The streamlined product list of Malin + Goetz includes “paired performance systems” of cleansers and moisturizers for body, face, and hair, as well as fragrance and candles. Peppermint Hair Shampoo and Cilantro Hair Conditioner are quintessential Malin + Goetz products, embodying the brand’s philosophy of "Natural Ingredients. Performance Technology”: they combine botanical extracts with gentle synthetic ingredients, and they are packaged in the company’s trademark minimalist bottles, labeled with ingredients and instructions in no-nonsense type. Founders Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz developed their business as a union of science and style, and the products sold by their “modern apothecary” are intended for both men and women of all skin types.
At first this one-size-fits-all strategy made me feel skeptical. My hair, for example, is somewhat hard-to-please: it’s wavy, slightly dry, and thick but easily weighed down. However, both products were pleasant surprises for me. The shampoo is thoroughly cleansing but not drying, and the creamy, concentrated conditioner rinses out easily, leaving softness without any unwanted heaviness. Furthermore, their fragrances are even more satisfying than their effectiveness. The Peppermint Hair Shampoo is easily the most intensely minty product I have ever used, surpassing any mint-scented soap, shower gel, or toothpaste in my memory. Its generous dose of peppermint essential oil also has a highly therapeutic effect, making my entire head tingle in a way that's cooling on summer days and invigorating on chilly winter mornings.
The fragrance of the Hair Conditioner, when used afterwards, is almost soothing by contrast. Its cilantro extract smells sweetly herbal, like the actual cilantro leaves that add a fresh garnish to so many recipes; blended into the conditioner’s formula, it also gains a clean, slightly soapy aspect. Both scents, enjoyable as they are, are engineered to leave no lingering traces, so that the user can remain fragrance-free for the rest of the day or can apply other fragranced products without olfactory conflict.
A visit to the Malin + Goetz shop in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood further reveals the company’s interest in modern design and the balance of paired opposites. The storefront boutique itself is a pristine, brightly lit, white cube, with all the products arranged for instant identification and easy access. The office, visible just beyond a swinging partition, is a more down-to-earth, cluttered space, with exposed brick walls and racks of metal shelves weighed down by paperwork, office supplies, and — most intriguing — lab bottles of new products in development.
For buying information, see the listing for Malin + Goetz under Perfume Houses.