Etat Libre d’Orange Tom of Finland


A Perfume Posse First – On Friday April 25, you all get to do the reviews for our first You Sniff It Friday.  If you have smelled it already or can get a chance to smell it, we want you to sniff Clinique Aromatics Elixir, Clinique Happy and Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl and tell us your opinion on those scents.  We don’t want a long review, nor anything poetic, just something short – a sentence is fine – telling us what you think of the perfume. You can do all three scents or one or two of them.  Send your brief reviews to perfume dot posse at gmail dot com (just put in a . where is says  dot and the @ where it says at).  We can’t promise we’ll publish all of them since many will probably be similar either in the like or dislike column, but they will be anonymous, so speak your mind freely.  We’ll remind you next week.

Update on the eylash extensions: Loved them for about 7-10 days.  I sleep on my side, and whatever side you sleep on, eyelashes get rubbed out quicker on that side, so one eye was looking weaker than the other, and then the other side kept getting thinner faster than I thought it should.  My eyelashes are just too fine for extensions, and I am NOT doing refills on them every two weeks.  So… on to try Revitalash!

Favorite new perfume at Sniffa was easily Etat Libre d’Orange Tom of Finland. I’m not a huge fan of this line, though I don’t hate it and have found some that work for me some of the time or were interesting, like Jasmin et Cigarette, Putain des Palaces, Rien and Vraie Blonde.  Tom of Finland was commissioned by the Tom of Finland Foundation and requires ID to buy the racy version of the bottle.  It has notes of crumpled leaf, suede, metal, pepperwood, iris, tonka, vetiver, and musks.  Antoine Lie is the perfumer given the task of creating a scent that “does not disturb the odor of men.”  Oh, please. I mean…. honestly, this sort of thing just gives me agita.

Despite that…. men will enjoy wearing Tom of Finland, whether it disturbs their odor or not, but so will women because it doesn’t disturb our odor either, whatever that may mean.  If you are a fan of Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia, Bvlgari Black or Annick Goutal Eau de Fier, this is one you really should try. Despite the goofy commission and sketch the perfumer was given, it seriously rocks for little girls and little boys.  Starting out like rubber on fire, there’s some metallic clanking in the background from the iris that just gives it this cockeyed feel that I really, really love. But lest you think this is just some Freak that Patty Loves because she’s partial to freaks, in the drydown, the tonka, vetiver and musks add their notes to the baying that is totally disturbing my odor in such a great way and it becomes less fun, smokey, metallic freak and very much a smokey leather scent a lot of you should love.  That whole process, I should tell you, can take a while, so be patient with it.

I’m easily pronouncing Tom of Finland the best thing in their line. It is interesting, well made, feels complete as a perfume, has an extensive drydown that goes through several phases. So put this on your boy or on your girl and get to disturbing their scent zen, it rocks.  With the proviso that if you hate some of the rubbery smoky scents I listed in the last paragraph, there is nothing about Tom of Finland that’s going to work for you.

ADDED:  As far as I know, this is available at Bendel’s in NYC and in a few other locations in Europe.

  • jcparodi says:

    at first sniff it reminded me of Helmut Lang, but much leaner, and better. I just have two complaints, why is this not available in a 100ml size, which brings me to my next concern, you have to use quite a bit to achieve a good sillage, and at 90.00 a bottle, not a good deal. I still had to have it.

  • Jose says:

    Hello, I figured I would ask in this very informed realm.
    Years ago, my favorite perfume was “Versus” by Versace.
    This perfume is not produced anymore, too floral?
    It had a very metalic violet aroma that I found masculine
    despite the source and had a very good response to it.
    Paco Rabanne also produced a perfume called “Ultraviolet”
    that played on similar notes but was a little less “velvet”.
    Is there anybody out there that could suggest a men’s fragrance
    simialr to Versus?

