“It takes a dangerous man to make a dangerous perfume.” – Troublemaker & Perfumer
Etienne de Swardt, an opportunist since 1970, is a survivor of consumerism, a witness to (and participant in) the decay and atrophy known as the business of beauty. Etat Libre d’Orange is his rehabilitation, his attempt to cleanse himself. Burned by life, with all its perversions and distortions, he now makes perfume as an antidote to despair. He has been told (as have we all): find yourself, be yourself. But he knows (as do we all) that this is a futile pursuit in a meaningless void. So he creates a collection of scents that ask “who do you want to be today?” This suits his nature, as a refined chameleon, living a singular existence as an oedipal mammal and naked cowboy in a state of contradiction. He is an insolent egoist who recognizes his own inadequacies. Whether he comes from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away or from some terrifying future dystopia, he knows that he knows nothing, only that he is lost in this century, lost in translation. He is a citizen of nowhere, so he has formed the Orange Free State, a fantasy world where he can demonstrate the beauty in strangeness. A flagrant disregard for convention enables him to give in to his basest instincts, and he has taken it upon himself to unleash his obsessions in the form of scent. He sells himself. With his manwhore attitude, he has surrendered to his own narcissism, and this arrogant pathology is the gateway to Etat Libre d’Orange.