Eiderdown Press
Musings about Perfume and Life
Etat Libre d'Orange Rien, Rossy de Palma and Noel au Balcon
Suzanne’s Perfume Journal
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A Conversation on Arabie

A Package from Christos: Greek Sandals & Oud Cuir d'Arabie

A Package from Ines

A Package from Lavanya

A More Affordable Olfactionary

A Week of Wearing What I Like

Amouage Dia (pour femme)

Amouage Dia (pour homme)

Amouage Epic Woman

Amouage Gold

Amouage Interlude Man

Amouage Jubilation 25 

Amouage Lyric Woman

Amouage Memoir Woman

Amouage Opus I

Amouage Opus III

Amouage Opus IV

Amouage Opus V

Amouage Opus VI

Amouage Tribute

Amouage Ubar

Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche

Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie

Annick Goutal Sables

Annick Goutal Vanille Charnelle

April Aromatics Calling All Angels

April Aromatics Bohemian Spice

April Aromatics Jasmina 

April Aromatics Nectar of Love

April Aromatics Rose L'Orange

Aroma M Geisha Green

Aroma M Geisha Rouge

Arquiste Anima Dulcis

Arquiste Boutonniere no. 7

At the Moment (Chanel 22 & Marshall Crenshaw)

At the Moment (Contemplating Change & Habit Rouge)

At the Moment (Marron Chic & Paris)

At the Moment (More Midsummer Delights/Epic/Geisha Noire)

At the Moment (Saki & Lubin Idole edt)

At the Moment (Secret de Suzanne /D'Orsay L'Intrigante)

At the Moment (Spring Pretties/Un Air de Samsara)

At the Moment (Summery Things...Love Coconut)

At the Moment (Vera Wang & Fireman's Fair novel)

Ava Luxe Café Noir

Beatnik Emptiness Incense

Best of 2009

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory

Bond No. 9 Brooklyn

Bond No. 9 Little Italy

Bond No. 9 New Haarlem

Bottega Veneta eau de parfum

Breath of God

Byredo Green

By Kilian Amber Oud

By Kilian Forbidden Games and In the City of Sin

Calyx by Prescriptives

Canturi by Stefano Canturi

Capote, Truman & Evening in Paris

Carner Barcelona D600

Caron Aimez-Moi

Caron French Cancan

Caron Parfum Sacre

Caron Tabac Blond

Caron Tubereuse

Caron Yatagan

Cartier II L'Heure Convoitee

Cartier IV L'Heure Fougueuse

Chanel 31 Rue Cambon

Chanel Bel Respiro

Chanel Chance

Chanel Coco

Chanel Coromandel

Chanel Cuir de Russie

Chanel Egoiste

Chanel No. 5 (vintage)

Chanel No. 22

Chantecaille Petales

Chantilly Dusting Powder

Clive Christian C for Women

Comme des Garcons Daphne

Comme des Garcons LUXE Champaca

Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet Nomad Tea

Costes by Costes

Coty Ambre Antique

Coty Chypre

Coty Paris

Creature by Kerosene

Creed Acqua Fiorentina

Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie

Creed Virgin Island Water

DSH Perfumes Bancha Extreme

DSH Perfumes Quinacridone Violet 

DSH Perfumes Vert pour Madame


Devilscent Project

Dior Diorissimo (vintage)

Donna Karan Black Cashmere

EnVoyage Vents Ardents

EnVoyage Zelda

Estee Lauder Private Collection

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss

Etat Libre d'Orange Rien, Rossy de Palma & Noel au Balcon

Faberge Woodhue Cologne

Favorite Fall Fragrances

Fendi Uomo

Fragrances for Sweden

Frapin 1697 Absolu Parfum

Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie

Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée

Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

Frederic Malle Dans Tes Bras

Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur

Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese

Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose

Frederic Malle Noir Epices

Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady

Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie

Frederic Malle Une Rose

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel

Ghosts of Perfumes Past, Present & Future

Gone Fishin'

Gucci Eau de Parfum

Gucci L'Arte di Gucci

Gucci Pour Homme

Guerlain Angelique Noire

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia

Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Exaltant

Guerlain Attrape Coeur

Guerlain Chamade

Guerlain Encens Mythique d'Orient

Guerlain Jicky

Guerlain Mayotte

Guerlain Parure

Guerlain Samsara Parfum

Guerlain Un Air de Samsara

Guerlain Vega

Guerlain Vetiver (vintage)

