69 Rue des Archives is the address of Etat Libre d’Orange. Archives 69 is the essence of Etat Libre d’Orange. This is a perfume designed to free the senses, to open the heart to all the possibilities. It is an invitation to pleasure, an ode to seduction. It comes without restrictions, rules or regulations. It is yours to do with as you wish.
This is the portrait of a lady. She can be seen in the feminine cameo, in the soft, delicate profile, in the dreamy image of an incandescent beauty. What once was shell has been carved in relief by a devoted artisan, to emerge as an idealized woman.
Jewels, too... an emerald, a sapphire, a diamond, what once was a stone is given time and affection by a gemcutter and becomes a brilliant object of beauty. In the raw state, as a stone, as a shell, only the extraordinary eye can see the inherent treasure. With time, affection and devotion, the facets begin to appear, and a gem emerges. She is a jewel, and she dazzles. Like the proverbial woman of virtue, her price is far above rubies or pearls.
Her value is eternal, timeless. Like a precious gem, she transcends ephemeral fashion. Like every rare stone, she is classic, yet original. She is unique, with her own special colour, her own exclusive brilliance. But beyond the glitter, beneath the shimmer and sparkle, there is a secret fire within the gem. Here can be found the richness of spirit, the tender heart. She must have a perfume that reveals herself as a romantic jewel, a fragrance that evokes her worth, her many facets. She requires a scent with notes that come together in unexpected ways, where the fresh bergamot joins the delicate floral ylang ylang, where a sweet tropical coconut can meet the bright earthiness of Clary Sage. Finally, a rich patchouli merges with a creamy benzoin, and she is unforgettable.
Bergamot & Italian lemon, pink berries essence, iris of Tuscany, ylang ylang, clary sage, coconut JE, vetiver from Haiti, benzoin, vanilla, patchouli
Floral, Sweet, Leathery
The skin is soft and warmed, yet in some spots almost transparent. Opalescent lily. Forsaking flirtation and prudery, the beauty reveals her inner self, daring to expose herself as she truly is, superlatively nude. It is the perfect moment. Ripe flesh awaiting to be picked. Undaunted, she casts aside the urge and it is now in complete silence that the fatal attraction operates.
A docile, consenting victim. The beast is actually not far away. He lies in ambush and, as the fine connoisseur he is, anticipates the moment he will take possession of her essence. For him this prey is named desire and he assesses her fully-fledged femininity. The fragrance soars. We are nearly there. It is soon the time when the heart will liquefy and shed its vanilla notes, when leather will melt into a balm and when an unrecognizable anatomy will deliver its precious, sunbathed and uplifting aromas. Blissful pestilence. Believe in the beast, this embrace has the taste of eternity.
How could one do without it?
Lily accord, bergamot, ginger, ylang ylang, jasmine, lily of the valley, pink berries, ambrette absolute, leather, animal notes, incense, vanilla
Sweet, Fruity, Floral
By its very nature, perfume conjures sensual collusion - between partners-in-crime drawn together despite themselves by its invisible, soundless siren call; between the scent and the skin that bears it; between the notes that conjoin to create a chimera. The downy bloom of an apricot cheek. The yielding softness of a white kid glove. The velvety warmth of a lover’s body. Skin to be nipped or stroked...
Once the aphrodisiac rush of ginger and rum burns through, Dangerous Complicity unveils this passionate pact between fruit, flower and flesh.
The apricot, tea and violet facets of the tiny osmanthus blossom morph into delicate suede. The coconut-white petals of jasmine betray a whiff of the Beast lurking within the Beauty. The tropical lushness of ylang-ylang conjures salty, sun-kissed skin. The smoky creaminess of sandalwood hints at secret musky places in the chocolate-dark undergrowth of patchouli.
This is the scent of skin on skin — or should that be sin on skin? — intimate and sexy, edgy but smooth as a swans-down powder puff. The scent of leather and powder, or rather: the softly scented trace a bad boy’s leather jacket would leave on the powdered skin of a femme fatale. The masculine yielding to the feminine in a fragrant folie à deux - or is it the other way round?
