Etat Libre d’Orange Tilda Swinton Like This : Perfume Review

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Likethis

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Recently I found myself wishing for a woody oriental fragrance, where woods take the center stage, as opposed to the gourmand effects. While I love a mouthwatering dessert of a fragrance a la Lolita Lempicka or Prada Candy, I am even more partial to dark, rich blends with dry woody and incense accents. One such favorite is Etat Libre d’Orange Like This. Created in collaboration with the actress Tilda Swinton, Like This is a strange and unconventional blend. It is a cross between the woody richness of Serge Lutens Douce Amère and the smoldering darkness of Donna Karan Chaos, with plenty of its own surprising elements.

Like This was composed by perfumer Mathilde Bijaoui, whose Penhaligon’s Lily & Spice (now unfortunately discontinued) I have enjoyed for its dry spicy notes. In Like This, the interplay between sweet, juicy and dry, pungent sensations is what makes it unique. Through every point of the perfume’s evolution, one experiences various contrasting effects, which together lend it a dramatic, bold character. The main juxtaposition in Like This is between the woody-spicy and the sweet balsamic notes, with honeyed rose and immortelle tying the composition together.

The fragrance opens up on a bright spicy accord redolent with clove, cinnamon and ginger. Sweet orange notes temper the sharpness, and as the fragrance begins to segue into its woody heart, it mellows down further. The woods on my skin unfold in complex layers; at one point, I smell creamy sandalwood, then green vetiver and finally, incense ashes. Although there are strong sweet accents—from candied fig to almond-like heliotrope, the spicy woods form the main impression of Like This. The fragrance may be compared in character to Tom Ford Black Orchid and Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis—dark, luscious and seductive. However, being relatively dry, Like This would be interesting on both men and women. It lasts well and retains all of its complexity and depth, while its sillage is radiant and velvety. It is as wonderful to wear it as to be in the presence of someone who has it on his skin.

Etat Libre d’Orange Like This by Tilda Swinton includes notes of tangerine, ginger, immortelle, neroli, rose, pumpkin accord, vetiver, musk, heliotrope. Available from Henri Bendels and online from Luckyscent.

Sample: my own acquisition

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13 Comments

  • Carrie Meredith: I was sad that Like This did not work for me, but I wanted to chime in with my love of Penhaligon’s Lily & Spice. It’s one of my seasonless favorites, and even though I’ve stocked up on a couple of bottles, I’m still anxious about being without it. September 26, 2011 at 10:49am Reply

  • RusticDove: Like This is brilliant. It was love at first sniff for me and it’s unlike anything else I have. Really nicely done. September 26, 2011 at 11:06am Reply

  • Victoria: So happy to know that others love it too. It really was one of the best lily fragrances.
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile September 26, 2011 at 11:16am Reply

  • Victoria: It is quite unique! It was a love at first sniff for me.
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile September 26, 2011 at 11:17am Reply

  • Carla: I bought Like This for my sister, who loves immortelle and ginger and woody orientals. It was if the perfume were made for her, not only by the listed notes, but the by the scent itself. September 26, 2011 at 12:41pm Reply

  • Victoria: I was surprised how nicely it all worked together, considering how many disparate facets Like This contains. Even immortelle seems well-balanced, whereas usually it has a tendency to dominate.
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile September 26, 2011 at 3:08pm Reply

  • marika: I found Like This to be very dynamic and interesting, but the very last phase of drydown left me with that stale caramel popcorn scent that eventually makes me queazy. Perhaps I should try again now that the weather has changed. September 26, 2011 at 4:36pm Reply

  • Victoria: Marika, I can see where you would get the popcorn note. There is that toasted bread (and a very strong caramelized facet from immortelle) undercurrent.  That being said, I cannot wear Like This in hot weather. It is not a light, subtle fragrance. 🙂

      September 26, 2011 at 5:41pm Reply

  • kuri: It sounds lovely, but probably requires proper testing on skin for me.
    I’m a bit of a fan of Tilda Swinton so it makes me happy to know that her perfume sounds just as interesting as she is. September 26, 2011 at 8:42pm Reply

  • marika: I got out my sample when I got home from work and dabbed on a bit. The caramel quality is indeed more appealing today, and the compexities you articulated so well are playing themselves out nicely. I am just learning about immortelle–wish I could smell it on its own. Can’t stop sniffing the wrist, but it will take some pondering to decide if this is for me. Thanks for your review, which made me give this another try! September 26, 2011 at 10:50pm Reply

  • Victoria: So glad to hear it! 🙂 Immortelle smells like maple syrup + dry wood + a bit of green. If you come across Christian Dior Eau Noire or Serge Lutens Chypre Rouge, those have plenty of immortelle. September 27, 2011 at 10:07am Reply

  • Victoria: Me too! I was apprehensive about trying this perfume at first, because I was worried that it might clash with my own vision of Tilda Swinton. 🙂 September 27, 2011 at 10:08am Reply

  • Warum: I like it, too.
    I also find it somewhat similar to AG Sables, but Sables are darker and dryer. September 28, 2011 at 11:31am Reply

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