Etat Libre d’Orange Fat Electrician

With a name like Fat Electrician, how can I not be curious?

Fat Electrician

Fat Electrician

In Bottle: Dry, dry, and more dry. Strange how a fragrance can smell dry but that’s the definition of Fat Electrician in the bottle.

Applied: Smells a bit like baked earth. You know when you were little and made mud pies, then had to leave them outside when your mother called you in to wash up for dinner? Then you’d come back the next day and your mud pies were now pounds of dried earth? That’s what this smells like upon application. And–if you never made mud pies as a child–then the closest comparison I can make is drought-ridden badlands. Fat Electrician smells like parched earth and I can’t get over how weird that is. Weirder still is unlike some other bizarre scents from Etat Libre d’Orange, this one can be wearable. Especially as it ages on the skin and turns into this creamy smoky scent. Like someone burnt their breakfast toast as they were heating up their milk in the morning. Add that to the bizarre dry earth scent and I know it sounds so strange and discordant but Fat Electrician is wearable! I can see myself wearing this on a weird day. It’s wigging me out a little–though in a good way.

Extra: The one thing I can always count on with Etat Libre d’Orange is their strange mixture of scents. Some of them could be flops. Some of them are hits. But at least I can say I’ve yet to be bored by an Etat Libre d’Orange scent.

Design: Bottled in much the same way as their other fragrances. A well-made, nice-feeling glass bottle with a special label affixed to represent the scent. Fat Electrician’s symbol is an amusing crack at utility repair professionals. And that’s about as eloquently as I can put it using my meager language skills.

Fragrance Family: Earthy

Notes: Vetiver, olive leaf, myrrh, opoponax, vanilla.

I just realized how funny it was to describe this scent as “earthy” while I look at its symbol. Just Google it, it’s a cute joke.

Reviewed in This Post: Fat Electrician, 2010, Eau de Parfum.

Etat Libre d’Orange Jasmin et Cigarettes

I didn’t want to leave Etat Libre d’Orange as, “Those people that made that one perfume” since they are a lovely, off-beat, and fantastic fragrance house. Jasmine et Cigarettes is one of their many very beautiful compositions.

Jasmin et Cigarettes

In Bottle: Tobacco is very prominent in the bottle with this fragrance with a lovely heady bouquet of dry jasmine flowers mingling with it.

Applied: Tobacco, smoky and heady, with that mixture of jasmine. There’s something about this fragrance that will stick to your nose when you smell it and you won’t honestly mind it that much because it’s simply lovely. The tobacco hangs out during the majority of the fragrance, even into the spicy sweet mid-stage as a cedar note tries to come up. It’s tame cedar, and I am happy for that, as the cedar attempts to clean up the fragrance a bit but just ends up adding another layer of complexity to the smoky spicy personality of Jasmin et Cigarettes. I get a lot of jasmine in the mid-stage too, but it’s well-behaved and works fantastically with the smoke and spice. By the time the dry down approaches, I get a crisp jasmine scent with a warm amber quality along with remnants of the spicy mid-stage.

Extra: Jasmin et Cigarettes was composed by Antoine Maisondieu, who is known for composing other Etat Libre d’Orange fragrances such as Antiheros.

Design: Most of Etat Libre d’Orange’s bottles are the same with differing labels. You will find the fragrances bottled in a rectangular glass bottle with a very simple cap and an equally simple label listing the fragrance name and its unique graphic on it.

Fragrance Family: Smoky Floral

Notes: Jasmine absolute, tobacco, hay, apricot, tonka bean, turmeric, cedar, amber, musk.

I’m a little addicted to this strange little beauty. It’s got the jasmine that I love in it mingled with that smoky scent. Some days I can’t stand the smokiness, other days I can’t get enough of it.

Reviewed in This Post: Jasmin et Cigarettes, 2010, Eau de Parfum.

Etat Libre d’Orange Secretions Magnifiques

In a time when fragrances are pushed out the door at alarming rates, where the same themes are repeated over and over again, Etat Libre d’Orange takes a conceptual approach to perfumery and challenges people’s notion of what a perfume is and could be. Sécrétions Magnifiques is, to me, well–I could wax poetic about it all day but when it comes down to it, this stuff smells gross. Fascinating. But mostly gross. Secretions Magnifiques

In Bottle: Airy and light, slightly floral layered over something sticky and sinister. I read up on this stuff before I tracked down a tiny amount of it to try for myself and I know full well that its in bottle impressions are not to be trusted. In a way, it’s funny. Sécrétions Magnifiques almost lures the person in with this innocent smelling lightly flowery top with a slight dark under note.

Applied: Then you put it on, thinking that perhaps you’re the one person that might actually work on. That maybe you’re scent blind to whatever disgusting accord everyone else has been raving about. You poor soul. My first impression of this stuff was a rather innocent fresh and light floral fragrance with a bit of slick coconut. Then the top notes fly away and what you’re left with is a miasma of unfolding perplexity. My first and immediate impression after initial spray went a little something like, “This isn’t so bad.Smells like a very synthetic coconut, floral and citrus mixture. Kind of tropical. What’s that weird thing I’m smelling that’s kind of metallic? Oh. Ew!” Sécrétions Magnifiques continues to mount its assault from there as the blood accord floods right up with a a sharp bleach note. This isn’t the blood scent that’s essentially a sticky metallic twang present in some BPAL fragrances, or the coppery-like scent of real blood. This is old, dried, rotted blood that’s been left baking in the sun and fermenting in a puddle of bleach. Then it was run over a few times by some cars. And finally, someone took a congealed scoop of this rancid mixture and rubbed it under their sweaty unwashed armpit. Just because they could. This is a bizarre mixture of citrus, white florals, sharp bleach, salt, rotten blood, old fish and armpit.  I toughed it out for the dry down to discover that after hours and hours of you and those around you have suffered, the fragrance takes a turn (quite amusingly) for a  soapy dry down with a slight hint of lingering salty armpit–just a touch. Enough to make you nervous about whether or not you’ll get a second wave of that special mid-stage. This is not to mention this stuff is stubborn and lasts a very, very, very long time. Truly Sécrétions Magnifiques commands your loyalty.

Extra: Sécrétions Magnifiques is Etat Libre d’Orange’s prank on the perfumery world. There are people who love how it smells. But the vast majority of individuals who’ve come across this thing can only appreciate what it’s trying to do at best. It takes guts to purposefully create a fragrance that’s such a challenge to perfumery and what “smells good”. While I’ll probably never wear this fragrance, I can appreciate the fact that it’s unique and very brave. Funny enough, for a fragrance that smells awful, Sécrétions Magnifiques sells rather decently. People want to smell and own this stuff simply because of how novel it is. I wonder if anyone’s adopted Sécrétions Magnifiques as their signature scent?

Design: Bottled in an unassuming rectangular bottle with the house name and fragrance name and very assuming fragrance design on it.

Fragrance Family: Dirty.

Notes: Iode accord, adrenaline accord, blood accord, milk accord, iris, coconut, sandalwood, opoponax.

Sécrétions Magnifiques is not a perfume to be worn out to work, to a party, to go on a cruise, to go grocery shopping, and please for the love of all that is good in this world don’t wear it onto an airplane. This is a fragrance for fragrance lovers and the fragrance curious. It’s a piece of unwearable art that dares you to put it on and go out in public. And you can certainly do that if you are brave enough but please, no airplanes.

Reviewed in This Post: Sécrétions Magnifiques, 2008, Sample Vial.