Rhum JE, gingembre JE, noix de coco JE, baie, calamus, absolu d'osmanthus, absolu de jasmin Egyptien, ylang-ylang, lorenox, patchouli, accord cuir, santal
A child can either charm or annoy us with the same ruthlessness. A child can be irresistible with his angel-sweet smile but he also knows how to drive us crazy. Under the angel, the faked innocence of a demon.
After the gentle top notes of orange blossom and marshmallow, breaks the unexpected accord of coffee, leather and cold tobacco, a shrilling symbol of our sleepless nights. True to his reputation of “polymorphic pervert”, this mini-sized tyrant is only happy when he succeeds in imposing his whims, which he always manages to do.
This magic potion, this instrument of transformation, could only be made by the crushing of armfuls of roses. Roses with thorny stems that yield lavish blossoms, lush petals, outrageous, puffed-up fantasies, trembling with the sweat of impatience and desire. Roses, red with blood, a piercing note leaving the flavor of fire on lips that suck the finger pricked by a thorn.
A bleeding rose. A candy rose. A rose that tastes of fresh milk, a talcum powdered baby’s bottom, a wealth of sugared kisses. At Etat Libre d’Orange, the Virgin rarely wanders far from the Whore. Perhaps she is one and the same. Warmed by the fire of this woman, the noses have embraced a fanciful vision. They have created for her a perfume of protection, a refuge on the battlefield of love. Defensive yet transparent, Eau de Protection conceals as it reveals. For her, a caress is demanded, while those around her are struck with awe. The noses have extracted that which is most profound in her, the essence of her. They have distilled her honey and squeezed the juice from her heart.
In collaboration with Rossy de Palma.
Black pepper, ginger, Bulgarian rose, bergamot, jasmine, benzoin from Laos, blood accord, patchouli, incense, cocoa
Woody, Fruity, Floral
Open a new scented path, beyond light and gravity
Newton, excuse us!
Legend has it that an apple from a tree fell on Newton’s head – and thus, the theory of universal gravitation was born. But then let’s imagine a different scene – Newton, asleep under a rose bush. And instead of an apple, a flower falls, an enormous rose, a fully scented, fleshy rose. Would he have felt it? Would he have plunged his face into the heart of the flower? And what would this mean for his theory?
This scent: A chypre! And a very precise and clear-cut formula, like something that falls on you, sudden and direct. And never leaves you. A trail of scent that holds on. Akigalawood and patchouli for a honeyed rose.
Newton, excuse us! Your Crucial Experience showed us that colors are not characteristics of objects but properties of light. We now know, thanks to you, that white light is a mixture of rays with the nuances of the rainbow. You also showed us that just because an object IS red does not mean that we see it as red. If it appears red to our visual perception, this is because, when illuminated with a white light source (for example, sunlight), its surface absorbs all the colored light rays that compose it, EXCEPT the reds.
So forgive us for taking inspiration from your Experimentum Crucis! You have been the inspiration and the source of criticism for so many. And as your theory has changed our vision of the world, we have tried to create a fragrance that will change the world.
Lychee, Apple, Rose NeoAbsolute, Jasmin Absolute, Honey, Patchouli, Musks
Created in partnership with the award-winning creative network Ogilvy Paris, ‘I AM TRASH’ is the first luxury perfume created by Upcycling; by using the trashed ingredients to create something truly beautiful. More specifically, by using exhausted Rose petals, already distilled Sandalwood chips, and even leftover Apples from the food industry to create the most beautiful fruity, floral, and woody blend.