Guy Laroche J'ai Ose (vintage)

Happy Solstice

Hermes 24, Faubourg

Hermes Caleche (vintage)

Hermes Eau des Merveilles

Hermes Hiris

Hermes Iris Ukiyoe

Hermes Jour d'Hermes

Hermes L'Ambre des Merveilles

Histoires de Parfums 1740

Histoires de Parfums 1828

Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette

Histoires de Parfums Vert Pivoine

Hometown Portrait, State College, PA

Honore des Pres Vamp a NY

House of Matriarch Carmine

How I Store Decants

Il Profumo Cannabis

In Memory (w/mention of Lanvin Arpege)

Jacomo #02

Jacomo #09 (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles

Jean Patou Joy

Jean Patou 1000

Jo Malone Saffron Cologne Intense

Jo Malone Sweet Milk Cologne 

Juliet by Juliet Stewart

Kai Eau de Parfum

Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant

Kenzo Summer

Lancome Magie Noire (vintage) 

Lanvin Via Lanvin (vintage) 

L'Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

L'Artisan Parfumeur Orchidee Blanche 

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer

L'Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l'Aube

L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two

L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversee du Bosphore

La Via del Profumo Balsamo Della Mecca

La Via del Profumo Hindu Kush

La Via del Profumo Milano Caffe

La Via del Profumo Oud Caravan Project

La Via del Profumo Sharif

La Via del Profumo Tawaf

Le Labo Gaiac 10

Le Labo Iris 39

Le Labo Patchouli 24

Le Labo Poivre 23

Little Lists

Lorenzo Villoresi Yerbamate

M. Micallef Vanille Orient

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir

Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) eau de parfum

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau des Iles

Message In A Bottle 

Michael Storer Winter Star

Miller Harris L'Air de Rien


Missoni (original) by Missoni

Molinard Habanita

Mona Di Orio Nuit Noire

Mona Di Orio Oud

Mona Di Orio Vanille

Montale Black Aoud

Montale Boise Vanille

Montale Intense Tiare

Montale Patchouli Leaves

Montale Red Aoud

More Roses (rose cookie recipe)

My Heart Has Skipped a Beat (summer smells)

My Perfumes Have Theme Songs

Nasomatto China White

Neila Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling

Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps

Nez a Nez Ambre a Sade

Northern Exposure "A Dash of Chanel No. 5"

Odin 04 Petrana (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

Omar Sharif Pour Femme

Oriscent Pure Oud Oils

Ormonde Jayne Frangipani

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman

Oscar de la Renta Oscar for Men

O Tannenbaum Joint Blog Project

Parfum d'Empire Azemour

Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman

Parfum d'Empire Equistrius

Parfum d'Empire Musc Tonkin

Parfum d'Empire 3 Fleurs

Parfumerie Generale Aomassai

Parfumerie Generale Bois de Copaiba

Parfumerie Generale Indochine

Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique

Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu

Parfums DelRae Amoureuse

Parfums Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars

Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin

Parfums Retro Grand Cuir

Paris, je t'aime

Pascal Morabito Or Black 

Perfume Quotes - The English Patient

Prada Infusion d'Iris Absolue

Pretty Perfume Bottles 

Prince Matchabelli Aviance Cologne (vintage) 

Profumum Roma Acqua Viva

Profumum Roma D'Ambrosia

Puredistance I

Puredistance Antonia

Puredistance BLACK

Puredistance M

Puredistance Opardu

Puredistance WHITE

Ramon Monegal Cherry Musk

Ramon Monegal Cuirelle

Ramon Monegal Pure Mariposa

Recipe for Socca

Regina Harris Amber Vanilla Perfume Oil

Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc Perfume Oil

Robert Piguet Fracas

Robert Piguet Visa

Rochas Mystere 

Rome Vacation Photos

Sammarco Perfumes Bond-T

San Francisco Holiday

Sarah Horowitz Parfums' Joy Comes From Within & Beauty Comes From Within

Scented Reading

Scents of the Mediterranean

Scentuous Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Serge Lutens Arabie

Serge Lutens Borneo 1834

Serge Lutens Boxeuses

Serge Lutens Chêne

Serge Lutens Chergui

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles

Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre

Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque

Serge Lutens Miel de Bois

Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan

Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle

Serge Lutens Un Lys

Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental

Slumberhouse Rume

Smell Bent Florist's Fridge

Snow Days

Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure

Sonoma Scent Studio Jour Ensoleille

Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette

Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods (brief mention)

