It all began about eight years ago, on a cold winter evening, when Roland Mouret and his CEO Mark Langthorne came to the Etat Libre d’Orange offices, just above the boutique at 69 rue des Archives, Paris. They wanted to talk about a perfume with Etienne de Swardt, our creative director.
Roland was a fan. He wore our perfume, and in a British newspaper article entitled “Little Black Book: Roland Mouret,” he wrote about us: “A unique parfum company that produces the best exclusive scents with a twist.”
On that evening, we talked fashion and fragrance and the possibility of creating a perfume for Roland’s brand. And since we were drinking champagne, incredibly brilliant ideas emerged from the discussion. We were all very excited.
But in the days to come, when we were sober and realistic, we all realized that the time wasn’t right. Etat Libre d’Orange had just completed a collaboration for Tom of Finland, and we were about to embark on another with Tilda Swinton. Following his phenomenal success with the Galaxy dress, Roland was creating more iconic dresses that would become equally celebrated: the Moon, Pigalle, Titanium, and many others.
But we never forgot that remarkable evening and the ideas that came out of it. And it seemed inevitable that we would come back together. We had so much in common! For both of us, collaborations were appealing challenges. Roland created collections for the Gap and Banana Republic. Etat Libre d’Orange has worked with the Tom of Finland foundation, with Tilda Swinton on Like This, with Rossy de Palma on Eau de Protection, with Mx Justin Vivian Bond on The Afternoon of a Faun. We collaborated to create Attaquer Le Soleil Marquis de Sade, and teamed up with perfume critic Chandler Burr to develop You or Someone Like You. We both believe in a bold aesthetic, provocation, sensuality. We want our creations to enable clients to define themselves or become someone else. Roland drapes bodies — we drape skin. We use the same words: fusion, structure, magic, eroticism. We both have high profile fans. Roland talks about dressing to undress — and what better way is there to reveal the full power of a fragrance? Not to mention the fact that both our brands are creatively directed by hot, tempestuous Frenchmen.
Etat Libre d’Orange and Roland Mouret. We’re made for each other. Together, we have merged our philosophies, our attitudes and our identities, and created Une Amourette.
— Etat Libre d’Orange
Une Amourette is a no-holds-barred fragrance. It is not for everybody. It’s divisive. It will corrupt the fragrance category with its subversive positioning. It’s a scent that makes and leaves its mark. It is worn first at the pulse point between the thighs. As she moves, walks, crosses her legs…the warmth and friction release an intoxicating burst of fragrance catching the attention of the most primitive sense: smell. Une Amourette transcends gender. It is neither feminine nor masculine but it connects with the innate desire to take control, to be unique… And when two bodies come together, the alchemy of skin on skin and scent on skin is unleashed, and the full power of the fragrance is revealed.
— Roland Mouret
Once I had met Roland Mouret, I began to imagine a very sophisticated and dark perfume, black and red. Patchouli and Indole are the backbones in this woody/animal floral. The head notes are brightly opened with Neroli, while Resinoide Iris, Akigalawood and Resinoide Incense form the foundation of this story.
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.
An anti-hero never lies about who he is, hence the seeming simplicity of this hedonistic and sun-drenched creation, entirely centred on lavender flower. This hero of everyday life fights very ordinary battles at work, when driving, at home without every taking anything too seriously. His innate modesty is extremely appealing and he knows it. He cultivates his imperfections with wit and with natural unconventional elegance. With his tousled hair and look, this somewhat unexpected superman catches the eye and still cannot believe it — that’s why we adore him.
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.
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.