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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Perfume Review: Etat Libre d'Orange Jasmin et Cigarette

A cigarette stubbed out in a pool of inexpensive jasmine perfume spilled on a table. A bleak morning after a joyless one-night stand, smeared mascara and a general feeling of being unclean and utterly miserable…This is Jasmin et Cigarette. Etat Libre d’Orange cite Hollywood glamour as an inspiration for the scent, but if so, the composition portrays the other, desolate side of glamorous life: the pain of rejection, the bitter taste of unfulfilled ambitions, the empty feeling of eternal loneliness…

There really isn’t much to say in a way of detailed development of this scent. Like with several other scents in Etat's collection, what the name tells you is literally what you get. Jasmin et Cigarette smells of, well, jasmine and tobacco. It is a great combination, with the dry-smoky tobacco adding an attractive husky quality to the sweet flowers. The notes go head to head from the beginning to end, without any sort of noticeable changes. Judging by the fact that the perfume is supposedly a homage to Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo, I doubt that the creators purposefully opted for making the scent smell cheap but that is how it smells to me…like a perfume actually meant to appear cheap and jaded, in a totally calculated, stylized manner. If that, and not the usual sensual-bombshell-vamp effect, was what Etat envisioned for Jasmin et Cigarette, then kudos to them. I applaud them for coming up with an olfactory sequel to Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.

The redhead will go home with her unexcited companion… To temporarily ease the ache of their loneliness, the two will have fevered and joyless sex…and the next morning the woman will wake up to the smell of a cigarette stubbed out in a pool of her cheap jasmine perfume, to the bleak light of another dreary day.

Jasmin et Cigarette is the one fragrance from the Etat de Libre d’Orange collection that I would like to have in a full size bottle. I would wear it whenever the feeling of absurdity of it all and the existential ennui overtake me…which is practically every day. Jasmin et Cigarette is available at Henri Bendel, $65.00 for 50ml.

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Blogger tmp00 said...

Gee. i wish I found this that intersting. I didn't get that walk-of-shame at all. I got a rather dull, wearable jasmine with a bit of Tabac Blond near to the end. It smelled slightly cheap, but not in a fabulous, meaningless noir affair kind if way.

Wish I got your reaction to it.

11:32 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Well, Rien is fabulous on you! It's only fair that one of the Etats would work on me too! :-)

12:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Kelley said...

M, your review made me feel sad. Just reading the review made me examine my own life and long to smell this...immediately! What is it about loneliness that sparks creativity? Seeing Hopper's painting reminds me that even though the group of people in the cafe are lonely and sad, the artist has placed the viewer outside and alone in the dark! (sigh)

Another one on my to try list.

12:02 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh, so well said, exactly! The viewer, in the dark, just as lonely...maybe even more so.

12:05 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, I think I'm going to put on something light and cheerful--before I get depressed. Life is full enough of absurdity without smelling like it. But I enjoyed the verbal and visual imagery, Colombina.

1:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I got a completely opposite impression of this scent - it's simply jasmine and hay, light and very agreeable. That said, it's not all that absurd, sweetie. It's in the eye of the beholder, so to speak. Actually, to be more precise, in our often stupid human thoughts which are generated by an organ in our head. I guess what I'm trying to say the heart, as long as there's love in it, is all that matters. Didn't mean to be this philosophical but you know me. :)

2:17 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A perfume that expresses the absurdity of life...I don't know if I need a scent to accompany my ennui. It is as much as I can handle on its own, I think, without a scent to amplify it. But beautiful (and sad) review, M.

3:50 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Beautifully put, Marinochka.
'Walk of shame' indeed, Tom...

I guess I'm not as melancholy, but I do feel a bit blase-
It's pretty, dirty, but didn't thrill.

But YOU, and HOPPER, well-
Well...that's a tale for another time.

