Sécrétions Magnifiques

Etat Libre d’Orange target motif box and sample spray, with a blue circumcised pencil eraser.
(Best bachelorette party ever.)

Eldo’s divisive masterpiece has distinct topography.

At arms length, we go down a flirty Rococo corridor, powder pastel whispery blue iris, edged with coconut cream. A sweet pretty floral, like those sugar pastilles that taste of cosmetics.

Breaching personal space opens the boudoir door, and we’re thrust into the climax of an orgy–the smell of sweat, fluid and semen hits the back of the throat before we even see who is connected to whom, and how.

Plenty has been asked about context. Would this, on a totally blind sniff without knowledge of the name, still have the same connotations? (Can the innocent innately understand the scent of sex?)

The cloying milky-metallic ooze–with a weird side note of bleach musk–is instantly recognizable, quite loud, and long lasting.
Sécrétions does indeed have a magnificent time, for hours and hours. Perhaps there is tantric practice involved.

Eventually, finally, the earthy dissonance eases down until there’s nothing left but a sweet balsamic afterthought on the skin.

It’s kind of amazing.

Would I wear it? Absolutely not.
Do I keep it around to dare friends to sniff? Absolutely.
(Good revenge on my scotch drinking pal who slipped me that shot of Laphroaig–the stuff tastes like bogwater dipped in tar–just to watch my face.)

*

This cover is just wrong. Brilliant, but wrong.
(Like Secretions, very NSFW.)

Exit the King

Etat Libre d’Orange sample spray and box with target motifs, and a yellow paper crown.

(Did they toss His Majesty out with the bathwater?)

Awkward soap aldehydes that want to be fine milled French savon, but there’s something weird–maybe the pink pepper?– that gets fishy, in a sea foam at low tide sort of way, as if Thierry Mugler stuck his Womanity caviar finger in the tub to test the eau.

The roses are sweeter and last days longer on cotton than on skin.

*

He was a good king.

500 Years

Etat Libre d’Orange sample spray and white box with gold medallion, and hourglass with pink sand.

I only get about 500 minutes, not years, but they’re pleasantly spicy, and dry.

Earl Gray tea roses with cardamom à la Amouage that start loud and boisterous, then settle into cocoa powder with a peppery edge. Oud-ish sawdust on the bottom gives some structure, and there’s a bit of nice leather boot swagger, too.

Leans to the earthy ground saffron edge of unisex.
Pricey, but the projection is good for those eight and a third hours.

*

This take on the Proclaimers’ hit turns it into a brooding duet, with no less urgency.

Fat Electrician

Etat Libre d’Orange sample spray and box, and a power supply plug.

(Semi-Modern Vetiver.)

I love this stuff!
At first, vanilla ice cream, sweet and a little sweaty, with that strange metallic smoke of burnt wire, but wonderful–y’know the scent in the air at McDonald’s, when the shake machine blows a circuit mid-pour? That.

The singed plastic note grows into the middle–the vetiver, hot and ashy, but sexy in a smouldering way–for a nice hour inside cuddling space, before melting down to the most enjoyable myrrh for the rest of the day.

ELdO spins a nostalgic story about the gigolo who aged out and had to go into trade (yay for artsy ad copy!) that reeks of classism and fatism and ageism–NoT aLL eLeCtRiCiAnS!–and yet, because this stuff is so fantastic, we get a marvelous tribute.
The workingman’s ass crack made voluptuous, his sweat pheromonal–and who doesn’t love the guy who fixes the shake machine?!

*

Clutch has been rocking out for thirty years–

La Fin Du Monde

Etat Libre d’Orange paper test of bottle (with orange radioactive symbol label) sample spray and box, and seasoned popcorn.

The End of the World definitely starts with a bang.

Opens noisy, an explosion of salt and pepper popcorn that leaves one thirsty, then the minerals seep in, metal smoke and charred woods, and concrete rubble. The fallout stays dominant on clothing, but after an hour or two flowers grow on the skin, powdery with a bit of ash, soft and strange.

Weirdly violent, in a post-apocalyptic movie way, and hopefully not prophetic.

*

This is easily the best song on Achtung Baby.

Spice Must Flow

Sample spray and paper tester of amber bottle, with the ELd’O medallion redesigned with a sci-fi planet vibe.

Did anyone else mutter, “Fear is the mind killer…” as they opened their little white package?

I was rather excited when Etat Libre d’Orange announced their obvious hat tip to Frank Herbert’s DUNE novels. The classic series revolves around the politics of a psychotropic spice which fuels all interplanetary commerce.
Melange is described as a glowing blue addictive cinnamon, mined from the sands of Arakkis.

ELd’O’s tribute is not Melange, and the nerd-girl in me feels this could have been really iconic with the addition of either cassia or canela.
Spice Must Flow does have a good desert planet vibe, though.

Opens with an explosion of hot ginger-cardamom-rose, powder dry, that shifts between sweet and salty until it settles to incense dust on the skin, where it lingers for days.
The peppery notes make it very masculine–though a Bene Gesserit witch could easily wear it in a subtle manipulation for dominance–a rugged cardamom bomb with rose thorn shrapnel.

*

DUNE was an influence on Thirty Seconds to Mars’s first album.

Fils de Dieu

Etat Libre d’Orange sampler set, notes scribbled on test paper and some green cardamom pods.

(du Riz et des Agrumes)

Cardamom rice pudding on an urban summer evening.

Bouncy ginger and spice opening that eases to nice coconut limeade and hot concrete in half an hour, then dwindles to to the skin with amber and vetiver for the night.

Warm and easygoing and fun.

Rien

ELd’O Sample spray and box, and a medical mask.

This one is pure handsome-doctor-in-a-television-drama.

Soap and water, good leather shoes, a touch of medicinal anointing oil, get-well-soon roses and brooding hero amber.

I’d totally huff it on the ER resident with a stethoscope and good bedside manner.


There’s a lot of speculation about the true identity of Dr. Robert, but he obviously prescribed some fun drugs.

You Or Someone Like You

You or Someone like you bright edgy
Etat Libre d’Orange spray sample of You Or Someone Like You, on Kindle cover of book by the same name.

“Possibility in the blue air.”
Chandler Burr’s collaboration with ELd’O–in an homage to LA–is quite good.

A big fresh peel of grapefruit, then a mint mojito–with really nice white rum–and roses.
It’s bright and fresh and cheerful, loud projection and nice longevity, cool green musk at the end, kind of a Gucci Envy updated for this modern age.

I like it much better than the book, which is not cheerful at all, and has very little citrus.