SoOud Ouris Parfum Nectar

S-Perfume 100% Love {More}

Stone Harbor, NJ Vacaton pix (non-perfume related)

Strange Invisible Perfumes Lyric Rain

Sweden Is For Lovers

Swiss Arabian Nouf

T is for Taxes

Tauer Perfumes: Incense Extrême, Incense Rosé, Lonestar Memories, & Reverie au Jardin

Tauer Perfumes Vetiver Dance

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Bechdel Test

The Diary of a Nose, Book Review

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

The Intimacy of Scent

Thoughts of a Perfume Collector


Tokyo Milk Ex Libris

Unlocking an Unknown: Webber Parfum 6T

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery Bed of Roses

Venimus Vidimus Vicimus, or How 3 Perfume Bloggers and a Husband Took Rome

Vero Profumo Kiki, Onda, and Rubj

Vero Profumo Mito

Viktoria Minya Eau de Hongrie

Viktoria Minya Hedonist

Viktor & Rolfe Flowerbomb

What I’m Lovin’ Now

Xerjoff Mamluk

YOSH Perfumes Ginger Ciao

Yves Saint Laurent Nu

Down-Home Mini Reviews of the Etat Libre d'Orange fragrances

Rien, Rossy de Palma and Noël au Balcon

(With Some Sweet Swedish Commentary Thrown In for Good Measure)

Recently I got a package full of perfume samples—all of them from the perfume house of Etat Libre d’Orange—from Swedish perfume blogger Sigrun. Getting a package from Sigrun is like getting a note from my bff who is seated three seats down and one row behind me in supervised study hall. (And I did once have to spend a couple weeks in supervised study hall, after I got caught skipping school and forging notes from my mother.) Not only does this package travel a long way to get here, but it is every kind of fun once it arrives, allowing me access to the brilliant yet absolutely pure and sincere way in which Sigrun analyzes things. Her packages spur a small flurry of emails in which she quite often impresses me with her zingy, one-or-two-sentence fragrance descriptions, as they are not only humorous but totally hit the mark in terms of what I smell too. (Her description of Serge Lutens Miel de Bois as smelling like “dolled-up earwax” has more than a grain of truth to it—and I say that as someone who actually likes Miel de Bois.) Even so, her humor is never biting or sarcastic, and her blog reviews (which really must be checked out at her new site Riktig Parfym) are by turns, funny, poignant and sweet. In a word, charming (as demonstrated here).

She’s the kind of girl who “gets me, so I decided to review three of the fragrances she sent by comparing them to my favorite country songs. Groan if you want, but country music really hits the spot when I am in need of a good laugh, a good cry or just deliciously entertaining thoughts. There’s a line in a Miranda Lambert song I’ve sung too many times for my husband’s listening pleasure, because it just felt so good to twang along to, “My cousin saw you on the street, with a redhead named Bernice.” (And then to wonder what it would be like to be that woman, Bernice, since redheads are often traffic-stopping kinds of women—especially the long-legged ones—and there is something deliciously old-fashioned about the name Bernice, and I like the way those two concepts collide in my brain.) I also love the old-timey, dyed-in-the-wool country singers who either cry in their beer (if they’re men) or issue curt ultimatums (if they’re women) and who wear rhinestone suits and white cowboy boots while they’re doing it. I rarely take exception to these songs, except maybe when Loretta Lynn sings “Don’t come home a-drinkin’ with lovin’ on your mind,” because it seems to me that if he’s been a-drinkin’ like a fish all evening, he’s not going to be good for much else, Loretta. You certainly don’t want him a-hangin’ your curtain rods when he comes home in that state, but lovin’ might not be so bad.

Ok, first up! Etat Libre d’Orange Rien.  When a fragrance takes as its name the French word for “nothing,” you know it’s anything but. Sigrun says of this fragrance: “Rien is a badass, to say the least. It reminds me of Bandit as it packs a lot of leather, but it's also different as it's very aldehydic (those aldehydes, go with everything) has more wood and less greenery. I'm picturing a woman wearing leather pants and a jacket with nothing underneath, driving her car at maximum speed in the woods of Northern Sweden.” And you know, she’s right! Smell this scent from a distance on another person and you get leather, a whiff of camphor that reminds you of a whoosh of cool air, and a lot of wood. Smell it up close on your own skin, though, and I can only say that Rien puts the ass in badass. Up close, this thing smells animalic and urinous, and yet it's coupled with an aldehydes-meets-mothballs smell that is so brisk, it makes one feel like there is movement … a motor somewhere in the picture. If Lyle Lovett smelled this scent, I have a feeling he’d be singing “She’s hot to go, she’s ready! She's hot to go right now.” That song is not exactly polite, and neither is this scent, and yet they both speak to a sense of urgency that sometimes takes precedence over aesthetics.

