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Etat Libre d'Orange

Etat Libre d’Orange Perfume is a French Perfume company, and as niche as you can get.  The name means “free state of orange.”  The absolutely gorgeous and as elegantly nice as you could want Etienne de Swardt launched the company in 2006.  And when he did, we didn’t know he was that gorgeous, all we could pay attention to was the marketing hype about sex and sensuality and exploring places you don’t think you want your perfume to be going. 

And all of that attention got focused around Secretions Magnifique.  The smell of semen and blood, we all formed a consensus - it smells like a crime scene you should be furtively scurrying away from.  The normally infallible Luca Turin let us down, perplexed and otherwise threw the perfume community into a tizzy when he named Secretions Magnifique a 5-Star Masterpiece.

Well. Etienne’s motto for his perfume company is “Le parfum est mort, vive le parfum!” (perfume is dead, long live perfume). He formed it after working in the fragrance industry and wanting a company that could produce perfumes as it wanted without the constraints of, you know, good taste.

Despite the big splash, they have put out some Etat Libre d’Orange has put out some great perfumes, like his collaboration with Tilda Swinton to create Like This (tangerine, ginger, immortelle, pumpkin, neroli, rose, vetiver, musk, heliotrope, woods) and the abstract rose, Rossy de Palma (notes of bergamot, cardamom, black pepper, geranium, jasmine, Bulgarian rose, blood accord, patchouli, benzoin, incense, chocolate).  One of the original perfumes in the line, Jasmin et Cigarette (jasmine, tobacco, hay, apricot, cedar, amber, musk, tonka), still remains a favorite.

Etat Libre d’Orange perfumes plans two more launches in 2012 – The Afternoon of a Faun (bergamot, pepper, cinnamon, incense, immortelle, orris, myrrh, leather and benzoin) and Dangerous Complicity, inspired by Adam and Eve (rum jungle essence, ginger, coconut, bay, calamus, osmanthus, jasmine, ylang, patchouli, leather, sandalwood and cashmeran).