LES FLEURS DU DÉCHET | I AM TRASH
THE MOST WANTED SCENT MADE FROM THE UNWANTED
By virtue of my mother, I am the son of a forgotten coast, far away in New Caledonia. At the mouth of the Ngoye live the Borindi, who have known since the twilight of the gods the great principle of harmony with Mother Nature: to take from her no more than is necessary while preserving for tomorrow. They understand the future of mankind, and in the shade of the niaouli tree and jacarandas in bloom, they guide our first steps into this new direction for Etat Libre d’Orange.
In the early years of this new millennium, when my children were young and I was a hopeful thirty-year-old, I took them to see an animated film called Titan AE. I learned by heart the introduction, which went something like this:
“Once in a while, man unlocks a secret so profound that it can change the universe: fire, electricity, atom splitting. At the dawn of the 21st century, we invented the Titan program . . . ”
There is a jumble of romantic and titanic science fiction poetry that emerges from the slow, sure, and inevitable rocking of wastewaters in the industrial cycle. We want to make this perfume a messenger, in service not only to the survival of the species which results from seduction, but above all in service to the planet where our own miasmas must reflect beauty.
We believe that a new post-religious “jihad” is approaching, coming from an often disillusioned and polluting West, and echoing a new animistic era. Those who have committed crimes against the environment are repenting, and democracies are acknowledging nature as the sacred focal point, meant to be shared. The beliefs of the primitive and ancient tribes are back, and demand our full allegiance. This perfume will carry a universal message: that which is dirty must reflect the beautiful,
“…and wash me clean of the bluish wine stains and the splashes of vomit,
Carrying away both rudder and anchor.” (Arthur Rimbaud, The Drunken Boat.)
Les Fleurs du Déchet represents a passage to the adulthood of Sécrétions Magnifiques. It is a counter-revolution for Etat Libre d’Orange, still noisy and disruptive, but ultimately functional.
Givaudan, Ogilvy and Etat Libre d’Orange have created a three-fold company in the service of Mother Nature, to offer her a bouquet of forgiveness and let everyone know – loudly and quickly – that soon it will be too late.
Dear world: Do not throw anything away because at the bottom of our trash lies the fermented distillation of great love. The garbage trucks hold flowers that can still bleed, the peels and rinds that can still give. The noxious exhalations have honey notes that can merge with the earth. And there are so many floating concretions, the trash that is thrown into the sea, and the natural waste, the ambergris, mystical symbols, the attitudes of primitive tribes – these must now be reprocessed.
To paraphrase and distort Alan Paton: Cry, my beloved planet, for the unborn child; let him not love the earth too deeply, for it is slipping away.
So before it’s too late, let us (s)pray to the god of waste, our dear lord of leftovers.
End of sermon. This is a messianic fragrance (in natural spray, of course.)
— Etienne de Swardt
Apple Essence Upcycling, Rose Absolute Upcycling, Cedarwood Atlas Upcycling, Bitter Orange, Gariguette Strawberry
The allure of vintage Hollywood glamour. Think Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich. This beautiful Jasmin scent pays tribute to the beautiful icons of black-and-white cinema smoking their crisp, long Tobacco cigarettes.
It is the era of the grand studios when Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich magnetized men with a Hollywood look in the eye, smoking a cigarette in a smoky black and white ambiance. Jasmin et Cigarette is the smell of a woman’s skin when she exposes her freshness to the dark seduction of night. A hazy atmosphere. The reminder of a fantasy, of an indelible trail she leaves on a dress at the break of day or in the intimate memory of the man who made love to her. It is elegance seen by Gainsbourg, the woman from the 80’s who smokes Gitane cigarettes and wears jeans and who, with astounding naturalness, claims her sensuality as a right.
Transparency in sophistication, just a trace of jasmine mingled with the so far neglected smell of a cigarette. Jasmin et Cigarette is the twilight zone, the banned, the addiction. She is an icon, the longed-for woman.
Are you looking for a fragrance that is uniquely yours and embracingly familiar? A fragrance that feels like being snuggled up at home? Then you will Like This. A cozy, skin-hugging sweetness nestled with soft florals and unique, orange citrus notes.
