Secretions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange

Year: 2006
Nose: Antoine Lie

Inoffensive musky-sticky-milky-calonic notes wrapped in a harsh bag of aldehydes. I approached this scent quite late, meaning that I've often heard about this one without having actually smelled it, and all the people who owned/used it said this was naughty, raw, animalic, truly "offensive" and provocative (those were people who actually bought this, so... well, no offense). So I expected something cool and challenging. Meanwhile I tested some other scents by Etat Libre and found basically no interest whatsoever in their fragrances, so when I came to this I was quite in a "prejudice" mood. And I was right, because well... this is it? This depressing tin can of aldehydes and randomly-assembled putrid aromachemicals should evoke "sweat, blood, saliva"? No. This is no way challenging. It smells bad, but in no possible creative or provocative way - just dull, boring, pointless bad. Not even that bad actually – more than bad it's a plain, uninspired, clumsy smell. Being provocative in whatever legitimate and credible way means to be able to structure your provocation and contextualise it into a more broad critical discourse – to use it as a tool, or as language. Doing random stuff like this is and giving it a meaning by mere marketing means is not art and is not provocation, it's just a depressing way to exploit a cliché - in this case, the "épater les bourgeois" cliché (and making money out of it). This said, as I said it's not even that bad or stinky - any obscure and cheap chypre from the '50s would kick this in the butt in terms of "animalicness" (or whatever effect Eld'O pretends to achieve). To me it smells more like if Antoine Lie found a disposal bag of Takasago waste molecules and – bingo!. I don't want to sound hateful, pretentious or offensive but personally it really saddens me to think someone really consider this "irony" or "avantgarde" or whatever daring stuff and is actually willing to pay for this.


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