Etat Libre d’Orange is easily one of my favourite perfume brands. I adore their punkish, renegade and often rude approach to perfume and unlike so many niche houses their gimmick comes with a ton of substance, meaning that the vast majority of their scents are unique and expertly crafted. Their offerings range from the fascinating yet vile Sécrétions Magnifiques to the heartbreaking beauty of The Afternoon of a Faun, and all that is in between pretty much rocks too.
With their rebellious past in mind, it is interesting to see that their upcoming launch for May 2014 ‘La Cologne‘ (or ‘Cologne‘ as it also seems to be named) is billed as “a nice scent”. Very few details about the scent are known, but one can’t help but wonder whether those punky rebels over at the Orange Free State are turning over a new leaf, one where they wish to accomodate the tastes of all perfume lovers, even those that prefer something a little bit cleaner.
In a recent interview for Basenotes, Etat Libre d’Orange founder Etienne de Swardt told perfume writer Persolaise that he wants to “move the brand to a new era” and that he has to “reinvent Etat Libre d’Orange a little bit”. Does this mean that the brand will move away from ruffling olfactory feathers entirely? Or will it mean that we simply see a shift in the way that the brand presents itself? Only time will tell.
But the fact that the people who put the essence of Delicious Closet Queens and Tom of Finland into bottles is now doing a cologne isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Take Thierry Mugler’s Cologne for example – a perfume that comes from a brand that delights in the excess and manages to maintain some of the house’s space age (and unsettling) signature in a fresh, easy to wear cologne.
‘Cologne’ doesn’t necessarily mean safe or boring and if Etat Libre d’Orange’s reputation is to go by, this new ‘nicer’ perfume will perhaps have its fair share of humorous twists that will both entertain and shock. I for one, look forward to trying it, even if I do prefer it when they are being naughty rather than when they are trying to be nice.
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What do you think of Etat Libre d’Orange, the world’s most divisive perfume brand?
Are you looking forward to La Cologne/Cologne?
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Images via Etat Libre d’Orange’s Facebook Page.