I have never been a one for scents in bottles.
The great Sufi poet Rumi wrote:
“If anyone wants to know what “spirit” is, or what “God’s fragrance” means, lean your head toward him or her. Keep your face there close.
This is possibly my favorite poem of all time. It restores me like the smoke/rain/gingerbread/greenhouse my scent sense is fed by. It is a poem about simplicity, about human-scaled miracles. About trust. About home. In my fantasy there is a lost chapter of Alice in Wonderland - after the drink saying Drink Me, after the cake pleading Eat Me - where the adventuring, alien Alice, way down the rabbit hole, far from the familiar and maybe somewhat homesick - comes upon a modest glass with a ginger stem reaching down into a pale golden scent that humbly suggests: Like This...
Ginger from Indonesia, pumpkin, tangerine, immortal flower, Moroccan neroli, rose, spicy notes, vetiver, woody notes, musk, heliotrope
Pardon our French, but this seductive boudoir blend of sultry powder, arresting leather and tantalizing florals is not for the Green. A sensuous fantasy that will ignite your inner Femme fatale.
Sheer sensuous fantasy. The powdered top note evokes a woman who dresses for seduction - a soft trail of lipstick, the rustling of lace. The intimate ritual of a femme fatale who sees right through the fragile armor of men. Her sophistication is intriguing, as is the commerce she makes of her body. Under the bitter-sweet touch of almond, like a secret that unfolds, comes a hint of supple leather, fluid and flexible, that introduces what is to come: a boudoir, fingers that tighten on a leatherette sofa and the palpable presence of raw desire. Doesn’t every woman have the fantasy of being a temptress in a hotel bar, of yielding to desire in the intimacy of a lift or of giving way to sensuality in silk sheet luxury?
For one night only, one thrilling night, there are forbidden pleasures and delicious dangers behind the doors of a boudoir. She is a woman of fantasy in a real world - you can see her, hear her, touch her and smell her - and then she’s gone. The thrilling moments may never be recaptured. And you don’t even know her name.
This is not love. But you’ll never forget her.
Rose absolute, violet, leather, lily of the valley, tangerine, ginger, rice powder, amber, animal notes
SHE WAS AN ANOMALY
Ever since its inception, Etat Libre d’Orange has been an oddity, a deviation from the norm, an eccentric in the world of perfumery.
We don’t fit the patterns, we don’t follow the traditions.
Etat Libre d’Orange is a study in contradictions; light and dark, decadent and nice, romantic and cynical, honest and ironic. No one knows what to expect from us. Sometimes we don’t know what to expect from ourselves.
Etat Libre d’Orange is an anomaly. We are different, our fragrances are different, their stories are different. We value this distinction, we celebrate it. And now we honor our difference with a perfume.
This is who we are.
"This perfume is the result of something unexpected. I played with Carto*, Givaudan’s AI-powered tool for suggesting formulas. I gave it beloved and familiar notes. Carto suggested an overdose of two ingredients. I took care of the rest."
– Daniela Andrier (Perfumer)
* As part of its 2020 digital innovation strategy, Givaudan Fragrances is thrilled to announce the launch of « Carto », our latest intuitive and interactive system that reinvents the way perfumers create. Carto is an AI-powered tool that brings science and technology to the service of the perfumers. It is designed to intelligently use our unique ingredients « Odour Value Map » to maximize the olfactive performance in the final formula.
Iris, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Fresh White Flowers Accord, Green Tangerine, Orpur, Musk, Ambergris
THE AFTERNOON OF A FAUN
Woody, Floral, Herbal
Did I love a dream?
The faun, a creature of sylvan life, awakens from his mid-day sleep and contemplates his morning’s pursuit of alluring nymphs. In his reflections, the chase takes on libidinous proportions as he seeks to satisfy his desire.
