This magic potion, this instrument of transformation, could only be made by the crushing of armfuls of roses.
Roses with thorny stems that yield lavish blossoms, lush petals, outrageous, puffed-up fantasies, trembling with the sweat of impatience and desire. Roses, red with blood, a piercing note leaving the flavor of fire on lips that suck the finger pricked by a thorn.
A bleeding rose. A candy rose. A rose that tastes of fresh milk, a talcum powdered baby’s bottom, a wealth of sugared kisses. At Etat Libre d’Orange, the Virgin rarely wanders far from the Whore. Perhaps she is one and the same. Warmed by the fire of this woman, the noses have embraced a fanciful vision. They have created for her a perfume of protection, a refuge on the battlefield of love. Defensive yet transparent, Eau de Protection conceals as it reveals. For her, a caress is demanded, while those around her are struck with awe. The noses have extracted that which is most profound in her, the essence of her. They have distilled her honey and squeezed the juice from her heart.
In collaboration with Rossy de Palma.
Top notes: Bitter Orange, Ginger, Black Pepper Heart notes: Turkish Rose Absolute Orpur®, Jasmine, Heliotrope Base notes: Tonka Beans Absolute, Benzoin Orpur®, Patchouli Orpur®
The curtain rises on a state at the corner of 69 rue des Archives, in the Marais, Paris. A place that is like a frontier, where the old world ends and the new world begins. The pale moon can be seen lowering over the towers of Notre Dame in the distance. A man and a woman are in a perfumery, surrounded by bottles. He has yielded in submission to a fallen sovereign and is condemned to the ultimate fate. She is the new soul, the new role, she is desirable and she has conquered. She is the denunciation, a touch condescending. The fluttering of her eyelashes declares she is the one whose hour of glory has arrived, a scent testing blotter in hand.
The date is November 16, 2019.
"- EXIT THE KING, a perfume to dream of entropy? Etienne, you're rambling, you have finally lost your mind. Entropy has nothing to do with perfume.
- Yes Lola, you heard correctly. EXIT THE KING, a perfume to dream about entropy. Don’t you think entropy is nice?
- Perched on the scaffold before the guillotine, you speak these three words like a farewell to the troubled world.
- There's nothing for you to understand, innocent child. This is about making a perfume like a Loire castle, a perfume that could rise higher than the castle of Blois, higher than the terrace where the last Valois watched the sun set in its glory. And then disappear, die, as if by magic before the fall. With the whisper of a kiss at the moment of its glory, and then a humble return to something else. A perfume of magnificence, love and goodness for the new world, and of forgetting the old and overwhelming powers. Resolutely chypre.
- Welcome to the new world, you mean?
- Yes Lola, provided it's modern and eternally chypre like this perfume."
EXIT THE KING.
Top notes: Timur JE™, Soap Foam Accord (Aldehydes & Musk), Pink Pepper JE™ Heart notes: Jasmine e-pure JE™, Rose Superessence, Lily-of-the-valley Accord Base notes: Patchouli, Moss Absolute, Sandalwood Accord & Orcanox™
Who goes beside you into the forest on the darkest night ? In Victor Hugo’s poem, « À quoi songeaient les deux cavaliers dans la forêt », (What Two Horsemen Were Thinking in the Forest), the narrator says “ by my side, Hermann seemed to me like a shadow. ”
We all have shadows, even at night in the dark forest. You may call yours by another name : your invisible friend. Your conscience, your soul, maybe even your complementary ego. Your shadow could have a name, like Hermann. Or your shadow could be your perfume. This is your companion. You can argue with your companion, you can challenge your companion, you can test the boundaries of your own attitudes. You can debate the finer points of existence. But you cannot lose this companion, not ever. This is your alternative self. As you move through life and contemplate its meaning, you ask unanswerable questions. When you’re overwhelmed with uncertainties, look to your shadow. Maybe you’ll get a response. Maybe not. But at least you’ll have an interesting conversation.
The night was so black and the forest very dark. By my side, Hermann seemed to me like a shadow. Our horses were galloping. Guardians of god ! The clouds in the sky looked like marble. The stars flew through the branches of the trees Like a swarm of firebirds.
I am full of regrets. Broken by suffering, Hermann’s deep spirit is empty of hope. I am full of regrets. Oh my loves, sleep! Yet, while traveling through the green solitude, Hermann says to me: “ I am thinking about half-opened graves. ” And I say to him : “ I think of closed tombs. ”
He looks ahead : I Iook back, Our horses gallop across the clearing ; The wind brings to us from far away the sound of the angelus bell ; he says : “ I think of those who are afflicted by existence, Of those who are, those who live ”. “ Me, ” I say to him, “ I think of those who are no longer ! ”
The fountains are singing. What do the fountains say ? The oaks are murmuring. What do the oaks murmur ? The bushes are whispering like old friends. Hermann says to me, “ The living never doze. At this moment, some eyes cry, other eyes are awake. ” And I say to him, “ Alas ! Other eyes are asleep ! ”
Hermann then continues. “ Misfortune, that’s life. The dead no longer suffer. They are happy ! I envy Their graves where grass grows, where trees shed their leaves. Because the night caresses them with soft flames ; Because the sky beams peace upon all their souls In all the tombs at the same time !
