Etat Libre d’Orange is a constant surprise. Each scent that they produce is like a little olfactory journey: completely unexpected and just so much fun. I posted a little while ago about the big launch of new fragrance Archives 69, so now that the scent is upon us I’ve decided to do a mini review.
On paper, the description of Archives 69 is pretty far removed from some of Etat’s previous offerings. Tangerine, Pink Berries, Pepper Leaf and Orchid make up the main composition, but despite sounding more (for want of a better word) ‘everyday’ than some of the other notes that have been used in previous scents, the composition is anything but run of the mill. I tested the fragrance on my skin to get a truer feel, and I wore it all day long.
Etat describes the fragrance as being a true skin perfume, though I wasn’t convinced about this until I’d let the fragrance settle on the skin for a good five minutes. The initial impression is all tangerine and pepper leaf: a spicy, fiery wave with a hint of zest. This smokiness is intoxicating, with sporadic hints of berries that make you want to keep on sniffing to capture another hit of zinginess. This pepper leaf note was the defining characteristic of the scent, and I really liked its subtle but intense warmth.
Eventually, the smokiness becomes dominant and tinges of the incense note start to develop. Lighter touches of orchid and prune stop the incense from becoming all-consuming, mellowing it slightly with hints of musk. This is when it starts to become more of a skin perfume, a musky, intense scent that smells like an accelerated version of your own warm skin. This scent is extremely sensual, and very tactile. It’s all about touch – a scent to be smelled close to the skin, rather than as a fragrance cloud. I would imagine that it would also smell very different from one person to the next: my skin brings out the sweetness a little more, while the musk is a little more dominant than the incense. This is definitely one to sample on the skin to truly appreciate all of the different nuances.
Overall, I really liked this scent. Subtle, intense, sophisticated, and seductive, with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. It’s definitely a new favourite Etat scent, up there with Bendelirious and Like This.