Approach With Caution – Etat Libre d’Orange Sécrétions Magnifiques Perfume Review

A body of evidence...
A body of evidence…

What is the worst thing that you’ve ever smelled? For me it’s the smell of rhubarb boiling. Seriously, there is nothing worse to my nostrils than those large sticks of pink fruit bubbling away on the stove. As a kid I used to hide away from the kitchen whenever my dad made rhubarb crumble because the smell (which is the olfactory equivalent of white noise FYI) would permeate every fibre of my being and leave me feeling utterly nauseous.

What is the worst perfume you’ve ever smelled? Now this question is even easier to answer! I’ve smelled a good few stinky scents in my time, take Estée Lauder’s Spellbound for instance, a vile syrupy mess of florals and fruit that apparently has the power to strip nail polish, but that’s hardly the worse thing I’ve ever smelled. No, if I were to pick a scent that was the worst I’d ever smelled then I would pick Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d’Orange, and to add insult to injury it is a fragrance that INTENDS to smell bad.

Sécrétions Magnifiques was part of the original bunch of offerings from Etat Libre d’Orange when the brand first launched in 2006. Since then it has gained cult status as one of the most disgusting fragrances on the market whilst simultaneously earning a legion of fans who love and wear it. Sécrétions Magnifiques, with its accords of milk, blood and iodine, is described as being “as real as an olfactory coitus that sends one into raptures, that extraordinary and unique moment when desire triumphs over reason.” [1] Above all it is a “subervsive, disturbing perfume” [2] that really does need to be smelled to be believed.

(NSFW pic after the jump)

I literally have no words for this image...
I literally have no words for this image…

The Notes

Milk Accord, Blood Accord, Iodine Accord, Iris, Opoponax and Sandalwood

How Does it Smell?

First things first, Sécrétions Magnifiques really is as disgusting as its reputation suggests, but that’s not to say that it isn’t interesting. There are two kinds of disgusting in my opinion; 1) bad disgusting, as in badly made, cheap smelling fruity floral messes; and 2) interesting disgusting, as in a perfume that is as compelling as it is horrid. Sécrétions Magnifiques definitely falls in to the latter category.

Sécrétions Magnifiques starts with some pleasant (yes, pleasant) milky citrus and for a few seconds you are lulled into a false sense of security, in which you think to yourself “aww, this isn’t so bad” WRONG, it is. Just when you think that you’re able to rock it without fear Sécrétions Magnifiques throws out a metric f**k ton of stank and nastiness.

When I say “stank and nastiness” I am of course referring to the horrifying concoction of milk, metal and spooge, all of which is sweetened by a heavy dose of coconut. It is absolutely disgusting and despite the claims of the ad copy I would say that Sécrétions Magnifiques conjures up images of wet dogs in my mind rather than anything remotely carnal or sexual.

The godawful-ness of the smell is only matched by its nuclear strength and longevity, meaning that if you don’t like it, tough titty for you, you’re going to be stuck with it for a good few hours, no matter how hard you scrub. It will completely fill your nose and one small dab is strong enough to clear the room of all sentient life (I realise that I am being perhaps a tad over-dramatic here, but just go with me).

What I find startling about Sécrétions Magnifiques is that if you really smell it, as much as you don’t want to, it is apparent that there is a nice fragrance hiding deep down beneath the bilge. If you strip away all the disgusting notes you will find a beatiful and interesting white floral, and if you can stomach wearing it for long enough a pretty, and completely unique coconut and vanilla-drenched floral appears.

I don’t like Sécrétions Magnifiques but I do admire its balls (for want of a better word). It may not be pleasant but it is interesting and successfully achieves its mission of being a piece of high olfactory art, with a great big touch of novelty thrown in for good measure. Do try it if you can, if you hate it – that’s OK and if you can rock it – well, major props to you!

Join the Discussion!

What is the worst thing you have ever smelled?

What is the worst perfume you have ever smelled?

Do you love or loathe Sécrétions Magnifiques?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments box below!


Sécrétions Magnifiques is available in 50ml Eau de Parfum for £52.50.


Sample via Notes via [1] & [2] Image 1 Image 2