In One Thousand and One Nights, there is this wonderful expression for addressing a loved one: to say “soul of my soul,” signifying the emptiness of living without one's love.
I remember Aladdin's warm voice - crackling out of a record player on a 45 rpm - speaking to Badroulboudour. He calls her "my princess, soul of my soul." I was 7 years old at the time, and I asked my mother for the meaning of soul.
She replied, "There is no single definition. It is an invisible presence that links us to the divine, a little like the Vanilla trail of the perfume that you want to follow. The soul travels to infinity in space and time and connects us to the whole. It is a fragment of that which is beautiful and perfect in each of us, that returns us to heaven and remains on earth when we disappear. Perfume continues the presence of this fragment, and the soul proceeds in the same way."
A few years later, through the sustained reading of One Thousand and One Nights, I learned that the relationship to the body is nothing without a relationship to the soul, though for some, sensuality seemed to be an excellent substitute for the soul. To embrace each other could be an innovative way of instilling in each other a drop of the white and cosmic soul that flowed into the primordial ocean before the world came into being.
We have here a perfume that speaks of the fire-god of Persia and the gods of India, the worship of offerings, Mesopotamia, milk and clarified butter to honor the gods. And to remember, by a wake in the air, the foaming whiteness of the soul that comes from everything. Here, perfume is soul, soul is perfume. A creamy explosion, where musk intermingles with iris butter and transmits the powerful balm of vanilla, followed by the friction of Tonka against benzoin.
For twelve years, Etat Libre d’Orange has been celebrating enlightenment through an awareness of beauty, goodness, sensitivity and intelligence. Our house has welcomed humankindin all its forms, as long as they try to contribute toThe Perspective– the Renaissance concept of three dimensions in art which allowed for more realistic and profound depictions. And this perspective can be interpreted to extend beyond paintings.
Five hundred years ago, merchants confronted the two established orders :the Red (priests) and the Black (soldiers). They created a third path, cleansed of dictates, for the proliferation of the arts – and perfume. Etat Libre d’Orange honors the sons and daughters of the Renaissance by offering a trail of insight and alliance for their skin.
Think of Lucifer – from the Latin roots, lux (light) and ferre (to hold) – the shining one, light-bearing, like Venus when appearing as the morning star. Half a millennium to wear on the skin, and in its wake the majestic memory of the rose, the power of spices and the sense of something precious. The story of mankind delivered to you in a perfume.
From the Marquis de Sade to Vaslav Nijinsky, to the poet Rumi and Tilda Swinton,to Sécrétions Magnifiques. Fat Electrician, Victor Hugo, Roland Mouret,Tom of Finland and Putain des Palaces all other Remarkable People; our perfumes are messengers of light combatting darkness and ignorance.
They have evolved from the cult of merchants into what is most beautiful – the exchange among humanity’s brothers and sisters.
It’s all about merchants. And in order to remember their open roads of spice and silk, as opposed to the obscurantism that all too often condemns us, we praise the merchants by dedicating to them this new fragrance. The spice becomes cosmic, mystical, enchanting, and it carries the echo of your name to the brightness of the stars. A universal fragrance.
«My mother, she was an anomaly, she was brilliant, she was loved but she paid a huge price. »from an Interview with Lisa Simone, inWhat Happened Miss Simone?
«I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that. I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, it can only be attributable to human error. This conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.»HAL 9000 iconic quote in2001: A Space Odyssey.
These remarks could summarize our new perfume, a marriage of Nina Simone and Stanley Kubrick. This fragrance is dedicated to them, to celebrate their talents, their deviations from the norm, from the theoretical value, from the expected. This disparity comes with an excess, from a « computer malfunction », forcing the dose on the iris and musk, and this sublime jeopardy has sprung up to become a perfume, carved by Daniela Andrier. A singularity. A difference. This perfume was necessary.
- Etienne De Swardt
“This perfume is the result of something unexpected. I played with Carto*, Givaudan’s AI-powered tool for suggesting formulas. I gave it beloved and familiar notes. Carto suggested an overdose of two ingredients. I took care of the rest.”
- Daniela Andrier, perfumer (Givaudan)
* As part of its 2020 digital innovation strategy, Givaudan Fragrances is thrilled to announce the launch of «Carto», our latest intuitive and interactive system that reinvents the way perfumers create. Carto is an AI-powered tool that brings science and technology to the service of the perfumers. It is designed to intelligently use our unique ingredients «Odour Value Map» to maximise the olfactive performance in the final formula.
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."