How do you bottle refinement? Maluma has a few ideas. The chart-topping Colombian musician is among fashion’s darlings, but last week he entered the beauty sphere in a big way with the launch of his four-fragrance Royalty by Maluma collection. Inspired by gemstones, the luxurious range brought him into the booming celebrity perfume market, but the impetus behind the line began with the star’s fans. “I wanted to give them more of me as a creative, outside of fashion and music. Fragrance is another form of self-expression,” he shared via email from Paris. “It [reflects] your mode, mindset, and inner self, all without saying a word.”
The star has been busy in fashion. He’s currently front and center in the latest Versace campaign, he collaborated with Balmain on a limited edition clothing capsule back in 2021, and he began work on an eponymous line earlier this year. He sees beauty as a fresh creative outlet, one with the power to touch people on a personal level. The collection’s regal name isn’t a reference to real-world nobles; instead, it stems from the star’s ideas about integrity. “I wanted to focus on royalty as a concept because I believe in respect and loyalty,” he says. “I want my fans to connect with the scents [but] I also want them to feel confident, like the kings and queens we all are.”
Capturing that mood meant tapping into the connection between smell and the subconscious, and Maluma’s own recollections informed his goals for the project. “One of my earliest memories is seeing my dad when I was young shave and place his aftershave all over him before leaving to work,” he says. “I remember him placing it on his hands and leaving the scent behind in our home [and] it was the same with my grandfather.” Describing the individual notes as akin to the tones of a musical scale, he wanted to create the fragrance equivalent of a tune that gets stuck in your head. “I look for tones that will leave an impact and a memory once you walk into a room,” he says. “For someone to smell your fragrance and recall you because of those tones in the scent.”
Fittingly, Royalty’s inaugural King and Queen collection leaves an impression. Featuring four different Eau de parfums for men and women, it moves harmoniously from one fragrance category to the next. Onyx, with its blend of cardamom, pear, Florentine iris, and cedarwood, aptly represents strength, while Garnet is a fiery mix of geranium, ginger, and baie rose that ends with a base note of earthy patchouli. Jade takes a tranquil turn with its opening burst of blackcurrant and bergamot leading to a creamy finish of tuberose and jasmine. Amethyst alludes to its gemstone namesake by showcasing multiple facets connected by a standout orchid accord.
The project took more than a year to perfect, but it was a welcome challenge. “You have to create the scents, the concepts, then visually develop bottles and a full campaign,” says Maluma, who was involved at every stage of the collection’s development. “Then it all has to tell a story that shares what you are trying to express.”
One of the things the star was intent on including were nods to his Colombian roots. As such, the nation’s flower, the Cattleya trianae, an orchid native to the cloud forests of the Andes, is the accord at the heart of Amethyst. The note gives the scent its memorable tone and a special significance. “Everything I do has to have the essence of my hometown Medellin,” says Maluma. “So I worked with Latin perfumers from Colombia so that we could incorporate our signature flower into one of the perfumes.” Most of the orchid used in contemporary perfumery is based on synthetic fantasy notes, but here they aimed to get as close to the original as possible, and the extra effort was worth it.
Originally published on Vogue.com