5:45 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Wonderful, evocative review! Much, much more interesting than mine would have been since I'm afraid I get a rather cheerful image of sitting in a Parisien cafe w/ friends who are heavy smokers and one of us is wearing jasmine. It's *definitely* got a cigarette ash vibe to my nose and I adore it for that.

7:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, but of course, you are right. Here is a jasmine for you that is cheerful, sparkling with life like champagne- Le Jasmin by Goutal. I am obsessed with it :-) *sprays the blog to dispel the gloom* :-)

8:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I love when you are philosophical!

8:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't know if it would amplify it, but it would certainly compliment it :-) On the other hand, you might get a lovely, cheerful scent, not this Hopperesque thing I got :-)

8:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't think any of the Etat scent actually *thrilled* least not in a good way. But this one was the most wearable of them all for me, and quite interesting.

8:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I want to sit in a Parisien cafe too...not in a diner of broken dreams...*whines*

8:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Which one did you try? I hope it wasn't Secretions Magnefique. That one is capable of turning one against perfume in general, not just one particular line :-)

9:45 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I didn't get the Walk of Shame either, which made me sad. In fact i don't think I got much dirty bits at all, just a relatively tame jasmine. Rien was the real winner on me... but as someone (you?) pointed out, it smells a *lot* like something else, which I've now forgotten.

10:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Not sure about Rien, but the one that was just like something else was Eloge du Traitre, which was JUST like Yatagan :-)

10:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

No, Patty, I think, maybe I am looking too deep :-)

11:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Tsk! Everyone gets Paris. I am stuck in a diner, probably during the years of American depression. Just my luck. :-)

12:17 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Hey, I'm stuck in BBW, looking at the jasmine bubble bath...

You're right, it was Elogie.

12:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Jasmine bubble bath sounds great! :-)

12:51 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

M, what a great review! I'm afraid I'm in that Paris cafe with everyone else, LOL, but loved reading it.

12:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, R! :-) Well, I see it is just me and those 4 lost souls in a diner :-)

12:58 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic review! That Hopper never gets old for me, in spite of seeing it in every other dorm room in college (we were a would-be existential bunch).

I think it's interesting that someone came out with Cigarette scent at just the moment when the anti-smoking campaigns are truly winning (whole cities going no-smoking-in-public). Perhaps we are nostalgic?

But of course, they're probably all still smoking up a storm in Paris...

3:48 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! I've been very "existential" during the university years, and somehow it kind of stuck :-)
I too bet they are still smoking in Paris :-)

3:52 PM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

We're still smoking in Paris, but not for long -- ban will be enforced next year in cafés and restaurants. Just chuck that shabby-chic existentialist aura in the bin along with true chypres... I only tried JetC once, didn't get any cigarette (probably because I'm impregnated with smoke?) and a nice, but not swoon-worthy jasmine. I may just spray on the Goutal and light up a Dunhill...

3:58 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

LOL. That would be easier and and the effect would probably be much better. Gosh, I LOVE Le Jasmin Goutal.

4:01 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

very late, crazy day, and nothing much to add. Absolutely fabulous, evocative review--and I love that picture--but I have to admit I'm hanging out in the Parisian cafe with the crew:)

9:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Et tu Judith! Everyone has abandoned me and went to Paris :-)

9:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Solander said...

Beautiful review. I hardly get cigarette at all, and if so only fresh smoke, not stale smoke or ashtray. I'd actually rename it "Jasmine et Encens" since that's what it smells like to me - jasmine with a very refreshing, spicy/woody (not murky/churchlike) incense.

3:11 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Incense, wow! I'd love to get some of that too, in there.

3:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Elena said...

I bought it today. I just love the mix of jasmin and tobacco, and it smells very happy to me,in a bohemian, creative way, maybe because I love smoking Tuscann cigars next to my jasmin plant, that is blooming and smells very good, on the balcony of my apartment

5:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous Joye eGo said...

A recent development has brought forth the electronic cigarette, also called the eCigarette.

3:08 AM EST  

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