Etat Libre d’Orange is not ‘normal’ perfumer. Creator Etienne de Swardt says,
“I was born a storyteller and not a perfumer.
I wanted to take perfume on the road less travelled. I wanted to take a radical approach. The idea was existing for a reason, and somehow, at the end, it is a perfume house.”
Perhaps the most controversial of their scents is Secretions Magnifiques (Magnificent Secretions) – perfume designed to literally smell like sex: blood, sweat, semen and saliva.
de Swardt says,
“When I was a young teen I was worried about the AIDS crisis,. [Secretions Magnifiques] is very connected to the eighties and to the viral risk. I thought about doing a perfume that would smell exactly like the situation, where, you don’t know if you’re going for it, or if you’re protecting yourself from what you want. You are at the point between pornography and romanticism. You are lost between attraction and repulsion. It is a very dual perfume.
The perfume is designed to literally smell like sex: blood, sweat, semen and saliva.”
The perfume doesn’t NOT smell like semen. One perfume vlogger described it as
de Swardt says the idea presents a challenge.
“We go beyond the taboo. We make radical creations. We make declarations of independence. Each fragrance has a narrative.
The perfumery hovers at the intersection of beauty and disgust.”