Etat Libre d’Orange Exit the King

Note: Ariel, please send along your mailing deets if you’d like to claim your l’Heure Fougueuse sample.

Had a call from a friend last week. Her in a panic: “It’s pouring rain, I’m at Brent Cross, I’m starving, and I need to buy a laptop – fast”. We discussed, she went to Leon for sustenance, and she ended up with a Macbook Air. I have a Pro – it’s my main computer and I have a ridiculous affection for it. But I also use a PC (as Asus Zenbook). So, I guess she must have felt I’d have something useful to say on both Apple machines and PCs. That’s what working from home for years does – makes you useful in some small fairly peculiar way.

Anyway, I bought some samples. I’ve basically realised I’m simply not going to be in a position to visit a shop to sample for many months yet (I’m around the number 6 entry on the currently published list for a Covid vaccine — number 1 is care home residents and those who look after them — which I think means I won’t be getting one till mid-spring earliest).

So, yes, samples arrived. I bought this lot on the names. I’m not sure what that says about me except I felt the need to exercise a bit of whimsy.

One of the things I ended up with is the Etat Libre Exit the King. The name is supposed to imply change, regeneration, etc.

It is very light and soft initially on me and very very ‘nice’, though not exciting. Perhaps it’s supposed to feel like embracing something new.

Notes for this (which was released this year) include aldehydes, black pepper, pink pepper, jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, ambroxan, oakmoss, patchouli, sandalwood and white musk.

It’s not a shouty perfume. I get a very pleasant powdery aspect, which morphs into a sort of stronger powderiness that’s more floral – and actually sort of fresh (maybe the lily of the valley) rather than pongy. This reminds me of something, but I can’t put my finger on what.

The drydown is soft – powdery, floral, a bit musky, but nothing big. Close to the skin and ‘pleasant’.

I like Etat Libre as a house (barring the initial adolescent direction of stuff) though I no longer own any of its perfumes (I used to have a bottle of Rien, but I don’t know where that went). Over time I’ve sampled some early ones (Jasmin et Cigarette, Secretions Magnifique) and Une Amourette recently which was again very nice but not exciting. I think that’s the default now with Etat Libre stuff: very nice but not exciting. However, I haven’t tried the Tilda Swinton one (Like This) which may be way better.

So, is Etat Libre a house you enjoy, find interesting? If yes, which ones do you own?



  • Ariel says:

    I think I’ve sniffed a few of these and wasn’t taken with any,-except perhaps Noel au Balcon, but I can’t remember anything about it.

    Sorry to leave you hanging on the address- I sent it via the Drop Us A Note! function, but perhaps WordPress ate it. I sent again today- please let me know if it didn’t work, and thanks for the give away.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Noel everything. Will have to have a look for this one. Found a place based in Edinburgh that offers what sound like great Xmas candles (Druid Edinburgh). Good on the address details. Parcel will wing its way at some point soon.

      • Ariel says:

        I look forward to it, and thanks!

        Someday I’ll have my own space (office, fingers crossed) and burn candles again. My poor husband is scent sensitive, so I’m careful about perfume placement and try not to waft–but gosh, I miss candles, especially the fir and balsam scents at Christmas time.

  • Neva says:

    ELDO have a huge range of perfumes and almost all of them are nice, maybe they don’t live up to their exotic names. I own Like This which is a unique composition and it makes me very happy wearing it. Other two, that I owned and used up are You or Someone Like You – a fresh minty rose and The Afternoon of a Faun – a herbal-woody composition.

  • Trudy says:

    First time commenting: I bought Bijou Romantique at the Arielle Shosana Boutique four years ago and I just love it – it reminds me of the Shalimar I wore many years ago.

  • gwenyth says:

    Fairly early in my journey to becoming a fully-fledged Perfumista…I sampled/bought freely. ELdO intrigued me and I purchased a few bottles which are still favorites. I love Divin Enfant (a powdery orange blossom/ leather/tobacco) perfume which is unusual and beautiful. I adore Putain des Palaces (dislike the name), and Jasmin et Cigarette.
    For warm weather I frequently wear Fils de Dieu du Riz … and You or Someone Like You.
    I find ELdO perfumes to be well-made and long-lasting on my skin. The perfumes are interesting and smell wonderful to me — I don’t need “groundbreaking” to enjoy wearing a perfume.

