Pud Etat?

My dad’s nickname for me used to be Pud, and my sister’s was Sud (her name is Shirley). I have no idea why, he took that with him to the grave. Our best guess is because it rhymed. Though he also called us Salt and Pepper too, which eventually got shortened to Sp when he wanted us both for something. My brothers had nicknames too — this is the infamous Tom, Dick and Harry — but their nicknames aren’t fit for a family fragrance blog or even a not-so-family blog.

Every time we were getting ready to go out for some frilly social obligation — being farm folks, playing Pitch at the neighbors would suffice — my mom would spritz on some scent or another, as would my sister and me. My dad’s comment, unfailingly, was, “Smells like a French Whorehouse in here!” Then he’d head out to the car or truck and start honking the horn to hurry us up.

When I first heard about the Etat Libre d’Orange line and the names of the scents and descriptions, all I could think of was my dad and his “french whorehouse.” When the perfumes came in yesterday, I quickly opened them, trying the ones I had heard good things about like Jasmin et Cigarette and Putains des Palace and Rien. I’ve found some that I really love in here and some that just baffle me. As my nose meandered from the Divin’Enfant to Bubblegum and Encens to Palace Slut, then I held Secretions Magnifique at an arm’s length and recoiled with the inappropriateness of that.. um, smell, then lit up a jasmine cigarette after on another wrist, followed by the mellow beauty of Rien… I thought… yeah, absolutely, French whorehouse. And I started to laugh as I sniffed the secretions, then covered it up with my sweatshirt because it was too raw, too real, too… it shouldn’t be there, not in the crook of my arm!

Many of these scents are sketches — a quick jot of notes that suggest the thing it is supposed to be or the thing it is supposed to express — some are complete portraits and beautiful, like Vraie Blond and Rien and the Palace Slut.

Now, it’s really late at night, and I’ve been decanting these little things most of the day, and I reek, but I’ve been snickering and guffawing for several hours over these little oddities of smell, and somewhere I can hear my dad chortling too. Pud Etat gets my vote as Most Amusing Line of Perfumes 2007.

And this post makes absolutely no sense, nor did my dad’s comment about whorehouses make sense, and I’m not sure the Pud Etats make sense either. Making sense is highly overrated.

  • Solander says:

    You’re absolutely right, making sense is overrated. And I can’t wait for the sample set I ordered from you!

  • tmp00 says:


    I have my argyle sweater, horn-rimmed glasses and CB Musk ready to rock that hot gay nerd thing. :d

  • Patty,

    The Vierges is indeed one of the last two that they released officially recently but it was already available for sniffage and even for purchase earlier on.

    I have a couple of ml — I could send you a sample. Actually, would you mind exchanging with some Putain des Palaces for me to retry?

  • Ellen says:

    Oh, Patty, thanks so much for being kind enough to get these & then decant yourself unto reeking for the well-being of your public!

    A blast of memory just hit me: My mom, who changed neither her makeup regimen (a dash of waxy red lipstick & powder on special occasions) nor her perfumes after her twenties, had two scents: 4711 and Muguet des Bois. I’d already gotten a couple of minis of 4711 cheaply on e-bay. Now I’ll have to get MdB. She has been gone almost a decade.

    She was sick from my birth onward. I was grateful that she stayed on until my adulthood so that, among other things, she got to enjoy my coming around to like things I originally disdained. Like… um, 4711. Despite its being hundreds of years old, many citrus scents compare unfavorably with it (most recently, Comme des Garcons Citrico).

    I suppose if she were around now, I’d be sending her some of my decants and samples and she’d be marveling at my decadence.

  • Patty says:

    Maria — he didn’t pass that up, we got called spud too. The mind boggles at the number of names we had. It’s a wonder I figured out my name!

  • Patty says:

    Justine, I think you are right. That generation seemed to think that was an invitation to a little romp later, me thinks!

  • Patty says:

    Helen, the Vierges, is that one of the last two, along with sWallow, that they just released? I’ll be interested to try that one.

