Etat Libre d'Orange Tom of Finland
Etat Libre is an niche house with scents that range from raw and interesting to raw and unwearable. Their latest is an eponymous one commissioned by the Tom of Finland Foundation to help mark, well whatever. In any case I was very much looking to try it, since the notes of leather, tonka, vetiver and musks seem right up my dark alley (this dramatic device, for the uninitiated is called "foreshadowing").
The opening has a wild whisper of dark booziness to it, like the ghost of a shot of Jack Daniels, neat. A metallic rubberiness quickly joins in followed by a leather smell that smells a lot like the inside of the sort of boutique that used to be on Christopher Street or Santa Monica Boulevard before gentrification made them both become the be-Starbucksed, family-friendly, anodyne-gay boulevards they are today. There's a doublemint freshness to this that cuts the vague S/M aspect until the whole thing sort of collapses into a very wearable skin scent with a slight edge of leather.
As much as I hate to disagree with Patty I am left fairly unmoved by this one. Compared to other scents with the same notes it seems, well timid. For a scent that's supposed to evoke the whole leather-dude ethos Patchouli 24, Eau de Fier, Kolnisch Juchten or even for that matter Tabac Blond does this far more definitely. Do I hate it? No, it's quite nice. If it was reasonably priced and showed up at luckyscent, I might pop for a bottle.
I know that this was commissioned by the Tom of Finland foundation and that one has to be 21 or over to buy due to the outre graphics involved, but I have to ask, for whom is this intended? Real leathermen wouldn't be caught dead wearing anti-perspirant much less than something as nelly as cologne (don't ask how I know, just trust me on this), so why this wan juice for such provocative packaging? I think the boys in the Marais are going to sniff Secretions Magnifiques and think that it should be in the bottle with the hunky guy in the chaps instead of this, which could be titled "Ghosts of MePa".
I mean I like it, but at least on me it's way more Tom's of Maine than Tom of Finland...