Vierges et Toreros – The marketing metaphor is compelling enough: heady tuberose, the”virgin” in a bull fight arena against the animal, resinous notes of leather, costus, and patchouli, or the “torero.” The torero appears to win to the bystander, but to the nose tuberose is ultimately victorious in a passionate battle. On my skin it initially fares more like faint tuberose painfully losing with leather and pepper victorious. The leather note smells slightly of rubber. Tuberose when paired with other olfactory categories tends to disappear on my skin – one of the reasons I sadly cannot wear Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle. However, when tuberose is paired with other floral notes -- as in Frederic Malle Carnal Flower – it lasts for days on me. Based upon my experience, my first impression verdict on Vierges et Toreros? Too much torero and not enough virgin, metaphorically speaking, of course. However, after giving it about fifteen to twenty minutes to develop, I stand corrected. That small, creamy, white flower has some punch. The leather mutes tuberose’s typically heady quality and renders the scent downright alluring.
Nombrile Immense – Not my mother’s bottle of patchouli oil from her bell-bottom wearing, rebellious hippy days. Oh no. This is premiere quality, quiet, reverent patchouli for practicing yoga and meditating. The added notes of vetiver, opoponax and absolute ambrette seeds render this patchouli-based scent absolutely wearable yet casual and introspective. Vetiver literally takes over during the course of development and although categorized as unisex by Lucky Scent, Nombrile Immense could very well constitute a small decant purchase for my husband.
Delicious Closet Queen – Directly opposing on every level the type of fragrance I like to wear, Delicious Closet Queen is so repugnant to my nose that it is very quickly giving me a headache. However, I can imagine that some would quite like this blend of piquant violet leaf, tangy geranium and masculine cedar with strawberry, leather and tonka bean. I can understand its name, for it is a study in contrast; however, the name belies its sophistication. The fact that this scent frankly disagrees with my chemistry is unfortunate. Do not let that deter you from trying. I will be curious to hear what you think.
Charogne – I really wanted to like this, if only to temper Charogne’s ridiculous marketing message. Who wants to wear a fragrance of death? In this case, lily is the lightweight in an unfair battle against the metaphorical “beast” of animalic leather. To be direct, this smells like floral tar on my skin. Although slightly sweet, it is still tar. I would not be caught dead wearing this one.
These four do not stand out as my favorites from Etat Libre d’Orange. Regardless, I am detecting a theme. The marketing of these fragrances – their name, the vignettes that underscore their name on the packaging, and the animation depicting each scent – cheapens their outstanding composition. The marketing team probably wanted to present an original idea, perhaps a modern design, to attract customers. However, a sophisticated, classic theme fits them much better.