Monday, June 07, 2010

Etat Libre d'Orange- Like This (Tilda Swinton)

I showed my husband the bottle of Like This, Etat Libre d'Orange newest perfume, and told him it was created by collaboration with Tilda Swinton. Apparently he's seen and smelled enough, including from ELdO, so he didn't even blink. His only question was: How weird did they make it?

Maybe the oddest thing about Like This is that it is not weird at all. It's just very very good.

Tilda Swinton, she of the immense talent, intriguing personality, fascinating personal life (she lives openly with two men) and no eye lashes might be the last person you'd associate with the idea of a celebrity perfume. Then again,  the previous celeb scent fro Etat Libre d'Orange was created with the equally wonderful Rossy de Palma, so you know we're not in Lindsay Lohan's universe here.

Ms. Swinton's idea of an ideal scent was "Place and state of my mind...Certainly state of ease. ...The experience of the reliable recognizable after the exotic adventure: the regular, the natural, turn of the seasons, simplicity and softness". Her inspiration came from this poem by Rumi:

"how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
and say,
Like this.

...If anyone wants to know what “spirit” is,
or what “God’s fragrance” means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.

Isn't this beautiful?

Like This was officially launched in March but it's not exactly a traditional spring/summer scent. The "turn of the seasons" element is much more fall-like, especially considering the pumpkin accord and the rest of the pie-like elements. Like This is a pretty much a gourmand scent, and one of the most interesting perfumes in this overdone genre I've come across in a long long time. It opens up with ginger. Fresh, biting, grated right from the root ginger. It can be a very difficult note to get right (Bulgari Blu comes to mind. I thought it was a disaster), especially that bracing freshness. Here, though, the ginger smells real and natural.

What comes next is also straight out of the kitchen. From the round and satisfying pumpkin to the honeyed, maple-like richness of the immortelle, my skin smells warm and edible. This is the place to mention that on the husband there's much less sweetness. His skin brings out more of the other notes- a dirty, musky vetiver that he finds to be walking the line between fascinating and disturbing (I think it's incredibly sexy). He was sure there was tobacco somewhere in the mix, and I know what he means, but it was probably the very dry vetiver  playing tricks.

It might not be the very first thing you  think about in connection to Tilda Swinton. This is not as mysterious or enigmatic as she appears from the outside, but I loved how she didn't seem to care about her usual image and chose to go with elements that comfort and delight her. You get to see there's a real person there, a woman who has memories and desires. And, apparently, some of them are about pumpkin.

Several studies suggest that men find the smell of pumpkin pie has something to do with male arousal. I've witnessed a grown men reduced to a blubbering mess when I served  my homemade pumpkin pie. Well, it was a really good pie (gingerbread crust, real pumpkin that I roasted in the oven, caramelized pumpkin seeds on top and served with freshly made barely sweetened whipped cream). Does the new Etat Libre d'Orage perfume work the same way? Maybe. It definitely makes one get close to sniff and take it all in.

Like This is an EDP with an incredible staying power and quite a bit of sillage. It takes a long and hot shower to remove it even after 24 hours. I enjoy the way it opens up in the heat. Some might prefer it in cooler weather, though.

Like This by Etat Libre d'Orange ($99, 50ml) is available from Twisted Lily, Parfum1 and Luckyscent . I received a free bottle from  Bendel.



  1. You got a bottle from Bendel? So jealous!

    I loved this (review will be up thie week) but thought it was a lot drier than the ingredients would have you believe: this isn't Sables level of Immortelle or even 5 O'Clock au Gingembre level of ginger. I guess it boils down to that it's not what I would expect from Etat Libre.

    In other words, I liked it.

  2. i am so intrigued by this. i love (love, love) tilda swinton, and just heard about the perfume for the first time yesterday. i listened to her recite the rumi poem on the website and it took my breath away. sexy pumpkin gourmand is right up my alley as well. hope i get a chance to try it!

  3. I want this so much. It does sound pretty tame for Etat Libre d'Orange, but that's not a bad thing!

  4. I can't wait to try Like This, but I am going to wait, at least until fall, since nearly everyone's reviews have talked about the pumpkin, and I just don't know if I can bear the idea of wearing pumpkin right now. I mean, summer is so short already, and there'll be plenty of time for pumpkin pie and hot toddies later on, right?

    Thanks, as always, for a great review!

    Yours, LBV

  5. I tried it on Friday, and after the opening ginger note, I got black licorice, very strong and long-lasting black licorice, or réglisse.

    Now, the salty aspect of the licorice eventually became very interesting and sexy, but I don't even like to eat licorice, so it was quite overwhelming. I know that some perfumes smell radically different on me at different times of the month, so I will try it again, but I was wondering whether you too (or anyone else out there) ever got licorice?

  6. lady jane greyJune 07, 2010 4:29 PM

    (For her I even make an exception and going to try an ELdO parfum...)

  7. I'm really looking forward to trying this. I've read so much about it and it sounds intriguing. Ginger fragrances tend to remind me of sushi, so I hope this one doesn't fall into that category.

  8. I wish I could do immortelle, but maple just doesn't work for me. Too bad b/c otherwise this is a very intriguing scent.

  9. I got lots of pumpkin and vetiver, very little immortelle and no licorice. It was interesting and impressive, but not something I want to wear.

  10. I'm happy to hear that the striking Ms. Swinton's fragrance is so unique, like her, and not another celebrity fruity-floral bore. There's nothing in there that I don't like! Can't wait to sample.

    TWO men?!? Lucky Tilda!


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