  • judith says:

    Ack! I can’t wait to try them! I already really like JeC, and I’m sure I’ll love several others! Pud Etat indeed!!

  • Patty says:

    R — check my respons to March, you’ll have to fill in the little blanks. It was foul, really, but the day my dad came up with it, he was so amused and pleased with himself, it was hysterical. I think you had to be there. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Teri, I think you’d enjoy sniffing them. They are not all winners, but maybe some of these will have some appeal to some people that I just don’t get. But I do think there are four or five of them that will have fairly good appeal and that someone could find at lest one or two they would very much like or love.

  • Patty says:

    Tom, we need someone to keep track of all the cash we’ll be generating and for those customers that like the bookish type. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    donanicola, welcome, I’m so happy you unlurked!

    This line is amusing, but the Palace Whore was a surprise to me. I normally don’t like them as dirty as March does, but it keeps the CA nice and close, so it doesn’t seem shocking until you’re righ up on it!

  • Patty says:

    March, I’ll tell you offline, I really can’t even type it here. It was a certain anatomy part of a horse, a donkey and a pony. You supply the ending part of that.

    I think you will adore a couple of them, laugh hysterically at a couple more, and the rest, I’m not sure?

  • Patty says:

    Elle, I really like the Vraie Blond, but I’m having a hard time deciding between it and Rien and the Palace Whore and Jasmine et Cigarette.

    So you’ve smelled Swallow? Gerard didn’t have it when I ordered, and he promised to call me, that rat!

  • Patty says:

    Chaya, you are IN the whorehouse. 🙂

    I’ve always felt so lucky because I know I was on the tail end of the era of the big family, and growing up on a farm and with the loud, obnoxious, funny family I had, it wasn’t all roses, but I knew it was special.

  • Patty says:

    Leo — my old man was a very complex guy, and we very rarely understood him, but most of the time we didn’t care because he was so busy making us laugh or scaring us. He was one of the funniest people I knew. What’s so cool is my youngest son has his same really wicked sense of humor, and he makes me laugh harder than about anyone.

    He and my DH thought the the SM — well, I’ll post on that Thursday.

    Love ya back!

  • Maria B. says:

    Patty, I can’t understand why your father pased up the chance to call you and your sister together Spud!! :d Father’s nicknames for us can be so strange. I never made sense of any possible literal meaning of my father’s very strange ones for me, but I heard a lot of affection in them. Obviously you did too in yours, and that’s wonderful.

  • Donanicola,

    I think that lots of their scents are rescued by leather! Just kidding. I really love this line and noticed that they sure know how to use leather. It’s one of the notes they use most in their scents.

  • Justine says:

    My mother used to douse herself in Shalimar parfum declare with a satisfied smile “whenever I wear this your father says I smell like a French whore.” So to this day I don’t think smelling like I french whore is a bad thing. She certainly didn’t seem to think it was…

  • donanicola says:

    Oh and sorry but if tmp00 is the accountant can I be the “solicitor” please? That appeals to my Carry On sense of humour…..

  • donanicola says:

    SS – to be honest I wasn’t wholly convinced when I first tried P des P – I’m not a lover generally of powdery scents and this is powdery to me. Violet? Almonds? But it is rescued by a bit of leather and something else. Anyway, it has grown on me the last couple of days.

  • Hmmm, I feel like I need to retry Putain des Palaces since everybody seems to be giving it the thumb up. This is one of the ones I did not feel compelled to try on my skin b/c the scent strip was so-so, but then I loved Vierges et Toreros the best on strip and decided not to buy it in the end. Too brutally sensual for me.

  • violetnoir says:

    I agree with March: I need to know your bros’ nicknames, Pud, ha, ha!

    Thank goodness you are providing samples. Somebody needed to do it, and I am so glad that it’s you. 😡


  • tmp00 says:

    I can’t wait to try these!

    Can I be in the house too? Even just as the accountant?

