For twelve years, Etat Libre d’Orange has been celebrating enlightenment through an awareness of beauty, goodness, sensitivity and intelligence. Our house has welcomed humankindin all its forms, as long as they try to contribute toThe Perspective– the Renaissance concept of three dimensions in art which allowed for more realistic and profound depictions. And this perspective can be interpreted to extend beyond paintings.
Five hundred years ago, merchants confronted the two established orders : the Red (priests) and the Black (soldiers). They created a third path, cleansed of dictates, for the proliferation of the arts – and perfume. Etat Libre d’Orange honors the sons and daughters of the Renaissance by offering a trail of insight and alliance for their skin.
Think of Lucifer – from the Latin roots, lux (light) and ferre (to hold) – the shining one, light-bearing, like Venus when appearing as the morning star. Half a millennium to wear on the skin, and in its wake the majestic memory of the rose, the power of spices and the sense of something precious. The story of mankind delivered to you in a perfume.
Call it by its name or, more simply, by ‘Hermann’. Either way the people who compliment you are going to need to know which fragrance you’re wearing. A cool, sheer and woody blend that is unlike any other.
Who goes beside you into the forest on the darkest night ? In Victor Hugo’s poem, « À quoi songeaient les deux cavaliers dans la forêt », (What Two Horsemen Were Thinking in the Forest), the narrator says “ by my side, Hermann seemed to me like a shadow. ”
We all have shadows, even at night in the dark forest. You may call yours by another name : your invisible friend. Your conscience, your soul, maybe even your complementary ego. Your shadow could have a name, like Hermann. Or your shadow could be your perfume. This is your companion. You can argue with your companion, you can challenge your companion, you can test the boundaries of your own attitudes. You can debate the finer points of existence. But you cannot lose this companion, not ever. This is your alternative self. As you move through life and contemplate its meaning, you ask unanswerable questions. When you’re overwhelmed with uncertainties, look to your shadow. Maybe you’ll get a response. Maybe not. But at least you’ll have an interesting conversation.
Blackcurrant buds, black pepper, galbanum, calypsone, geosmin, frankincense, pepperwood, petalia, rose absolute, patchouli, ambroxan
An olfactive toast to celebrate those who defy convention, the Remarkable People of our Free State of Orange, you. Effervescent citrus bubbles over a celebratory pop of champagne and a spiced heart of defiant Sandalwood.
Remarkable People. You know who you are. For every epoch, for every era, there are remarkable people. In classical mythologies, there were the demigods, the offspring of a god and a human, or a mortal who was raised to divine status. An ancient Greek poet used the word demigod as a synonym for hero. They demonstrated strength and power, a willingness to face challenges and confront danger. In the New World, there were the explorers, who discovered unknown lands. They were heroes too, battling forces of nature to find new territories. And throughout history - scientists, artists, composers, entertainers - all heroes in their own way. New heroes are born every day. There is an element, or an event, or a circumstance, or maybe just a quirk in their personalities that changes them, empowers them, enables them to transcend the ordinary. They believe in something different, something better. They want to change the rules, break the rules, alter the status quo, in whatever grand or small way they find meaningful. They are on a journey, and maybe it’s the effort alone that makes them remarkable. For some, their efforts bring fame and glory. Many others remain unknown. But they cannot - they should not - be ignored. These are our people - the remarkable citizens of Etat Libre d’Orange, the Orange Free State. The “un” people - uncompromising, unexpected, unconventional, unpredictable. We salute them, we honor them, by offering the extraordinary fragrance they deserve.
Grapefruit, champagne accord, cardamom, jasmine, curry JE, black pepper, labdanum, sandalwood, lorenox
Created in partnership with the award-winning creative network Ogilvy Paris, ‘I AM TRASH’ (or in French Les Fleurs Du Dechet) 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 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 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.