Fragrance notes: Incense, rose, leather, iris, labdanum, mousse de chene, styrax, patchouli, amber, cumin, black pepper, aldehydes.

Next! Etat Libre d’Orange Rossy de Palma. This is Sigrun’s favorite from the line, and I’d have to say that it’s mine too. This is one of those rose-and-patchouli combos that is supposed to be a fierce rose, but to my mind, it’s more than that. Forget Rossy de Palma! This cunning rose is the equivalent of a young Loretta Lynn singing “Fist City” with a big ole country smile on her pretty face. Yes, in the same way that Loretta looks friendly as all-get out when she starts signing, “You’ve been makin’ your brags around town that you’ve been a-lovin’ my man,” this rose scent starts out the same. It’s so jammy and attractive, you don’t realize you’re sidling up so close to something that might pack more of a punch than you reckoned.Oh sure, it’s a little spicy too at first, just enough to give you a little giggle, like when Loretta says “I’m not sayin’ my baby’s a saint, ’cause he ain’t, and that he won’t cat around with a kitty.” But what starts out as a sweet and pretty rose getting just a little bit sassy with some ginger and pepper, suddenly becomes a rose-and-smoky-chai-tea combo that will either put some hair on your chest or yank some out of your head. “If you don’t want to go to Fist City, you better detour ‘round my town, ‘cause I’ll grab you by the hair a-the head and I’ll lift you offa the ground,” warns Loretta. The same could be said by this rose scent, which is exactly why I like it.

Fragrance notes: Ginger, black pepper, bergamot, Bulgarian rose, jasmine, benzoin, incense, cacao and patchouli.

Last, but not least: Etat Libre d’Orange Noël au Balcon. I wasn’t going to mention this one because I thought, well hell, this smells like L’Artisan Tea for Two, and I already own Tea for Two, so why bother? But then I did the wrist-to-wrist side testing of the two and realized that they’re every bit as different as they are similar. Tea for Two is the smokiest of tea scents, with lots of ginger and honey, and Noël au Balcon is more like Ginger from Gilligan’s Island. Which is to say there’s lots of ginger and honey, and some of the same spices that I smell in Tea for Two, but in place of smoky tea, there is some very feminine smelling tangerine and apricot fruitiness, especially in the early stages of wear. Sigrun says, “I get hyacinth and saffron (though those are not among the official notes) and LOTS of honey. It's the equivalent of a red velvet dress for Christmas, the fabric is thick and dense but shows off all curves in their glories.” I say, I don’t get the saffron, but other than that, Sigrun hit the nail on the head. This is Dolly Parton, all sweetness and light and bosomy fullness, singing one of her darker numbers, the incomparable Jolene.

“Your beauty is beyond compare, with flaming locks of auburn hair, with ivory skin and eyes of emerald green,” are the words Dolly made famous about a woman so damn beautiful, she could instantly rob you of your happiness if she lifted an eyebrow anywhere in the vicinity of your man. I do believe that Dolly was pretty well-endowed, even in her early days with Porter Wagoner, but you can probably bet that she wouldn’t blink about going up a cup size or two if confronted with the likes of Jolene. In a similar fashion, Noël au Balcon knows how to fill a loving cup.

Fragrance notes: Tangerine, vanilla, honey, orange blossom, apricot, red pepper, patchouli, musk, cistus, cinnamon, nigella, amber.

Etat Libre d’Orange fragrances can be purchased at LuckyScent.com. But if you live in Sweden, head over to Sigrun’s site, ‘cause she sells samples and decants from this line, and she can give you a lickety-split summary of the rest of the Etat Libre d’Orange perfumes without breaking a string on any banjo.

Photo of Lyle Lovett was lifted from the site skalarmusic.at. 
Bottle image is from LuckyScent.com.
Videos are from the YouTube channels of Geepereet, kkilljjooy and jabbola, respectively.
And in case you were wondering, yes, I really do like country music, and lots of other kinds of music too.

Posted by Suzanne Keller, 10/31/2012.

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