And I say to him, “ Be quiet! Respect the black mystery ! The dead are lying in the ground under our feet. The dead, these are the hearts that once loved you This is your expired angel ! This is your father and your mother ! Do not dismay them through bitter irony. As in a dream, they hear our voices. ”
Top notes: Black Pepper, Galbanum, Blackcurrant Heart notes: Incense, Geosmine, Rose Absolute Base notes: Vetiver, Patchouli, Ambroxan
Open a new scented path, beyond light and gravity newton, excuse us!
Legend has it that an apple from a tree fell on Newton’s head – and thus, the theory of universal gravitation was born. But then let’s imagine a different scene – Newton, asleep under a rose bush. And instead of an apple, a flower falls, an enormous rose, a fully scented, fleshy rose. Would he have felt it? Would he have plunged his face into the heart of the flower? And what would this mean for his theory?
This scent: A chypre! And a very precise and clear-cut formula, like something that falls on you, sudden and direct. And never leaves you. A trail of scent that holds on. Akigalawood and patchouli for a honeyed rose.
Newton, excuse us! Your Crucial Experience showed us that colors are not characteristics of objects but properties of light. We now know, thanks to you, that white light is a mixture of rays with the nuances of the rainbow. You also showed us that just because an object IS red does not mean that we see it as red. If it appears red to our visual perception, this is because, when illuminated with a white light source (for example, sunlight), its surface absorbs all the colored light rays that compose it, EXCEPT the reds.
So forgive us for taking inspiration from your Experimentum Crucis! You have been the inspiration and the source of criticism for so many. And as your theory has changed our vision of the world, we have tried to create a fragrance that will change the world.
Los Angeles. In this, the city of fallen angels, fantasy rules.
In On the Road, Jack Kerouac wrote, “LA is the loneliest and most brutal of American cities.” It’s the city described by Woody Allen’s character in Annie Hall as the city where “the only cultural advantage is being able to make a right turn on a red light.”
But they come, the dreamers, for the sunshine and the possibilities, to this land of opportunity, where hope springs eternal. Whatever they’re searching for — happiness, love, money, fame — the temptations lure them deeper and deeper into this concrete paradise.
Does Los Angeles have a scent? It’s impossible to say. But Chandler Burr knows Los Angeles. And Chandler Burr knows perfume. So we decided to collaborate on a fragrance that an LA woman might wear. And we gave it the name of Chandler’s novel, set in Los Angeles.
And you dreamers, with your dreams — you might flourish, you might wither, but you don’t give up. You keep coming, or you think about coming, and sometimes you stay.
Because someday, someone just might be looking for you, pointing at you, wanting you. Or someone like you.
“A few years ago I wrote a novel called You Or Someone Like You set in Los Angeles. Its central character is a woman, Anne Rosenbaum, who lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband, Howard, a movie studio executive. Like so many of the homes up the fantastical curves and canyons of the Hills they look down on LA’s Downtown skyscrapers and the concrete ribbon of the 101 freeway, across Mid-Wilshire and Robertson, the glass towers of Century City, and, on clear days, over the 405 to Santa Monica and the placid, blue Pacific. And always the palm trees, imported and planted in LA in the early 20th century, ‘just as I am an import,’ Anne observes, ‘now indigenous.’ Anne is English, born in Hammersmith, London.
“As many have observed, Los Angeles is not a city. It is a state of mind. A strange amalgam of places and languages. Los Angeles is rivers of cement highways and infinite strips of asphalt, traffic, and despite or because of it all one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places on earth, a natural beauty made by nature and molded by people, cobalt sky and the greens and tans of the desert parks, ocean fog, the white and delicate pale yellow jasmine and honeysuckle flowers that grow up parking signs reading ‘Permit Parking Only Violators Will Be Towed.’
“This scent is very specific. When Etienne de Swardt approached me about creative directing a fragrance whose name would be the title of my novel, I told my perfumer, Caroline Sabas, that we were creating the fragrance Anne would wear. She is also very specific. Coolly crisply English, covered in but untouched by the silver, materialistic movie industry, literary, somewhat removed.
“You Or Someone Like You is not the ‘scent of LA’ or ‘the smell of the Hollywood Hills captured.’ It is not one of those olfactory synecdoches. It is, on the other hand, stylistically and in its technical construction what a Los Angeles woman would wear in my view. Caroline and I discussed this at each step during the creation process. It is contemporary, 21st century. It is LA, whatever that means, though in part it means the norms a scent would follow in a meeting at one of the agencies near Wilshire, at a studio, at a lunch in Bel Air or dinner off Beverly Drive. (The raw materials are completely irrelevant. The work is the work. If you need to know what it’s made of, don’t wear it; You is not for you.)
“My fictional Anne wears it; so presumably do thousands of other women. It represents her only in the way all such choices represent us. What it will be to you is for you to decide, obviously.”
— Chandler Burr
You or Someone Like You is a welcoming fragrance: neither off-putting nor strange. It is a contemporary creation built around timeless materials.
It embodies the women of LA — someone like Anne Rosenbaum: cool and crisp; once foreign but now indigenous; very exposed to Hollywood’s silver screen dreams yet untouched by its materialistic machinery. Anne finds comfort in literature, and the garden of her home, which nestles in the hills overlooking downtown LA.
The scent represents her only in the way all such choices represent us. It can be concrete, like a beautiful green rose. Yet, it can be abstract, just like an Erik Satie composition for it is a puzzle so mysterious that it is difficult to unravel.
The perfume invigorates the senses with its fresh, inviting appeal. One feels good wearing it.
— The Perfumer
“The raw materials are completely irrelevant. The work is the work. If you need to know what it’s made of, don’t wear it; You is not for you.”