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.”
This is the portrait of a lady. She can be seen in the feminine cameo, in the soft, delicate profile, in the dreamy image of an incandescent beauty. What once was shell has been carved in relief by a devoted artisan, to emerge as an idealized woman.
Jewels, too… an emerald, a sapphire, a diamond, what once was a stone is given time and affection by a gemcutter and becomes a brilliant object of beauty. In the raw state, as a stone, as a shell, only the extraordinary eye can see the inherent treasure. With time, affection and devotion, the facets begin to appear, and a gem emerges. She is a jewel, and she dazzles. Like the proverbial woman of virtue, her price is far above rubies or pearls.
Her value is eternal, timeless. Like a precious gem, she transcends ephemeral fashion. Like every rare stone, she is classic, yet original. She is unique, with her own special colour, her own exclusive brilliance. But beyond the glitter, beneath the shimmer and sparkle, there is a secret fire within the gem. Here can be found the richness of spirit, the tender heart. She must have a perfume that reveals herself as a romantic jewel, a fragrance that evokes her worth, her many facets. She requires a scent with notes that come together in unexpected ways, where the fresh bergamot joins the delicate floral ylang ylang, where a sweet tropical coconut can meet the bright earthiness of Clary Sage. Finally, a rich patchouli merges with a creamy benzoin, and she is unforgettable.
Top notes: Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Citrus Heart notes: Coconut Jungle Essence™, Iris, Lavender Base notes: Benzoin, Cistus, Tonka Bean
We’ve given you decadent, we’ve given you outrageous, and now we give you nice.
We pay allegiance to the concept of a modest cologne. Not an ordinary cologne, not a basic cologne. A proper cologne that achieves the perfection of simplicity.
The Cologne of Etat Libre d’Orange is a tender introduction to our sensual collection, a gentle initiation into our subversive world. This is an adaptable cologne that showers your body with a fresh joy. It’s whatever you want it to be, and you make it your own. It’s an easy pleasure, a scent for everyone, to splash on all over and wear everywhere. We offer you a new and different way to experience Etat Libre d’Orange.
Top notes: Lemon, Mandarin, Mint Heart notes: Magnolia, Orange Blossom, Jasmine Base notes: Cedarwood, Patchouli essence Orpur®, Musk
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®
Some battles are worth a few strikes below the belt. Secretly, he tirelessly weaves his web of seduction - and his victims get caught with delight. Friends, lovers, whoever... one only betrays a loved one. True to himself and to his own desires, the traitor is cunning and crafty but at least he does not lie to himself. Like Lucifer with the face of an angel, he makes a virtue of cupidity and knows all its rules inside and out. He who kisses him is damned and yet asks for more. History is full of divine traitors who are looked on as heroes : who would be Cain without Abel, Cesar without Brutus, Cinna without Augustus, Samson without Dalila, Remus without Romulus ? This perfume is a tribute to all the Judas of this world. The price to pay ? 30 denarius.
Top notes: Fir, Bay leaves, Artemisia Heart notes: Clove, Geranium, Jasmine Base notes: Patchouli, Leather, Musk