It is a beautiful memory – but did it really happen? Images fade. Those delicious sensations that tease his mind grow vague, and he cannot recapture the events. Reality eludes him, confusion reigns, until he is no longer certain if he is remembering fact or fancy. Once again, he is overcome by sleep, which can only lead to more dreaming.
Inspired by Vaslav Nijinski, created in collaboration with Mx Justin Vivian Bond
In 1912, when Nijinsky danced the story in Paris, he created a scandal. Shameless, the critics declared. The carnal subtext of Mallarme’s poem had become an explicit expression of a sexual appetite. The ballet went beyond the sensual to a demonstration of powerful virility.
In this scent, find the relationship between the suggestive fantasy and the seductive reality. Then go ahead and make your own scandal.
The more subtle, yet undeniable side of seduction: bold Violet, powdery Iris, wrapped in a supple leather. To be sprayed with caution or with confidence.
When the Putain des Palaces enters into a Dangerous Complicity, a relationship is born. It is a marriage of mystery, an uneasy merger of hearts and minds and flesh.
We have taken the best of two exquisite formulations, combining the explicitly seductive powers of rose, violet, and powder with the implicit perils of rum and patchouli.
What emerges from this satanic union of temptation and danger, jeopardy and passion, is a sweet and shocking folly. She sips her rum through rose-red lips and wonders what beast she must adore tonight, what hearts she must break. She is Rimbaud’s Beauty, and the man who takes her in his arms may find her bitter, but desire conquers fear. She dazzles him with the violet rays of her eyes that hold the memory of her vices, and he cannot escape. Because lust is in the eyes of the beholder.
Rum JE, ginger JE, rose absolute, violet, coconut JE, osmanthus absolute, lily of the valley, jasmine, ylang ylang, tangerine, rice powder, amber, leather, animal notes, sandalwood
Spicy, Woody, Floral
Made in collaboration with international fashion designer Roland Mouret, this “Little Fling” combines spicy cardamom and pink pepper with sensual nuances of Vanilla and Patchouli. Awarded ‘THE BEST Spicy Fragrance of 2018’ by Allure Magazine -- we promise it lives up to the hype.
IS IT A PASSING FANCY, A MOMENTARY CATCHING-OF-THE-EYE, A BRIEF ENCOUNTER, OR SOMETHING ELSE? WILL IT ENDURE, WILL IT LAST FOREVER? DOES IT REALLY MATTER? THIS IS NOW, THIS IS HOW YOU FEEL AT ONE SPECIAL MOMENT IN TIME. AND WHATEVER HAPPENS, YOU WILL MAKE AN INDELIBLE MEMORY. UNE AMOURETTE IS A LOVE AFFAIR - IT WON’T LAST FOREVER, BUT IT’S UNFORGETTABLE. THE NOTES MAKE A COMPLEX STATEMENT, FAR BEYOND THE SIMPLE PASSING FANCY. THE CITRUS OF NEROLI, SPICY AND FLORAL, BLENDS WITH THE SOFT, ELEGANT IRIS. THE SWEETNESS OF VANILLA IS TEMPERED BY AKIGALAWOOD, A SPECIAL DISTILLATION OF PATCHOULI THAT CREATES A WOODINESS. UNE AMOURETTE - A MODERN FRAGRANCE, BUT LIKE ICONIC FASHION OR A PASSIONATE LIAISON, IT’S TIMELESS. THIS IS THE SCENT OF A WOMAN A MAN WANTS TO REMEMBER, AND MAYBE WEAR HIMSELF.
It all began about eight years ago, on a cold winter evening, when Roland Mouret and his CEO Mark Langthorne came to the Etat Libre d’Orange offices, just above the boutique at 69 rue des Archives, Paris. They wanted to talk about a perfume with Etienne de Swardt, our creative director.
Roland was a fan. He wore our perfume, and in a British newspaper article entitled “Little Black Book: Roland Mouret,” he wrote about us: “A unique parfum company that produces the best exclusive scents with a twist.”
