Archives 69

Improper incense

from 90

Archives 69

Improper incense

from 90

TOP:
Mandarin, Pink Pepper, Pimiento Leaf

HEART:
Orchid, Prune, Camphor

BASE:
Incense, Benzoin, Patchouli, Musk

This perfume wants to make love to your skin, to flicker over it with its insatiable fruity tongue, to carress it with the softest flowers, wrap it in the most sensuous furry musk, and blow the smoke of precious incense over it.

It’s a fun, exciting little game to try and follow the delicate trail of incense smoke through the development of “Archives 69” (the address of the brand’s flagship store in Paris): it’s well hidden underneath a labyrinthine structure of fruity-floral notes with spicy and musky accents. There’s also a slight metallic tinge spearing the fragrance from top to bottom like a thin silver dagger, balancing the sweet accords. But the incense is there, snaking through slowly, sometimes cold and smelling of pine needles, sometimes cuddly, almost lactonic and sometimes smelling of snuffed beeswax candles.

This is no church pew incense, nothing like the pure, white smoke coming out of the priest’ censer. It’s more sensuous, a little less holy, and a touch unsettling and it’s what makes “Archive 69” smell like you’ve suddenly stepped inside of an Indian, Shiva dedicated temple, its stone walls an intricate, hallucinatory procession of erotic Kamasutra carvings.

Etat Libre d’Orange (“Free State of Orange”) is a French perfume house founded by Etienne de Swardt in 2006. With a motto of Le parfum est mort, vive le parfum! (Perfume is dead, long live perfume!), the house has quickly established a reputation for its daring and unusual compositions with controversial names and images.

Citing the year of their foundation as “Year Zero of perfumery”, Etat Libre d’Orange drafted a company “Declaration of Independence”, with six articles that outline the company’s creative approach, commitment to high-quality materials, simplicity in packaging and subversiveness of concept. The fragrances are genderless and were initially packaged in identical bottles bearing the company name and logo, though fragrances with distinct packaging began appearing in 2007 with Tom of Finland. The company has partnered with a number of celebrities, including Rossy de Palma, Tilda Swinton and the Sex Pistols to produce special edition scents, and has commemorated Tom of Finland and Josephine Baker with fragrances as well.

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