wears his fragrances like he would wear a tie, when going out, to an event or party, or cultural thing. He comes across very selective. His favorites, Petitgrain Tonic  and Petitgrain layered with Synthesized Lotus Root.

Malin+Goetz launched in 2004 with a vision to become a serious player in skincare. Andrew described their products as “modest, and pared down.” In fact, it’s impossible to talk about Malin+Goetz fragrances, without mentioning their exceptional products. They are the crème de la crème when it comes to streamlining the (2 step) process of care. M+G's Moisturizing Shampoo, Cilantro Hair Conditioner, and Intensive Hair Mask, have rocked my highlighted, chlorine-ridden world (thanks Kenne at Barneys, my hair feels and looks like hair again.) Their Detox Face Mask has the most interesting texture part foam part creamy thickness, it’s almost hard to describe, combined with their (new) Replenishing Face Cream, I woke up in the a.m. feeling renewed. The smell of each product was subtle and fresh, try the Bergamot Body Wash. Andrew explained that the skincare is therapeutic and are made from natural extraits, "the scent of the products are ephemeral.”

For M+G "fragrance is a separate category, these are not traditional body fragrances," Goetz said. The EDTs were made to highlight the skincare line.  To my nose, these unique fragrances stand alone, but the line does encourage layering, furthering their concept of opposites creating balance. There is a sheer quality to these fragrances that I enjoy, and that said, they also have a definite point point of view too. As I wear them they remind me of a riddle, they smell so familiar, but it is impossible for me to pinpoint the familiarity. These fragrances bloom on the skin. Petitgrain Tonic, is incredibly pleasant, with its slightly bitter citrus top, a Hesperidic note that becomes creamy, Woody, and Floral. Synthesized Geranium Leaf has a bite to it that is Green and Rosy, it ends up completely rounded, very smooth on the skin. When I paired Geranium Leaf with Petitgrain, it created a subtle sweet (I was able to smell the Tonka Bean) floral cadence, perfectly balanced. When I smell Synthesized Musk, I think of my friend who has been wearing Keihl's Musk oil forever, M+G’s Synthesized Musk is her ticket to a fragrance makeover. Its composition is completely modern. I totally agree with Luca Turin on this one, it is highly recommended.

Near the end of our conversation, when I asked Andrew to talk about their Cannabis oil, which is only available at their three boutiques, this promptly made him get up from his desk and bring a bottle of it for us to smell.  There was an intensity and warmth coming from the bottle, just like Andrew. 

Visit my Soliflore Notes Facebook page to read what Andrew had to say in his own words.

Andrew Goetz with Cannabis Oil

Film still: Days of Heaven, 1978

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