PARIS — New French fragrance brand Etat Libre d'Orange has one aim, say its executives — to freely create products without taboos.
It's a target they're treating both figuratively and literally. The brand's name (which means Free State of Orange, in English) refers to a former independent republic in what is now South Africa. Etat Libre d'Orange's emblem is of a red, white and blue bull's-eye, and its tag line reads: "Le parfum est mort, vive le parfum" (or fragrance is dead, long live fragrance), a take-off on "long live the king."
The brand's fragrance monikers are also full of suggestive dichotomies. They include Putain des Palaces (or whore of the palaces), Jasmin et Cigarette (or jasmine and cigarette) and Secretions Magnifiques (or magnificent secretions).
The brainchild of Etienne de Swardt (who was one of the founders of the Oh My Dog! scent for canines that came out in 2000 and is an ex-Parfums Givenchy executive), Etat Libre d'Orange and its fragrances (whose juices were created with Givaudan perfumers) will make its debut starting in mid-September in a new freestanding store at 69 rue des Archives in the Marais neighborhood here.
According to de Swardt, Etat Libre d'Orange is "an homage to olfactive freedom."
He added the idea behind it is to amuse with fragrance.
"Fragrance had become too serious," said Antoine Maisondieu, a fine fragrance creator at Givaudan, who concocted the juices for Encens & Bubblegum (or incense and bubblegum), Vraie Blonde (or real blonde) and Jasmin et Cigarette. "It's like a presidential campaign."
Nathalie Feisthauer was behind the Putain des Palaces scent and Antoine Lie created Je Suis Un Homme (or I am a man) and Secretions Magnifiques.
For each one of the six unisex scents comprising the first Etat Libre d'Orange collection, de Swardt gave perfumers carte blanche to use any ingredients they wanted, regardless of cost.
Inspiration for the fragrances stemmed from numerous realms, executives said.
For Jasmin et Cigarette, for instance, which includes a note of absolute jasmine mixed with a note of fresh cigarette, Maisondieu had an idea of combining the two smells for 20 years, ever since a particular love affair during which both scents figured. Also some photographs of film actresses, including a famous one of Marlene Dietrich smoking a cigarette — something now forbidden in many places — and the idea of the femme fatale from film noir, helped spark the creative process.
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