On that evening, we talked fashion and fragrance and the possibility of creating a perfume for Roland’s brand. And since we were drinking champagne, incredibly brilliant ideas emerged from the discussion. We were all very excited.
But in the days to come, when we were sober and realistic, we all realized that the time wasn’t right. Etat Libre d’Orange had just completed a collaboration for Tom of Finland, and we were about to embark on another with Tilda Swinton. Following his phenomenal success with the Galaxy dress, Roland was creating more iconic dresses that would become equally celebrated: the Moon, Pigalle, Titanium, and many others.
But we never forgot that remarkable evening and the ideas that came out of it. And it seemed minevitable that we would come back together.
We had so much in common! For both of us, collaborations were appealing challenges. Roland created collections for the Gap and Banana Republic. Etat Libre d’Orange has worked with the Tom of Finland foundation, with Tilda Swinton on Like This, with Rossy de Palma on Eau de Protection, with Mx Justin Vivian Bond on The Afternoon of a Faun. We collaborated to create Attaquer Le Soleil Marquis de Sade, and teamed up with perfume critic Chandler Burr to develop You or Someone Like You.
We both believe in a bold aesthetic, provocation, sensuality. We want our creations to enable clients to define themselves or become someone else. Roland drapes bodies — we drape skin. We use the same words: fusion, structure, magic, eroticism. We both have high profile fans. Roland talks about dressing to undress — and what better way is there to reveal the full power of a fragrance? Not to mention the fact that both our brands are creatively directed by hot, tempestuous Frenchmen.
Etat Libre d’Orange and Roland Mouret. We’re made for each other. Together, we have merged our philosophies, our attitudes and our identities, and created Une Amourette.
— Etat Libre d’Orange
Une Amourette is a no-holds-barred fragrance. It is not for everybody. It’s divisive. It will corrupt the fragrance category with its subversive positioning.
It’s a scent that makes and leaves its mark.
It is worn first at the pulse point between the thighs. As she moves, walks, crosses her legs…the warmth and friction release an intoxicating burst of fragrance catching the attention of the most primitive sense: smell.
Une Amourette transcends gender. It is neither feminine nor masculine but it connects with the innate desire to take control, to be unique…
And when two bodies come together, the alchemy of skin on skin and scent on skin is unleashed, and the full power of the fragrance is revealed.
— Roland Mouret
Once I had met Roland Mouret, I began to imagine a very sophisticated and dark perfume, black and red. Patchouli and Indole are the backbones in this woody/animal floral. The head notes are brightly opened with Neroli, while Resinoide Iris, Akigalawood and Resinoide Incense form the foundation of this story.
Do you know this adorable mademoiselle? She’s a girly-girl, clutching a bouquet of orange blossom and lily-of-the-valley, all sweetness and light and delicate grace. Like a ballerina, she pirouettes across the floor and into your heart. But this young dancer knows some jazzy moves. That pink-and-white charm conceals shades of gray. And when the innocence of fresh white flowers gives way to a hint of seductive patchouli, you know there’s more to her. Someday, her sparkle will turn into fire, and her gentle warmth will become passion. Oh, the sweet mystery of this precious child/woman! But all will be revealed when he asks her, “Do you..?” And she replies, “Yes, I do”.
The brainchild of Chandler Burr, discerning New York Times Perfume Critic and author of the namesake novel, ‘You Or Someone Like You’ is dedicated to his novel’s main character, Anne. Anne is a recent transplant in awe of the possibility that lingers in the crisp blue air of Los Angeles. The fresh and uplifting aroma beckons dreamers like Anne, like you or someone like you.
"It should be clear that You Or Someone Like You is not some kind of olfactory landscape painting. Anne is a serious gardener — I wrote a trellis of roses into her garden, I wrote in mint and wild grasses though the individual raw materials are in the end irrelevant. What You is is whatever you find it is. A scent you transplant to yourself. Synthetic and natural beauty. Possibility."
— Chandler Burr
Los Angeles. In this, the city of fallen angels, fantasy rules.
