Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Etat Libre d'Orange- Encens et Bubblegum

Photo by Jamie Nelson for Elle Mexico, 2011 

When Etat Libre d'Orange released their original perfume lineup in 2006, Encens et Bubblegum was considered one of the gimmicky fragrances, those created mostly for shock value or amusement. I didn't care. I loved this funny little thing from first sniff, but every time I tested it at the stores with friends and/or spouse everyone around me made such a face you'd think I was offering them kale. I kept spraying, but never dared buying a bottle, since every time I'd bring out a sample the Husband would have recognized it on the spot and protested way too much.  Eventually I gave up.

Nearly a decade later a couple of new Encens et Bubblegum samples landed here again. I was happy to be united with the forbidden gummy fruit. It's just as fun as I remembered, and surprisingly, a sample and a half into it, the Blond has yet to complain or make faces. I guess he's smelled much worse over the years and has developed a healthy tolerance for funky scents in general and to Etat Libre d'Orange in particular.

Even for peach bubblegum.

The bubblegum and sugary candy notes (with not a hint of real fruit or anything that appears in nature) are the most prominent thing as the perfume enfolds. no one tries to mask it as anything else. just sugar, artificial flavor, and if red food coloring had an odor it'd be here as well. It's not too sweet, though, which is where one can start developing an appreciation to the perfumer's talent. We've all had smelled plenty of popular fruity candied fragrances, many of them aiming for teens and tweens who want nothing but to smell "yummy" in a junk food kind of way. This is not what I smell here. There's actual chewiness to this bubblegum, a musky intimacy that is both ironic and nostalgic. Like stolen teenage kisses.

The more "serious"  notes  here are sweet musk and the powdery remnants of burnt incense sticks. They make for a smooth and not too dense of a base, yet have enough substance to make Encens et Bubblegum joyously long-lasting. It also becomes warmer and almost cozy, while still lighthearted and pure fun. It might be time for a real bottle after all these years. I promise not to wear it on date night.

Etat Libre d'Orange- Encens et Bubblegum  ($85, 50ml eau de parfum) is available at Luckyscent.

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7 comments:

  1. I've only just recently discovered Etat Libre d'Orange and I haven't tried this one, but now I'm curious. I've avoided Heeley's Bubblegum Chic for some time just because of the word bubblegum in the name. In the end I tried it and I was pleasantly surprised. It feels a bit glamorous and it's not sweet as the name implies. I consider it to be a kind of a white flowery scent. Have you tried it?

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    Replies
    1. Yes! I got the same reaction from husband and friends abut Heeley, but I liked it just the same. I think it doesn't last quite as well, but my sampling was a bit limited.

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  2. Must revisit. I remember actually enjoying it and should probably check to make sure I don't have a forgotten bottle stashed away in the back of one of my perfume storing places (this has, I'm afraid happened).
    Anna

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    Replies
    1. I should have known I'd find a kindered bubblegum spirit in you, Anna! And I hope you find many forgotten bottles stashed away.

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  3. Love this one! I have to be in the right mood to wear it, but when the mood strikes, nothing else will do.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so relieved to hear this. Good to know I'm not the only weirdo.

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    2. I have a soft spot for scents that have a mischievous, playful quality, scents with a sense of humour. Dinner by Bobo, Folavril and Eau de Charlotte are such scents, too, but this one takes the cake!

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