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.
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.
From the Marquis de Sade to Vaslav Nijinsky, to the poet Rumi and Tilda Swinton,to Sécrétions Magnifiques. Fat Electrician, Victor Hugo, 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.
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.