In On the Road, Jack Kerouac wrote, “LA is the loneliest and most brutal of American cities.” It’s the city described by Woody Allen’s character in Annie Hall as the city where “the only cultural advantage is being able to make a right turn on a red light.”
But they come, the dreamers, for the sunshine and the possibilities, to this land of opportunity, where hope springs eternal. Whatever they’re searching for — happiness, love, money, fame — the temptations lure them deeper and deeper into this concrete paradise.
Does Los Angeles have a scent? It’s impossible to say. But Chandler Burr knows Los Angeles. And Chandler Burr knows perfume. So we decided to collaborate on a fragrance that an LA woman might wear. And we gave it the name of Chandler’s novel, set in Los Angeles.
And you dreamers, with your dreams — you might flourish, you might wither, but you don’t give up. You keep coming, or you think about coming, and sometimes you stay.
Because someday, someone just might be looking for you, pointing at you, wanting you. Or someone like you.
“A few years ago I wrote a novel called You Or Someone Like You set in Los Angeles. Its central character is a woman, Anne Rosenbaum, who lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband, Howard, a movie studio executive. Like so many of the homes up the fantastical curves and canyons of the Hills they look down on LA’s Downtown skyscrapers and the concrete ribbon of the 101 freeway, across Mid-Wilshire and Robertson, the glass towers of Century City, and, on clear days, over the 405 to Santa Monica and the placid, blue Pacific. And always the palm trees, imported and planted in LA in the early 20th century, ‘just as I am an import,’ Anne observes, ‘now indigenous.’ Anne is English, born in Hammermith, London.
“As many have observed, Los Angeles is not a city. It is a state of mind. A strange amalgam of places and languages. Los Angeles is rivers of cement highways and infinite strips of asphalt, traffic, and despite or because of it all one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places on earth, a natural beauty made by nature and molded by people, cobalt sky and the greens and tans of the desert parks, ocean fog, the white and delicate pale yellow jasmine and honeysuckle flowers that grow up parking signs reading ‘Permit Parking Only Violators Will Be Towed.’
“This scent is very specific. When Etienne de Swardt approached me about creative directing a fragrance whose name would be the title of my novel, I told my perfumer, Caroline Sabas, that we were creating the fragrance Anne would wear. She is also very specific. Coolly crisply English, covered in but untouched by the silver, materialistic movie industry, literary, somewhat removed.
“You Or Someone Like You is not the ‘scent of LA’ or ‘the smell of the Hollywood Hills captured.’ It is not one of those olfactory synecdoches. It is, on the other hand, stylistically and in its technical construction what a Los Angeles woman would wear in my view. Caroline and I discussed this at each step during the creation process. It is contemporary, 21st century. It is LA, whatever that means, though in part it means the norms a scent would follow in a meeting at one of the agencies near Wilshire, at a studio, at a lunch in Bel Air or dinner off Beverly Drive. (The raw materials are completely irrelevant. The work is the work. If you need to know what it’s made of, don’t wear it; You is not for you.)
“My fictional Anne wears it; so presumably do thousands of other women. It represents her only in the way all such choices represent us. What it will be to you is for you to decide, obviously.”
— Chandler Burr
You or Someone Like You is a welcoming fragrance: neither off-putting nor strange. It is a contemporary creation built around timeless materials.
It embodies the women of LA — someone like Anne Rosenbaum: cool and crisp; once foreign but now indigenous; very exposed to Hollywood’s silver screen dreams yet untouched by its materialistic machinery. Anne finds comfort in literature, and the garden of her home, which nestles in the hills overlooking downtown LA.
The scent represents her only in the way all such choices represent us. It can be concrete, like a beautiful green rose. Yet, it can be abstract, just like an Erik Satie composition for it is a puzzle so mysterious that it is difficult to unravel.
The perfume invigorates the senses with its fresh, inviting appeal. One feels good wearing it.