Best Of, Perfume, Reviews - October 21st, 2012
Back in August, I impulse bought this perfume, Etat Libre D’Orange’s Rien. Etat Libre D’Orange is small French perfume house. I’ve been aware of the brand for several years, but hadn’t had an opportunity to smell any of the fragrances due to their relative obscurity. On a visit to Blush Beauty Bar, a local boutique, I discovered that they are carrying a small selection of the Etat fragrances. SO EXCITING.
So, a perfume called Rien. In case you are not up on your French, rien means nothing. And boy, did I get the joke when I sprayed this the first time. Here I am, picking up the bottle, and expecting a light, soft, airy type of fragrance. HA! It’s almost like buzzers went off and a man in a suit with a microphone leaped out to point and laugh at my gullibility. I knew already that Etat Libre D’Orange has a reputation for eccentricity and irony with their perfumes. I obviously should have known better then to think that Rien would be anything but big, bold, and voluptuous.
Rien has notes of aldehydes, rose, cumin, black pepper, patchouli, iris, leather, oakmoss, amber, labdanum, incense, and styrax. Other reviewers will tell you that it is a throwback to a different era, when perfumes were big, and bold, and voluptuous. You can also read an interesting interview from the perfumer who created it. It’s interesting, because after reading this interview, I definitely get what he’s saying. Previously, I wasn’t able to pick up on the aldehydes of Chanel No. 5 (another perfume I own) until I smelled this and had my a ha! moment when I could smell that lift that rises up when you first spray both of these perfumes. Now I can also pick up aldehydes in other scents I own.
I smelled all of the Etat Libre D’Orange Perfumes that Blush Beauty Bar had, and first decided to buy samples of three of them – Rien, Like This, and Charogne. I sniffed Rien again, and again, and sprayed a little on my hand, and walked off down the street to get a cup of coffee and a scone. And by the time I had finished my coffee and scone, I knew I had to go back and get the bottle of Rien. Such an impulse buy, but I kept feeling that shock, that blast of OH HEY I’M A BIG, BOLD PERFUME, which was by this time drying down to something warm, and extremely sexy on my skin. I had to have it, because it was so unique and unlike anything else I own.
If Balenciaga Paris is a lady in a sweater set and pearls, Rien is what happens when she takes a lover. It’s pretty much sex in a bottle, in my opinion, but in a super-classy, elegant way. I adore the dry down, which takes on a scent like warm skin, but magnified. It’s got a cozy, cashmere blanket kind of feel to it. This stuff has crazy sillage when sprayed from the bottle. This bottle is going to last me A LONG TIME.
If Rien is Nothing, this is Not a Review. *wink*