Sunday, February 21, 2016

Scents of the Week, Etat Libre d'Orange Edition

[Sample set was purchased from Sephora. No affiliate links.]

My perfume collection grew - I received TF Tobacco Vanille and Origins Ginger Essence for Christmas. Looking at my wishlist again:
Full Bottle Wishlist
I can't find Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise anywhere any more - have they discontinued it? And Liz sent me a sample of L'Artisan Tea for Two, which I found so disappointing. All spice. No tea. So those are off the list. I desperately want to smell the new Prada Infusions, but Arielle told me that they're only available at the Prada Boutiques, and the nearest one is a bit out of the way. I WILL SMELL IT, THOUGH. When it stops snowing.

Which leaves État Libre d'Orange's Fils de Dieu. I bought the sampler set from Sephora, which I think is actually a great value, compared to buying them separately as decants from other places. It contains 0.05 oz each of seven scents in EdP format:

Dangerous Complicity
Fat Electrician
Fils de Dieu
Like This
Jasmin Et Cigarette
Putain Des Palaces

which is perfect for a "Scents of the Week!"
Fils de Dieu
Ginger, coriander leaves, lime, shiso, bergamot, Jungle Essence coconut, rice note, Jungle Essence cardamom, jasmine, cinnamon, French May rose, tonka bean, vetiver, musk, amber, leather, castoreum.

Naturally, this is the first one I tried, because I really wanted to love it. I really want a perfume that handles that elusive, sweet, basmati rice note, but I could barely smell it here. I think I will try it again in the summer, but in cold weather, I get a blast of lime (which can sometimes give me a headache, despite my love for it), the enticing aroma of rice pudding...and then it quickly falls flat, and becomes your basic men's spritzy cologne, with just a dash of cinnamon. Really disappointing. (Do you guys have a basmati rice perfume to recommend? I know TokyoMilk has one, and I was also told that Kenzo Amour has a rice note...thoughts?)

Fat Electrician
Haitian vetiver, chestnut cream, olive leaves, myrrh, vanilla, opoponax

This one is more interesting, even though it's not at all my thing. Liz gave me a Voluspa Chestnut and Vetiver candle once, for Christmas, and this reminds me of that, a bit, although the candle is much sweeter. Chestnut is a thing that I like to eat, and...not wear. It opens up sweetly (chestnut cream, like the candle or a marron glacé), but with a savory edge, from the olive leaves. Like biting into a mont blanc that has an unexpected savory herb baked into the cake. The opoponax and myrrh come through - it's definitely not a vanilla base - and it's a well-rounded, interesting scent. Doesn't quite suit me, but I would definitely encourage you to give this one a sniff, if you can.

Jasmin et Cigarette
Jasmine absolute, tobacco, hay, apricot, tonka bean, turmeric, cedar, amber, musk

This one opens with stinky indoles, sour and dirty, as if you'd danced recklessly all night.The apricot contributes a tang rather than a sweetness, and there is the faintest hint of savory spice from the combination of curcuma and tobacco. Honestly, though, it's mostly a sour white floral on me - there are better tobacco-white floral combinations out there (I miss Sweet Anthem's Juliet). And this has the weakest sillage - I really had to work hard to smell it, even after directly applied.

Putain des Palaces
rose absolute, violet, leather, lily of the valley, tangerine, ginger, rice powder, amber, animal notes

Ultra feminine, powdery violet-rose. It reminds me of a vintage powder puff compact - all delicacy and sweetness. The rice powder adds a unique sweetness, and the ginger adds some heat - kind of that warm, sexy feeling when you brush your décolletage with a sparkling powder, and tighten the laces on your know what I'm talking about. I like this one, even though on paper most of the notes aren't my favorite. It's a sultry one, and I might consider a bottle, though I would have to be careful - it's probably only one I could wear in cooler weather, applied sparingly.

blood orange, orange blossom, bergamot, jasmine, musk, leather

Reminds me of Atelier Cologne Grand Neroli, although I like this one better. But um, to me, it smells like Fruit Loops and cut grass, without the toothache or hay fever. Which, hey, I know, doesn't sound particularly appealing, but it kind of is. It starts off with a zingy burst of citrus (blood orange), with a breath of soapy orange blossom - kind of like when you catch a whiff of your fabric softener dryer sheets. I don't get any leather. The whole thing stays spritzy clean, with a bit of creamy sweetness (Fruit Loops, dude). I think there are plenty of spritzy colognes out there and this one, "a nice scent," is neither the worst way to go nor the best. It is clean without being ultra musky or woodsy and never teeters into drugstore "man product" smell (have you ever smelled Dove for Men, for example?), so I do like it, but I don't know that I need something like this.

Dangerous Complicity
rum, ginger, coconut, bay, calamus, osmanthus absolute, Egyptian jasmine absolute, ylang yang, lorenox, patchouli, leather accord, sandalwood

Is there anything they didn't put in this? This is meant to be a sort of dual-take scent - a woman's scented kiss on a bad boy's neck, or the scent of his leather jacket on her skin...uh huh. To me, it does seem fairly unisex (in terms of the traditional scents - people can wear whatever they want, of course), and I don't really get leather or...anything else, actually. It's kind of a warm, ambery scent that smells like some of Bath and Body Works' offerings, to be honest - perhaps there are too many things going on and it all just reduced to confusion.

Like This
yellow tangerine, ginger, pumpkin, immortal flower, moroccan neroli, Grasse rose, vetiver, heliotrope, musks

I don't know how they do it, but many of their scents teeter on that edge between sweet and dirty, and this one is no different. The ginger pumpkin combo is delicious without being gourmet, and the yellow tangerine is a great way to add citrus without the predictability or familiarity of orange or lemon. It's sweeter and richer, less spritzy. The florals take it just to the edge of creamy-dirty (like sweaty skin), and while vetivers don't really work on me, I wish I could wear this, because it's so interesting! Spicy sweet, and it feels like the heat of your lover's skin next to you. Damn, vetivers.

There were some hits and misses, but I definitely enjoyed smelling some of them, even if they're not the kind of thing I could pull off (shakes fist at the vetivers). For a unique experience, I would definitely recommend finding a way to sample Like This and Fat Electrician, at least, and I liked Putain des Palaces, although I am going to hold on to my vial of Fils de Dieu and try it again in warmer weather. I also noticed that some of my favorite scents smell a little different out here on the east coast (higher humidity, I'm thinking), which has been really interesting to me.

Have you tried an État Libre d'Orange scent? Do any of these sound like your kind of thing? What fragrances have you been testing or wearing lately?