I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat (Apologies to Tweety)
Review by Tom
Well, the old sniffer is back, so I have decided to test the rest of the Etat Libre D’Oranges I got from Patty (Patty doesn't toot her own horn about her decant business and she should). The first one I tested three weeks ago when the package arrived, and suitably scared me:
Other bloggers have written about this as the smell of sex. Well, not precisely sex per se, more like, ahem, shall we just call it nocturnal emission?
I really don't get that note: I get aquatic. Aquatic to the Nth degree. It's the Human Existence of aquatics. Old, stale seawater evaporating on a hot summer day. The smell of the great Salt Lake, or the funk of seawater under a pier, left over from high tide and becoming more and more funky as it becomes more and more concentrated by the hot sun. Dead shellfish. Acquatic distilled to it's quintessence. It also has the half life or Strontium 90 and is almost impervious to washing. If you have the need for it, by all means go for it. If you don't like aquatics, you will loathe and despise it.
Jasmin et Cigarette
A light, sweet jasmine with a bright hay note, subliminal apricot fruitiness. I get practically no cigarette at all at first; as the scent wears, I get a bit of the "tabac" that I smell in Tabac Blond (but not nearly as opaque, strong or interesting). This is very nice and very easy to wear.
Encens et Bubblegum
Incense and Bubblegum. The name and the listed notes (peach and raspberry- back unclean thing!) should make me loathe and despise this. Somehow it doesn't: the peach and raspberry is never on it's own, it's always mixed with something to take the edge off it, and somehow the fruit notes never get to that gagging instant-headache note that some cheaper peach scents have. I wouldn't personally choose it, but I could understand someone wanting to.
And they swing, they hit, they knock it over the green monster! Swoon-worthy notes of leather, incense, amber, pepper and cumin, this has both the drydown part of l'Air de Rien and leather in Cuir Mauresque. Later it has an interesting, almost burnt smell added in (I think it's the cumin) as well as a strange almost metallic smell. Were this at LuckyScent, my card would do that magical wallet levitation thing it sometimes does.
Fizzy sweetness with a salty undertone, like a champagne cocktail served beachside. Nice enough, but has the lasting power of that cocktail on a hot beachside day.
Je Suis un Homme
Bergamot, lemon then.. nothing. Much later a wan leather. Je suis unimpressed.
Putain des Palaces
Powdery roses and violets. The dressing table in the Madam's private quarters. Totally not me, but quite lovely.
Woods and lavender. Those of you (like me) who loved Annick Goutal Eau de Lavande and cannot get it anywhere should be very happy with this. Linear; doesn't do the dance between hot and cold that the SL lavenders do. Which is fine.
Wonderful peppery vetiver. Bergamot is in there as well. Their site makes a bit deal about the particular patchouli used and how rare and wonderful it is. It's very nice, but it comes for me well into the drydown and never really manages to muscle its way to the front. The black pepper, vetiver and bergamot are so nicely balanced, however, I don't much mind.
Starts candied, but still reasonable. I looked up the notes on the site and they list orange blossom and marshmallow, with leather, coffee and tobacco. Starts out smelling a bit like a cough syrup made for kids. Adding in the bad-boy bits makes it a lot more interesting.
Eloge du Traitre
Pine, bay, cumin, leather musk. I am liking this one immensly and immediately. But I feel like I may have smelled it somewhere... then it hits me. Yatagan. Less in your face, but unmistakeable. I love Yatagan, I really like this. I own Yatagan. Do I need to own this? Meh. Do you? Have you priced Yatagan?
That's not fair of me, really. This is definately worth a try, and the atelier should be praised for making it.
Actually, the atelier should be praised for all of these (sorry, Coney Island Pier, er I mean Secretions Magnifique I am not counting). They are all interesting, there's pretty much guaranteed that there is going to one or two that you are going to really like. They are actually far better than, and in my opinion not served by their rather adolescent marketing, which for me is just along the lines of a seven year old laughing maniacally and inexplicably at having said the word "poop".
These are available at Bendels in New York.
Labels: Etat Libre d'Orange