  • Cait says:

    I remember being nonplussed at Tom of Finland when I was a youngster and got to go to a movie about it at the Castro. To be really cool, you had to be into S and M. I just couldn’t make the grade. My mom called me from Anchorage and said “PUH-LEASE! Tell me you don’t go to these clubs where they tie you to a post and whip you.” I hadn’t seen the Sunday Chronicle article to which she was referring so, for kicks, I said, “Mom, what was that address again?” Anyway, in spite of my diffidence to whips and chains, I’d love to smell this one. I do like many of the other similar scents you note, though Dzing! is still my favorite of that ilk.

  • Solander says:

    Wow, I’m shocked! I wanted to try this just because, well, it’s Tom of Finland, but it sounded so incredibly dull from the description on Etat’s website, some bla-di-da about light and fresh making it sound like Your Generic Massmarket Men’s Scent, so I really expected a big yawn. That said, I think Bulgari Black is a bit of a yawn too… Nostalgia is nice. Eau de Fier is what I was planning to try on tomorrow. (Wearing Mandragore today and really can’t tell it apart from Duel – two nice, refreshing, light little summer scents with green/tea/mint/anise notes and overly dramatic names)

  • Robin says:

    Sigh. I guess I have to try it? Can you give any more comparison to Bvlgari Black or Eau de Fier, like, if I already have those 2 would I need this too?

    • Patty says:

      Well, I don’t know if you *need* it. Bvlgari black is a little sweeter on me than either the AG or the Tom. The AG is smokier on me than the other two. The Tom has a little more leather and sorta intersects between the two. So need is a relative term. If you’re a fan of this type of smell, though, throwing in Burning Leaves as well, which is meatier than any of the three, I think the Tom is well worth a sniff. It sorta sits in a place that’s not extreme, but hits all these bases really nicely.

  • Billy D says:

    Just wanted to add that Motley Home here in Boston is the only other place in the US, I believe, that you can get the ToF scent right now. I work at Boston Magazine and got a press release from them announcing it–it’s in-store now!

  • Louise says:

    Hmmm, I remember smelling something on several lovelies at Bendel that I thought was called “Tamafini” or some such! Lord I was tired #-o

    Judith-you did smell great! I think I have had such bad experiences with the line that I have rejected all of them, but Tom sounds interesting. I do like the art, and really like the boobies on the fella above…;))

    • Judith says:

      Musta bin my Noo Yawk accent!:)

    • Patty says:

      Smokey, rubbery leather? That must have been the Tamafini. 🙂

      This one is unlike the rest. It doesn’t even feel the same in the least, it’s like a complete fragrance with a start, a middle and an end.

  • Marina says:

    What, do I like have to try this? 😕 I kind of thought I am not going to try any more ELdOs 🙂

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, just grab the subway on down to Bendel’s and spritz! This, as far as I’m concerned, is the only must-try. other were interesting, this is really well done.

  • Musette says:

    A year ago I would’ve said this was Crazy Talk:o but now I’m thinking….:-?

    What have you done to me, Posse? What have you done?

    Love the nips on the model, btw. Must be tough getting a shirt over those, don’tcha think?

  • March says:

    Those jeans kill me. Also, I realize it’s not my kind of erotica, but I think his nipples look in the wrong place, and his breasts are too… breasty? Like chicken boobs…. oh, wait, are we supposed to be talking about the fragrance? You and Judith smelled hawt in it.

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, I know it’s not meant for me either, but I really do like it!

      ToF is a great fragrance, they should do more like that.

  • sariah says:

    The jeans in the pic remind me of what one of the ladies was wearing on dancing with the stars last night, plus feathers.

    • Patty says:

      Okay, so am I the only one that’s just almost over DWTS? This season’s crop just has me bored to tears! All the funny/interesting people have been voted off, and we hve people I just can’t even care about. Or maybe it’s just run its course?

