To attack the sun, to drive it from the universe, to create perpetual darkness – what an outrageous proposition! But Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade, was an outrageous man.
He took on many roles: writer, revolutionary, philosopher, libertine. He disdained the social norms and he demanded unrestrained freedom. He questioned every assumption about love, beauty, even violence, and he ignored the taboos. He wanted to attack the sun and ignite the world, liberate us from our preconceptions, break down the barriers which keep us from accepting our own desires. We identify with him, because we try to do the same. Which is why Etat Libre d’Orange has chosen to celebrate a man who celebrated extremes. We have invited the Marquis de Sade to join our family of outrageous perfumes. He has accepted with pleasure . . . and maybe a little pain.
Etat Libre d’Orange and the Marquis de Sade. It’s a marriage made in heaven, or possibly in hell. Either way, it works. Together, we launch an assault on the sun.
To read Sade is to take a risk — one is suddenly forced to face one’s self, exposed. It’s a wonderful risk to take if you want to plunge yourself into the heart and the body of humanity. Because Sade liberates. He pushes us to imagine and to desire, far beyond the boundaries which saturate our perspective.
“How many times, dear God, have I not longed to be able to attack the sun, snatch it out of the sky, create a general darkness, or use that star to ignite the world.” As a creator of perfume, how could I open my perspective, imagine beyond my limitations? A very personal question. The cistus! One of my paradoxes. One of my gray areas.
I have always recoiled from the cistus, I’ve avoided it or hidden it under thick layers of vanilla and amber as a way of escaping it. This is why I have made myself confront a radical formula: the cistus, exposed, and in all its states. My dear Marquis: here’s to your suns, to our volcanoes!
— Quentin Bisch, perfumer
From the depths of his prisons, Sade constantly reminded his contemporaries — and all men — of his injunction to go beyond compromise, to overcome conformity, and to always put freedom rst. To be yourself, without suffering the judgment of others; to be yourself and to live as you want to live… “All human happiness is in the imagination,” Sade reminds us. Sade was the freest man who ever lived. Sade is desire and passion, strength and tenderness, provocation and sensuality. His scent is the same: in nitely volcanic. Like his perfume, Sade cannot be banished, reduced to silence, made to disappear. He is there, always there: unforgettable. This is an eternal fragrance that endures just as his thought endures, beyond time.
The skin is soft and warmed, yet in some spots almost transparent. Opalescent lily. Forsaking flirtation and prudery, the beauty reveals her inner self, daring to expose herself as she truly is, superlatively nude. It is the perfect moment. Ripe flesh awaiting to be picked. Undaunted, she casts aside the urge and it is now in complete silence that the fatal attraction operates.
A docile, consenting victim. The beast is actually not far away. He lies in ambush and, as the fine connoisseur he is, anticipates the moment he will take possession of her essence. For him this prey is named desire and he assesses her fully-fledged femininity. The fragrance soars. We are nearly there. It is soon the time when the heart will liquefy and shed its vanilla notes, when leather will melt into a balm and when an unrecognizable anatomy will deliver its precious, sunbathed and uplifting aromas. Blissful pestilence. Believe in the beast, this embrace has the taste of eternity.
How could one do without it?
Top notes: Bergamot, Ginger, Cardamom Heart notes: Ylang ylang, Jasmine, Lily of the valley Base notes: Pink berries, Ambrette absolute, Leather
Je suis un homme is a play on the accords so dear to the heart of the Emperor. Citrus and bergamot are head notes that prepare us for an agressive advance of guard service, a Corsican resistance, and, on a note of myrtle, the retreat from Russia.
Birch wood and cognac remind us of leather boots and belts. The attack will be fast, furious, and truly imperial … a flamboyant cavalry!
Energising, full of testosterone, this fragrance is for men who like to assert themselves. And for women who celebrate their masculine side, and can lead the offense without any fear of reversing roles.
