Etat Libre d'Orange: 11 posts

Etat Libre d’Orange The Afternoon of a Faun : Perfume Review

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By a coincidence, the first time I wore The Afternoon of a Faun, the latest perfume from Etat Libre d’Orange, was to a ballet performance. I applied it earlier in the day and by the time I sat in the darkened theater it already melted into my skin. My companion leaned in and whispered, “I love the smell of theater, the mix of wood and floor polish… Oh, wait! It’s you!” And she was right, Faun smells like worn wood, or something antique and patina covered.

Created by , the same perfumer who authored the brilliant Fils de Dieu, The Afternoon of a Faun is inspired by the ballet choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky for the Ballets Russes. It was first performed in 1912, with Nijinsky dancing the main role. Set to the score by Claude Debussy, L’après-midi d’un faune told the story of a faun who meets and teases a group of nymphs. The erotic subtext of the plot and the archaically styled dance ran so counter to classical dance that it caused a scandal, and Nijinsky could barely escape the angry fans.

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Etat Libre d’Orange Bijou Romantique : Perfume Review

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Perfume names can be tricky. Noir leads you to imagine something glamorous and wickedly mysterious. You read Sport on the perfume bottle and before you even smell the top notes, you anticipate sharp citrus and lavender. Based on the name Etat Libre d’Orange Bijou Romantique, which in French means “a romantic jewel,” you’d expect something suitable for women who love kittens and wear far too much pink. I can almost hear Emily Howard from Little Britain saying, “It’s a lady’s perfume, and I’m a lady, you see.”

Now, as a woman who loves kittens—and really, who doesn’t!—and has enough pink accessories to dress up the whole city of Brussels, I don’t mind frilly and girly perfumes. But it’s not fair to call Bijou Romantique a frou-frou fragrance. It has a dose of retro charm thanks to its delicately powdered iris and jasmine, but the earthy vetiver and peppery bergamot give it an elegant austerity. Take a deeper inhale, and you suddenly realize that it’s a sibling of Shalimar, one of Guerlain’s crown jewels and the grandest of grand parfums.

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Etat Libre d’Orange Fils de Dieu : Perfume Review

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

He brings the sunshine. That’s how Etat Libre d’Orange describes its latest fragrance Fils de Dieu, du Riz et des Agrumes. “Son of God, rice and citrus” was brought into this world by perfumer Ralf Schwieger, who took the idea of a classical oriental and made it new and memorable. What drew me to Fils de Dieu from the first inhale was how well it played on the contrasts: the effervescence of citrus cologne and the plush richness of vanilla, the spring-like brightness of green leaves and the sultry darkness of musk, the clarity and the complexity.

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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.

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Etat Libre d’Orange Vierges et Toreros : Fragrance Review and White Florals for Men

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Cassat

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

The idea of a masculine tuberose is fascinating, simply because my own view of tuberose is that of a lush, sweet and coquettish note. While it certainly has an unapologetically seductive facet, most modern tuberose treatments place it squarely in the feminine realm. Vierges et Toreros created by Antoine Lie and Antoine Maisondieu in 2007 for the renegade niche fragrance house Etat Libre d’Orange has set out to work against this stereotype. The idea behind the composition is a tuberose note made virile and masculine, lacking its common “sugar and spice and everything nice” connotations.

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