      • sariah says:

        This is the first season I’ve watched, and I’m enjoying it a lot. I started watching this season just because of Adam Carolla (DH’s hero) – sad he got voted out, he’s very entertaining but it’s true he’s not the best dancer.

  • Judith says:

    Seconding the recommendation! I would add that though it doesn’t seem like the world’s strongest scent, it had mega-sillage on me and lasted forever (speaking of which, google has called up an ad for Levitra–for “erectile disfunction”–on the side of this review). I didn’t see the special bottle; did you get it?

    Loved spending time with you!:x

    • Patty says:

      I think the special bottle is just available from them maybe? They say you have to be 18 or 21 and show ID to get it, and it’s a ton more money. Screw that, I just want the juice, which is really doing it for me. It does have great sillage, and it stayed on me, just getting softer for overnight.

      Had a great time with you too, we must find a way to do that more often. 🙂

  • Maria says:

    What the heck is the Tom of Finland Foundation? And is there only one Tom in Finland? I bet many readers of this blog have disturbed the scent of men from time to time and felt better for it. 😉

    • sweetlife says:

      Maria, you can read about it on their site. “Tom of Finland” was the pen name of a much-loved artist who specialized in drawing big, beefy, hairless gay men in various stages of undress engaged in what usually comes after the undressing–sort of the gay male antidote to 50’s cheescake. He was especially partial to Men in Uniform — policemen, sailors, etc. If you want to get geeky about it (and apparently I do) you could say he helped to form the underground gay aesthetic, and that his drawings lovingly subverted the masculinity and power of exactly the folks who spent a lot of time gay bashing. It’s porn, for sure, but humorous, loving porn, and those kind of images were rare when he began publishing them. (Are they really so common today, I wonder…)

      • Musette says:

        They are fun illus. aren’t they? (how are you, sweetlife?)

        Replying to March’s nip comment: oddly enough I think the nips are in the right place – or close enough. It’s the pects that are throwing you, I think. They’re so blocked that you would except the nips to be in the middle but most guys, when they bodybuild to an extent like that, still don’t get breasteses like ours, wherein theres a lot of flesh UNDER the nip. Even fat guys don’t seem to get the kind of under-the-nip boobage that we do.

        Sorry – too many life-drawing classes

        • Billy D says:

          To be even geekier about it, you could say that he helped develop the prototype of the “clone” look that Al Parker would popularize in the mid 1970s in opposition to the effeminate dandy stereotype that had dominated since the end of the 19th century. Hehe.

        • Vasily says:

          I agree – the nipules do seem to be in the right place on the breasticles for manatomical accuracy. He’ll most likely need a manssiere when he gets older, though, or he’ll be strapping those puppies down with his belt to keep ’em from flapping all over the place. Gawd, I love being juvenile.

          The frag sounds interesting – in general though I don’t like cutesy or campy marketing or perfumes named after celebrities in rehab. Smokey, metallic, leathery … might have to get a sample of this thing. 😉

          • Musette says:

            I can see him now, 83 yrs old, in a wife-beater, with the breasticles slung way low down to the belt….and Lord love him, he’ll still be trying to work the jeans with his mottled, flabby hip-flesh hanging out of the cut-outs:-&b-(

      • Divalano says:

        Thanks for reminding me that I need a ToF volume to sit as art shelf companion to my Vargas book … and I’m glad we had time to chat at the Sniffa. Thanks for reaching out & introducing yourself; tea & more chat sometime would be very cool b-) (that’s the very cool emoticon, isn’t it??)

      • Maria says:

        Amazing answers to my questions, thank you! Sweetlife and Billy D, are you writing doctoral dissertations on this topic? ^:)^

    • Patty says:

      I thinkk you got your answer. I had to plow around for a long period of time figuring it out. 🙂

  • tmp00 says:

    But where does one get it? I tried the Tom of Finland Foundation website and got exactly nowhere. Spent hours looking for links to it. Ahem, what I mean to say is,,, never mind. :”>