Beauty

Jean Paul Gaultier Moment: Le Mâle

The designer's first men's fragrance made a stir with its sexy, irreverent package

If one is asked to conjure of a mental image of Jean Paul Gaultier, it usually involves one of his signature Breton-striped tees. These tees have woven their way into many of Gaultier’s collections and were also the inspiration for his first men’s scent, Le Mâle, whose bottle is shaped like the torso of a rather buff French sailor. Released in 1995, the fragrance, which counts mint, artemisia, bergamot, lavender, sandalwood, vanilla and amber in its blend, is meant to evoke another bastion of maleness—the barbershop. And it’s all wrapped up in the most unfashion-y of items: a tin can

Le Mâle’s sweet scent has proved wildly popular—WWD counted it as one of the top-selling men’s fragrances of 2010. (It also has many female fans.) 15 years after its release, the torso-shaped bottle has become a symbol of the house of Jean Paul Gaultier, and true to the designer’s irreverent style, they’ve had fun with it. Le Mâle Kilt sees our sailor dressed in a kilt, Le Mâle Scuba Diver has him zipped into a wetsuit and Fleur de Mâle has him rendered in white and conspicuously stripped of his T-shirt.

Read up on more of our favourite Jean Paul Gaultier moments