Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
There is a striking dissonance between the vulgarity implied by the name, Putain des Palaces (Hotel Slut), and the elegant character of the fragrance itself. Perhaps it’s just me, but Etat Libre d’Orange names that sound as if they were jotted down by a bunch of teenage boys after a night of drinking do not entice me. On the other hand, they do not repulse me either, as the only thing worth judging the perfume on is its scent. And yet, Putain des Palaces is a beauty, hinting at flowers foiled by soft leathery notes. If Sécrétions Magnifiques is one of the most unusual and innovative compositions from Etat Libre d’Orange and Jasmin et Tabac is the most edgy, Putain des Palaces is undoubtedly the most polished and seductive. …
Created by perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer, the fragrance is meant to evoke the atmosphere of a candle lit boudoir. Initially, the composition unfolds as a delicate aldehydic floral, with every nuance conveying an image of softness and subtle elegance. It warms up to present richer floral nuances, deepening and growing duskier. The velvety violet notes heighten the tender and alluring sensation that Putain des Palaces presents as it develops on the skin.
Yet, the floral melody is only one part of the perfume’s story. The elegant and delightfully innocent prelude soon shifts into the voluptuous richness of musk, amber and leather. Nevertheless, contrary to what its name might imply, Putain des Palaces does not showcase its sensuality in a vulgar and ready manner. It tempts one without losing its elegant restraint. In the end, Putain des Palaces is not the vision of a raunchy brothel, but rather a dream of someone beautiful and alluring. Still, one should make no mistake—this haunting stranger is a true femme fatale.
Putain des Palaces has great lasting power, with a fantastic sillage (the trail left by perfume in its wake.) Although men who are not frightened by the rich floral notes might be able to carry it off, Putain des Palaces is more quintessentially feminine than any other Etat Libre d’Orange fragrances. It features notes of mandarin, rice powder, lily of the valley, rose, violet, ginger, leather, amber, animalic notes. For additional information on availability, please see my overview of Etat Libre d’Orange line.
Painting of Danae by Klimt, abcgallery.com.