  • Dina C. says:

    I remember sampling Rossy de Palma years ago and using up the sample, which was tiny. I could certainly revisit that one. It was nice. I’ve also tried a sample Like This, which I haul out around Halloween because of the pumpkin note. That one isn’t so much my cup of tea though. I think that’s it for me and Etat Libre d’Orange. Do they put out a sample coffret? They should.

  • Maya says:

    I have a sample of Exit the King and it’s…nothing much. I tried Putains de Palaces and wondered what all the to-do was about. None of the ones I’ve tried have interested me in any way, so not a house for me.

    • Cinnamon says:

      I recall when the house first launched stuff — that the thing was the names and the raunchiness. That has receded and in its wake revealed sort of pedestrian perfumes. I do, as I said, want to try Like This and a couple of others, but it’s not top of the list.

  • March says:

    Hmmmmm…..I think the ELdO stories are (as a whole) more enticing than the results, and I admit over time even those stories tire me, like you have to be “in” on it — the references to Dune or Tom of Finland etc. I’m much more excited about my MacBook — I got my first, a Pro, in 2011 and with some upgrades over the years it’s STILL remarkably functional. Show me a PC laptop that isn’t a doorstop after 3 or 4 years. I now have a 2018 Air as well which I also love, and it’s a wonder the way it syncs so seamlessly with the iPad and the iPhone. I have a newly work-issued PC that costs twice a MacBook and can’t hold a candle to my 2018 Air in so many ways. I’m #teamapple all the way.

    • Cinnamon says:

      It took me ages to engage with Apple products. Then once I had an iPhone it was like a waterfall. I find sometimes I have to look up how to do something that is simple on the PC (scanning) but overall I love the quality and the synching.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    Never explored this line. Too many lines and perfumes to explore. Have an interest in sampling one or two though. I won’t give SM the time of day though.

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    I own and love Remarkable People. I really loved the Trash one they did a few years back, i felt the opening was phenomenal but it all fell apart so quickly.

  • Rosemary says:

    Putains de Palaces is one of my favorite perfumes, I love it, never get tired of it! I really enjoy You or Someone Like You, too!

  • Musette says:

    hmm… this is one of those where I know something (in general) about the House… but nothing (in general) about the perfumes. I remember sampling SMag (eh… why?) and Like This, which was interesting… but couldn’t tell you much (okay! ANYTHING) about the rest of their lineup. And that’s on me – I think they slid past … xoxoxo

    • Brigitte says:

      Secretions Magnifique is the only one of all I have sampled that would be a full bottle purchase. On my skin it smells like the Atlantic Ocean of my youth with a touch of cream. My kids say it smells great on me too. Nothing odd or off-putting as many others have mentioned.

    • Cinnamon says:

      That’s the thing: the perfumes themselves don’t stick in the mind — just the concept.

  • Melanie says:

    I’ve found quite a few ELdO’s have made their way into my collection. I think Like This and Fat Electrican are my most favs. Do have Rien and Rien Intense, Yes I Do and Marquis de Sade. Dont think i need any more.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    ELdO lover here. There are a bunch of bottles around here. The ones I particularly love wearing currently are You or Someone Like You and Noel au Balcon but I go through phases.
    Just last week I bought Spice Must flow on sale. It’s one of those HUGE rose/oud/incense bombs. Even for me one spray to my chest is enough. Beautiful though.
    Portia xx

  • filomena813 says:

    I am one of the few who likes un Amourette and own a bottle. I also own the original Rien, La Fin du Monde and Don’t Get Me Wrong Baby.

  • Gina T says:

    I love this house. Their older stuff. I own Vraie Blonde, Vierges et Toreros, Tom of Finland, Archives 69, True Lust, Attaquer Le Soleil Marquis de Sade, Putain des Palaces, Jasmine et Cigarette, and Rien.

  • Tara C says:

    I have Noel au Balcon, Vraie Blonde, Une Amourette and Nombril Immense. They are exactly as you say, pleasant but not exciting. I’ve stopped sampling their new releases as my expectations are so low. I think Like This is one of their best efforts.