Top notes: Bergamot, Orange, Lemon Heart notes: Cognac, Cloves, Cinnamon Leaves Base notes: Leather, Tonka Beans Orpur®, Patchouli
Sheer sensuous fantasy. The powdered top note evokes a woman who dresses for seduction — a soft trail of lipstick, the rustling of lace. The intimate ritual of a femme fatale who sees right through the fragile armor of men. Her sophistication is intriguing, as is the commerce she makes of her body. Under the bitter-sweet touch of almond, like a secret that unfolds, comes a hint of supple leather, fluid and flexible, that introduces what is to come: a boudoir, fingers that tighten on a leatherette sofa and the palpable presence of raw desire. Doesn’t every woman have the fantasy of being a temptress in a hotel bar, of yielding to desire in the intimacy of a lift or of giving way to sensuality in silk sheet luxury?
Top notes: Mandarine, Ginger Orpur®, Raspberry Heart notes: Iris, Rose Absolute, Rice Powder Base notes: Tonka Beans Orpur®, Sandalwood, Musk
Do not believe what you first see... under the demureness of the name, the spicy savour of blackcurrant bays and the musky notes of blonde suede. Rien is a second skin perfume, a perfume that clings to the body and perseveres in the mind. Like venial sin on the verge of becoming mortal, irresistible and resolutely pervasive. As light as mohair and as precious as cashmere, the fragrance envelops skin with a powdered caress. It has the meticulous elegance and hypnotic beauty of a modern Dorian Gray, in a feminine/masculine version.
An entrancing fragrance that leaves an unforgettable imprint. Utter charm, utterly charismatic. The vanilla/opium accord of the drydown reinforces the addiction. Rien is an essential.
— A perfumer’s confession.
Top notes: Black Pepper, Safraleine (Saffron & Leather Accord), Incense essence Orpur® Heart notes: Leather, Iris Absolute, Cistus Absolute Base notes: Patchouli essence Orpur®, Vetiver essence Orpur®, Treemoss
The water slips over him as if sliding down a marble rock, sinking into the grooves of his muscles, vanishing into his pores. This is fresh, pure water, with top notes of aldehydes and lemon, a water that washes away the sins of the night and leaves the skin luminous.
Tom of Finland feels clean, like a shaving from a cake of soap. It is an ode to the beauty of the male body and to the radiance of the natural self.
For this man, clothing becomes a jewel-case that serves to reveal the true erotic power of the flesh. Tom of Finland is a breath of fresh air, offering unrestricted access to the immense outdoors, the depths of the forest, with notes of birch leaves, cypress, galbanum and pine at its heart. Straight, gay… These words are irrelevant here. Tom of Finland is beyond sexuality — he is sex, in all its fullness and magnitude, open and erect. Fantasy clings to him like his leather jacket, with suede, musk, and ambergray in the base notes. His belt is fastened with an accord of pepper and spicy-fresh saffron, tangled with a blond suede sensuality on a vanilla bed of tonka bean and iris. This is a man who wants to play, to love, to die and be reborn, again and again. Tom of Finland is a tribute to tomorrow’s glorious possibilities.
Top notes: Aldehyde, Lemon Heart notes: Birch Leaves, Pine, Pepper Base notes: Vanilla, Ambre Gris, Suede
The arena was flooded with sun and the clamor of the crowd rose from the tiers like an offering. Where were we? In Seville? In Puerto Santa Maria? Definitely somewhere in Andalusia, where the stature and pride of men are compelling.
On this particular Sunday in the month of May, the combat to be delivered did not have the aim of putting a bull to death. The intention was a sensuous ritual act: to confront animal-like notes with the influential power of a flower, one of the most odorant in the vegetal world, the tuberose. Wood, musk and costus, in daring, unreasonably abundant proportions, would once and for all bite the dust in this arena dedicated solely to the glory of men. In this openly sexual confrontation — me the woman, you the man —, one of the most blasphemous of men’s perfumery, the purity of the tuberose is falsely innocent so that in appearance only, these macho reputed notes seem to be the only ones victorious. But smelling it tells a completely different story… the nose instinctively knows who the victor is.
Signed: the Virgin and the Torero.
Top notes: Bergamot, Pepper, Cardamom Heart notes: Ylang ylang, Tuberose Base notes: Leather, Patchouli, Vetiver