Monday, August 13, 2012

Etat Libre d'Orange- Dangerous Complicity

A first look at the notes of Dangerous Complicity, the new fragrance from Etat Libre d'Orange, makes one think it's going to be a Caribbean fest of rum, ginger and coconut, complete with drum beat and an all-tropics -all-the-time resort atmosphere. Then you read the part about white flowers over a leather accord and patchouli and you start wondering just how dirty Etat Libre d'Orange is going to get this time.

My skin (as well as that of The Blond's) doesn't get the Captain Morgan effect. I'm interested to hear from others who've tried Dangerous Complicity if they smell a tropical paradise in the opening. Dangerous Complicity is mostly an osmanthus and ylang-ylang fragrance, done in the sophisticated and abstract way typical to many of Etat Libre d'Orange's better creations. It's interesting, because as much as my nose registers Dangerous Complicity as very synthetic and conceptual in nature, I find that it has a lot of substance and a fullness. The fruity facet of osmanthus is the note that comes forward on my skin and remains there throughout the perfume's development. It takes well to both the mild spiciness that adorns the opening as well as to the apricot-suede-skin that follows.

Now let's talk about skin. In the marketing materials the people of Etat Libre d'Orange talk about taking inspiration from the biblical story of Adam and Eve:
"By eating the forbidden fruit, complicity took on another dimension, and became dangerous. They lost their innocence and their paradise. The door was opened to carnal energy, they were liberated from restrictions, and they could now create their own version of Eden. That forbidden fruit became a one-way ticket to Etat Libre d’Orange."

Skin is important in the Adam and Eve story, as is fruit. The skin effect comes from the suede-like apricot accord of the osmanthus as well as the cashmere woods (think Malle's Dans tes Bras). The skin is quite creamy and cleaner than one would expect. In other words, the innocence is still somewhat there and it's not as corrupted or Dangerous just yet.

The late dry-down is ambery-woody. My skin always amplifies the sweetness of amber over other elements but I'm not complaining. Dangerous Complicity emits warmth and a quiet sensuality that remains on my skin and clothes for eternity. Occasionally it feels more sheer and ethereal, less perfume-like. If it weren't for the persistent fruit accord I'd call it a skin scent, but I guess it'd be more accurate to say that Dangerous Complicity is a scent about skin. In any case, I like it very much.

Notes: rum, ginger, coconut, bay essence, calamus essence, osmanthus absolute, Egyptian jasmine absolute, ylang ylang essence, lorenox, patchouli essence, leather accord, sandalwood, cashmere woods.

Etat Libre d'Orange- Dangerous Complicity (and its sibling, The Afternoon Of A Faun) will come in a 100ml bottle (most other ELdO fragrances are 50ml) priced at $149. I'm not sure if and when smaller bottles will be available. MiN NY ( is already taking pre-orders.

Art: Adam and Eve by Vanessa Bell, 1914

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