The land of olfactory magic and beautiful collaborations.
Etat Libre d’Orange is like a fairy-tale; fictional world where everything is possible. But, that’s the premise of ELdO, the pillar of the whole story. It all started as radical/provocative perfumery born in Paris under the creative mind of Mr. Etienne de Swardt. He has very interesting personality and appearance, some would say he is extravagant, but actually, he is normal, intelligent guy about whose perfumes I went crazy. It was my desire to make an interview with Etienne and I politely asked my dear friend, Chandler Burr, to introduce me to the ELdO team. I believe that the encounter was fabulous, both for Etienne and me. Finally, I happened to meet Etienne in Florence six days ago and I think that is a beautiful start of the adventure with Etat Libre.
I fully discovered the world of Etat Libre d’Orange when I was living in Paris. At the boutiques where I felt my second home is. Even before my life in Paris, I was intrigued by ELdO. My Master thesis mentor at the University of Zagreb was fascinated by Sécretions Magnifiques and used it for his gender theory on TED talk. My friendship with him was an introduction to the world of Etat Libre. It’s the only perfume brand that can pop-out in social sciences because it has strong gender-based marketing. It’s known for beautiful collaborations too. They collaborated 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 Afternoon of a Faun, cousin of Marquis de Sade on Attaquer le Soleil and finally, perfume critic Chandler Burr on You or Someone Like You.
Latest collaboration is made with famous fashion designer, Roland Mouret. It’s beautiful, sweet-herbal-floral perfume that has gorgeous dry-down. Starts with red berries effect and turns into frozen wild fruits with herbal nuances. In the dry-down are soft, blond woods with strong vanilla presence. It’s a fashion scent, contemporary, chic creation, totally worth of fashion superstar. I need to admit that it became my immediate favorite.
I did an interview with Etienne. One of the most unusual conversations I did for a while. I like this man, he is amusing, direct and open and has something in common with Woody Allen character. I hope you will find this interview entertaining too!
Speaking about a new perfume. How would you describe it?
A love affair that won’t last forever but it’s unforgettable, it will make an indelible memory. A sublime Madeline of Proust, the scent of a woman a man wants to remember, “un parfum de femme pour homme” somehow blending fusion, structure, magic, eroticism and fantasy. Very aesthetic and sophisticated on skin, the full power of this fragrance is what!? Dressing to undress!
Who is the artist or creative director and why did you decide to choose him?
Roland Mouret, because we had so much in common and we both believe in a bold aesthetic, provocation and 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 than to reveal the full power of the fragrance? Not to mention the fact that both our brands are creatively directed by hot tempestuous Frenchmen. We are made for each other. Together, we have merged our philosophies, our attitude and our identities and created Une Amourette.
Do you plan to have upcoming releases in collaboration with someone?
Rock Hudson, Edna Mode and Gary Larson, Ray Bradbury and then after “je m’en irai comme je suis venu“.
When it’s going to be released?
When Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un will dance “la Carmagnol au Son du canon” (a French revolutionary song). Ce monde est sans espoir Juraj but it’s the only one we have… 😉
Do you have a budget for each fragrance you release?
Not at all. We are tragically generous on all our programs, we don’t calculate that much, we are still driven by emotion and fantasy not yet corrupted by the cash, one day we shall bow to finance and then I will do a fantastic sabotage of our state of Orage (not Orange at that time) and then a counter revolution will be necessary and kill the king of cash, long live the king, the samsara of our human actions is dramatic!
Did Etat Libre d’Orange have several levels of developing – provocative beginning, creations in the middle with less provocative scents, but interesting concepts and finally, the collaborations?
No, did you see the film The Tree of Life?? The answers, my friend, are in the wind.
You’ve created some classics already. Do you think is it possible to overcome those perfumes with new releases – with their aesthetics, spinning on the shelves, economic package?
Redemption through fire. There is something bigger and better that should be created by ELdO, something connected with TIME. More in 2018.
Is Tom of Finland gay perfume or not?
No. Far beyond that narrowing typology. It’s just the passion of the 70s and 80s that shall vibrate on all skins, for all sons of Tom that will repeat the legend of flesh… the erotic power of flesh and leather jacket 😉
Why Tom of Finland as the main character?
The cool thing is not men at work/greasy/lumberjack/sailor universal muscle men, the cool thing is the Greek pederasty, bowing to knowledge first; aesthetic over flesh.
Putain des Palaces – do you think that is the way the elite prostitutes could smell like?
Grande bourgeoise, semi mondaine ou vraie pute, we are all sluts in our daily quest or crusade for more power, the vanity fair obliges in our consumerism society of absolute nonsense.
Is Secretions Magnifiques a perfume or odor?
Crime scene, danger zone, let me in… RENTRE . Yes secretions magnifiques is neither a perfume nor an odor, it’s an injection to share delicious miasma and embrace the viral risks of your lover disregarding the consequences, a transcendental love perfume. Voleur de salive, this is what we are all.
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