Monday, January 17, 2011

Etat Libre d’Orange: Sample Pack Review, Part 1 of 3

My re-entry into obsessing about perfume begins. All it took was finding a sample pack of Etat Libre d’Orange scents that I had ordered from Lucky Scent when they added the line to their inventory. These scents added decadence to my chore-filled weekend; I enjoyed said chores with intermittent inhales of the fragrances on my wrist and hands. Each transported me to a different place and time. In no particular order, I offer my newfound foray into description.

Jasmin et Cigarette – So far, my favorite although I have not yet tried Like This or Don’t Get Me Wrong Baby – both appealing to my sensibilities. If Jasmin et Cigarette’s olfactory stages were arranged on a tabletop, here is that tabletop’s description: a freshly opened pack of non-filter cigarettes front and center, a bouquet of creamy, freshly-picked jasmine blossoms just north of the pack of cigarettes, one lush, just-bitten apricot to the right and scattered tonka bean seeds to the left. Grouped together, the lovely scent offers endless material for the nose. I cannot stop sniffing.

Vraie Blonde – Sparkling, opalescent and pretty, undeniably yellow and youthful, Vraie Blonde is aldehydes just the way I like them: fun. I picture my daughter, faintly smelling of candied fruit, chasing butterflies and picking dandelions as she giggles, her blonde hair blowing in the wind. The promise of suede and curvaceous sexiness eludes me at first. This fragrance spells innocence – far from what the marketing team wants you to believe. In this case, marketers grab your attention and exit stage left. But wait. Just wait. They come back. And they bring the “x” in sexy. After all those flighty aldehydes waft off, what remains is indeed curvaceous, spicy, and sultry (due to soft myrrh, quiet patchouli and luxurious suede) – not my daughter’s perfume but mine, all mine.

Rien – Not a fragrance I would normally wear, but I do find it fascinating. A true study in contrast. Could be categorized as a skin scent but so much more than that – spicy, heady, intoxicating, with a haughty, religious edge; like spotting a dark, brooding, attractive man in church. You want to flirt, desperately, but timing is off. The resinous incense and labdanum negate the sex appeal for me, but maybe that is due to my Catholic Mass attending, sexually frustrated youth. What is left reminds me of a crackling fire, an off-the-shoulder sweater and a hot spiced tea on a cold winter day.

Encens et Bubblegum – Where were you when I was twelve? On the verge of adolescence yet still enthusiastically cuddling puppies and playing hopscotch, this adorable mixture of raspberries, peaches and lily of the valley with vanilla, incense and musk to ground it is so playful and sweet I just want to hug it! Although the marketing language mentions darkness, all I see (and smell) is cuteness and sunshine.

The Etat Libre d'Orange scents are available at Henri Bendel and  They range in price from $80-99 for 50ml.  I recommend luckyscent for samples of each!


Anonymous said...

Finally a review on all Etat Libre D'Oranges!! :)

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Why thank you Angie! Which one is your favorite?