Sécrétions Magnifiques burst (seeped? dripped? spurted?) onto the perfume scene in 2006. Though I’ve been intrigued by many Etat Libre d’Orange perfume descriptions, I’ve not had any luck with the fragrances. The perfumes are usually rather mild compared to their PR claims, names and artwork. On its packaging, Je suis un Homme features a handgun with the barrel in the shape of a firm penis, but it smells like Hermès Bel Ami — calm, reserved and a tad conservative. The woman Rossy de Palma is bold and quirky; her eponymous Etat Libre d’Orange fragrance is an Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose clone. Tom of Finland? About as raunchy as an éclair. Belatedly, I’ve found that Sécrétions Magnifiques does live up, in part, to its name (keep the sécrétions, nix the magnifiques).
Breast milk, blood and semen are but a few of the ‘inspirations’ for Sécrétions Magnifiques. Nourishment, preservation and orgasm comprise the Sécrétions Magnifiques manifesto; the perfume salutes the human body and its fluids. (Please, let’s refrain from commenting too ‘personally’ on the aromas — and flavors — of these bodily fluids. I’m not really interested in anyone’s experiences with such magnificent secretions; my stomach is weak!)
Sécrétions Magnifiques was created by perfumer Antoine Lie and contains an iodized accord (fucus, azurone), adrenalin accord, blood accord, milk accord, iris, coconut, sandalwood and opoponax. Etat Libre d’Orange describes Sécrétions Magnifiques this way: “Like blood, sweat, sperm, saliva, Sécrétions Magnifiques is as real as an olfactory coitus that sends one into raptures…. Masculine tenseness frees a rush of adrenalin…. Tongues and sexes find one another, pleasure explodes and all goes wild. Confusion reigns supreme.”
Sécrétions Magnifiques is offensive (heinous even). It smells like no other perfume I’ve encountered (in a sense, this is high praise in an industry full of sameness and lack of originality). When I wore Sécrétions Magnifiques for the first time, before I noticed scent, I felt sensations: unease, chill, damp, repulsion, queasiness. With these feelings percolating, I began to register the scents of watered-down bleach, infused one minute with “milk” (that quickly curdles) and the next minute with a cheap “fruity” note (a deformed aldehyde? a reject sandalwood molecule?) Sécrétions Magnifiques made me panic: how do I get this stuff off my body?
I asked many people to try Sécrétions Magnifiques and not one of them liked it. My partner says that Sécrétions Magnifiques smells like licking copper wire tastes (I’ll assume he’s been doing some rewiring) and I can understand that; there is a metallic edge to the perfume throughout its development.
On subsequent wearings, Sécrétions Magnifiques's aromas fired up my imagination and inspired several scen(t)arios. Sécrétions Magnifiques smelled like chlorine-soaked nylon swim trunks that had not been washed during a year of wear (between swims, they had been stored in their freakish owner’s freezer — to kill germs and to cool his “privates” in hot weather). I imagined the smell of a cheap pair of plastic flip-flops that had held sweaty feet on many a trek from one end of steamy Bangkok to the other (with fragrance notes of salt, odiferous plastic and wet concrete). Was that a box full of Band-Aids I was smelling…damp with ammonia and imitation vanilla extract? And why not call this perfume “Lab Perp”? The mild mannered technician, seemingly sterile and clothed in white cotton, has a dirty little secret! Wielding a needle, a brush, a swab, he collects ‘samples’ from patients’ anxious bodies…and creates a “Cabinet of Curiosities” dedicated to infirmity, thwarted eternity…an illicit mix of stolen blood, sweat and tears. Lab Perp rubs, tastes, sniffs...!
Sécrétions Magnifiques is a mess — on me, on paper and on fabric…even sprayed into the air it’s loathsome. On the day I forced myself to wear Sécrétions Magnifiques full-on, I ended the day by taking a hot shower with a loofah mitt and a bottle of AXE shower gel (what better product to use to neutralize any earthly odor?) Guess what? Sécrétions Magnifiques survives hot showers, AXE, and energetic scrub-downs but it changes character after contact with soap and water. After a shower, gone are Sécrétions Magnifiques’ medicinal, clinical, cold, “dire,” rotten and acrid odors and out pops a simple, cheap, drugstore perfume made with some discount musk, phony tonka bean and a hint of “atonal” fruit (coconut? peach?)
For $80…this can be yours (in 50 ml Eau de Parfum). For buying information, see the listing for Etat Libre d'Orange under Perfume Houses.