  • donanicola says:

    Thanks Teri – you are kind! I also heard from xbf that they plan on only releasing 13 fragrances – they have something about the number 13. Certainly a bit mad (no bad thing in my book) but quite serious as in the frags are created by some proper noses?

  • Teri says:

    dona, don’t feel bad. When I first read the title, I thought it was a play on ‘coup d’etat’….in other words, that the ‘u’ in pud was an ‘ooooo’. My only defense (and a slim one it is) is that it’s early here and I’m so NOT a morning person. The rest of the article clued me in, thankfully. lol :”>

    Sound like some very interesting fragrances which I must, simply must, check out.

  • donanicola says:

    Puddy tats!!! Oh I am sooo slooow sometimes……………

  • Leopoldo says:

    Of course – the shop is in the Marais! Gay centre of Paris no less. Those kinky homos will be buying SM like there’s no tomorrow (to use for SM no less…). Should have realised what a canny selling strategy this is of the bewhiskered ones…

  • donanicola says:

    Hello! I’ve been lurking on this blog for a while though have recently started leaving my two penny’s worth on the lovely PST. Anyway, this post made me smile so much! My xbf came back from a work trip to Paris on sunday and we met for a drink. I’d told him about this place and he was intrigued not least because he too is South Effrican. He went and spent two hours there!! And loved every minute of it. Probably a bit to do with the owners daughter looking after him – she was v v good looking apparently but he finally got my fascination with smell (though it helps that he’s in the wine industry and has a good nose). He looked shocked when describing the SM which he said was just flying off the shelves and into the arms of very french male couples but was moved enough to buy me the Hotel Slut and himself the I Am A Man (of course – he is very south african). I love HS – am sitting in my own stinky sillage at work – rosy, powdery porny stuff it is! Thanks for all your interesting insights.

  • March says:

    First, I want to join the brothel! Think of the intreresting clientele we’d attract… Second, I am wild to know what your father called your brothers, the mind boggles. Third, I think V was being diplomatic when she came up with “Palace Slut,” I think Palace Whore is, uh, closer to the spirit of the original. (That’s the extent of my French expertise.) I think I’m going to like most of these, don’t you?

  • Elle says:

    Oh, and I love Pud Etat. 🙂 That’s what I’m going to call them from now on. I’m not at all bothered by any of the names of the individual scents, but the line’s name has such a heavy history that it just…well, just seems odd and very out of sync w/ the other irreverent, light, amusing names. I know he’s from there, but Pud Etat cracks me up and fits the mood so much better.

  • Elle says:

    I think I’m destined (doomed) to need at least 4 or 5 from this line. I’m surprised that I actually really like the bottles – simple, clean, well done. Can I just also say how infinitely grateful I am to Fragrant Fripperies for having samples available since Gerard doesn’t feel compelled to send any at all w/ purchases? I know Bendel’s isn’t a sample store, so I understand, but it’s a relief to know I can buy them *somewhere* and don’t have to purchase any of the rest unsniffed. The next ones I suspect I’ll need are Rien and I Don’t Swallow. Now you’re making me think Vraie Blond as well. Glances over at cc weeping noisily in corner.

  • Leopoldo says:

    You betcha!=p~

  • chayaruchama says:

    Good morning, Angelfur….

    Your Dad is such a man after my own heart.

    Although I love your impressions of perfume- if I had to choose- I would listen to your memories of family.
    Since none of us exist in a vacuum, these reminiscences draw us closer,make you more precious.

    I enjoy the rebellious, creative irreverence these scents promise !

    May I join your whorehouse, please?
    Leo will happily assist in the process, I’m certain…

  • Leopoldo says:

    Aaah… lovely post. I’m glad the daft Pud Etats (I didn’t tell you what a great pun that is, did I?) sent you to merryland, by way of melancholy nostalgia. Love of your dad is the thing which most hines through in this post. Love to you too!

    My grandpa (not Mr Pipe, the other one) used to comment on things smelling like a brothel – I blamed his war experience in Italy at the time 😮 , not realising it was a generalisable MAN comment..

    May you always smell like a whorehouse, P!