Etat Libre d’Orange La Fin du Monde ~ fragrance review

Etat Libre d'Orange La Fin du Monde

Go Out With A Bang. Or not. Before smelling Etat Libre d’Orange’s new La Fin du Monde* fragrance, I imagined many ways to approach the ‘end of the world’ in perfume — the possibilities! —what FUN! Having worn La Fin du Monde for two days (not scary, not inspiring, and definitely not fun), I’ll save any talk of earth’s annihilation for a future review of a worthy scent.

When first applied to skin, La Fin du Monde presents a sweet, earthy/food-y spice mix of carrot seeds and light cumin, with some pepper in the periphery. Although this spice accord sounds dense (and it even has a hint of "caramel") it’s sheer and clear. La Fin du Monde sweetens considerably in mid-development with benzoin. Vetiver and sandalwood (or some "wood")  combine to produce a drop or two of (fleeting) ‘sweat’ — almost onion-y. The base of La Fin du Monde smells of benzoin (turned ashy) with some ambrette seed muskiness.

La Fin du Monde, like a few other Etat Libre d'Orange scents, has a jarring character (especially during the first phase of development); accords and notes clash, fail to merge or converge onto a "path" or plan (that's fine, and such a technique can produce some interesting perfume experiences). But in La Fin du Monde the result seems haphazard, unskilled. And the “popcorn” everyone is talking about? I don’t smell popcorn…or cannon powder (too bad). There is a moment or two of a harsh "electrical" scent...maybe that's the popcorn being scorched in a microwave oven?

Overall, La Fin du Monde is mild mannered, semi-woody, semi-sweet, semi-ashy…a dud (this perfume “explosion” didn't happen, for me at least).

Etat Libre d’Orange La Fin du Monde

Unisex Etat Libre d'Orange La Fin du Monde has good lasting power and sillage; it's $80 for 50 ml Eau de Parfum (it's also sold in 100 ml). For buying information, see the listing for Etat Libre d’Orange under Perfume Houses.

*Popcorn accord, carrot seeds, caraway, cumin, sesame, black pepper, freesia, vetiver, sandalwood, ambrette, orris, styrax, cannon powder accord. La Fin du Monde was developed by perfumer Quentin Bisch.

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  1. AnnieA says:

    The last few ELOs have been quite snoozy. This includes the SWINTON contribution, I must say.

    • Kevin says:

      AA: I wasn’t a fan of that one either…we are in the minority.

  2. caffeinequeen says:

    “Almost onion-y”?!? That’s my cue to avoid this scent like the proverbial plague!

    • Kevin says:

      Caffeine, no onion for me either!

  3. poodle says:

    So sad…I wanted the popcorn note to really be there. I’ve yet to see a review where anyone really noticed it. I guess I’ll pass on this one.

    • Kevin says:

      Poodle, good…I was afraid I was losing my edge!

  4. Merlin says:

    Many ELDO scents seem to either throttle me, or otherwise give me a wan smile. This sounds like it does both at once: gives you a wan smile while throttling away!

    • Kevin says:

      Merlin, I didn’t really like even a part of this

  5. michael.j says:

    I did get the popcorn, but it didn’t make the perfume any better. Instead, it smelled like the dirty carpet in the foyer of the cinema or like a college dormitory hallway on a average weeknight. I despise the smell of popcorn, especially in offices around 3 p.m. when the chronic dieters line up at the microwave with their paper bags of oil and GMO corn kernels. More exasperating are the lengths that ELdO goes to to spin a “transgressive” narrative behind a product. This one represents the greatest and most implausible distance between actual product and backstory. I’ve read the interviews and I just don’t buy it. Bullshit. Too reaching. Perhaps even lazy.

    • michael.j says:

      Please excuse the grammar problems. For some reason those tend surface more readily when typing on a tablet.

      • Kevin says:

        MJ…no problem…and I LOVE a good rant!

  6. Surprisingly I liked La Fin du Monde as a warm spicy oriental-type of thing, but I was nevertheless disappointed that this was not indeed the perfume to end all perfumery, or something. Rather it feels a lot like comfort scent material rather than battle gear :)

    • Kevin says:

      Ulastoonas…yep…it’s a mild perfume…much too sweet for me, too.

  7. jbordeau says:

    This is a really nice, interesting perfume. I don’t experience it as sweet; rather, it is salty, buttery. Most definitely I get the popcorn, at first all I get. It is gourmand, but thankfully not a sweet, candied gourmand. To me, beyond the initial popcorn accord, it is essentially abstract; to me this is high praise for a perfume.

    I completely get if you don’t like this fragrance (I don’t think that’s a fear anyone at ELdO has for its product, least of all Etienne), but to subtract points because it doesn’t meet an expectation based on the name is really missing the point, falling into the same trap as those who became dizzy and nauseous reading the description of Secretions, a weird floral. The humor falls flat sometimes, but the fragrances continue to be interesting. Fils de Dieu is also surprisingly good (though I truly love Rien, Secretions, Rossy de Palma).

  8. Kevin says:

    Jbordeau, oh, I don’t use a points system in reviews … I just describe what I smell, and of course that’s personal.

  9. Jaisalmer says:

    I feel soooooosorry but lately the eldo left me unimpressed…the last one I really really loved was fat electrician with that marvelous vetiver..I don’t know what’s happening with this line but nothing is what it was before when it all started. Maybe they are trying to sell their fragrances rto the chinese people there are some perfume shops that i know..very good ones that stopped selling them because they were too weird..I think people are not prepared for beautiful thing..not even in perfumery..when I wear incense and bubblegum everybody says it’s terrible.. i think it’s wonderful..well i miss the old days..l’afternoon of a faune was boring and it’s better not to talk about dangerous complicity..i’m absolutely disappointed.. i a really hope they will go back to their roots

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