Category: Etat Libre d’Orange (ELDO)

Summer Fun(k) or Persephone’s props.

  (image by Arlene Gottfried) Fresh, effervescent perfumes offer relief from the heat, a respite from the sultriness of the summer season.  Eaux de Cologne, aquatics, light fruity fragrances, leafy/grassy green perfumes, airy mixed-florals.  These usual suspects accessorize the fleshy displays of the season.  They contribute to the cleanliness/godliness illusion of skin. My skin puts the lie to this fiction. …

Etat Libre d’Orange Nombril Immense, 2006

Perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer. Nombril Immense is a part of the trend of cleaned-up dirty materials. There have traditionally been a set of botanical materials that give gravity and intensity to perfume. They’re not known for their freshness or cleanliness. In fact, they’re generally known for having a ‘dirtiness’ to them. Patchouli, vetiver, labdanum, myrrhe, sandalwood, benzoin. With the ascendence of oud and the increased use of…

Etat Libre d’Orange Vraie Blonde, 2006

(image Amanda Lepore by Terry Richardson) Perfumer Antoine Maisondieu. Etat Libre d’Orange’s schtick is easy to dispense with because it’s so ridiculous.  I love the perfume that ELDO make, and I support the notion that perfumery needs to be shaken up.  The grade-school boyishness, though, is self-defeating.  The first thing I do with a bottle from ELDO is to put…

A Review of Etat Libre d’Orange Noel au Balcon (or, Don’t Believe the Hype, but do Smell the Perfume )

Etat Libre d’Orange are known stylistically for their cheeky tone and snarky perfumes. As a brand, they poke a stick at contemporary notions of bland luxury. Branding works by tailoring images to implant in the public mind and then builds a series of associations. But branding also takes into account the self-reference of the branded. We perfume consumers should be…

Etat Libre d’Orange Rossy de Palma Eau de Protection, 2009

(Rossy de Palma as Antonio Gaudí from Time Out Barcelona) Perfumers Antoine Lie and Antoine Maisondieu Perfumery is an abstract form. Narrative and storytelling are functions of marketing, not perfumery. But Etat Libre d’Orange presents an alternative to the abstract and the narrative with Rossy de Palma Eau de Protection. Whether you consider the perfume to be a bespoke perfume released to the…

Etat Libre d’Orange Rien, 2006

(image, 1970s Castro District by Crawford Barton) Perfumer Antoine Lie Rien is a leather, yes, but what constitutes a leather note in perfumery is often vague. In describing leather perfumes, we might point to the ingredients of rectified birch tar or isoquinolones, but in general we’re usually just loosely descriptive, often to the point of obscurity. Smokey, tarry, rubbery, ‘like the…