Etat Libre d’Orange Attaquer Le Soleil Marquis de Sade ~ fragrance review

Etat Libre d'Orange Attaquer Le Soleil Marquis de Sade, brand image

What a difference an ingredient makes. Last week I disparaged a fragrance that showcased one note (Iso E Super) and this week I’m doing just the opposite. Attaquer Le Soleil* Marquis de Sade by Etat Libre d’Orange promotes one ingredient, cistus labdanum (from Cistus ladanifer), but I thoroughly enjoy this perfume.

I wrote about the Marquis de Sade and perfume almost 7 years ago (Histoires de Parfums 1740 Marquis de Sade). I’ll quote myself:

Sade’s stories of torture, his endless diatribes against religion, his sexual fantasies involving pain, incest, degradation, humiliation and murder numbed me. Reading the Marquis de Sade’s dully written, repetitive tales made me sleepy and after awhile I began to laugh heartily at the absurdity of him and what he ‘preached.’ His philosophy didn’t appeal to (or interest) me. I was definitely not Sade’s audience.

I’m still not Sade’s audience but sometimes I feel I could have been his compatriot…

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Byredo Super Cedar ~ fragrance review

Byredo Super Cedar

I spent my Sunday afternoon this week perusing the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) website. IFRA prohibits and restricts the use of many beloved perfume ingredients. Some of these ingredients cause sensitization, phototoxicity, are carcinogenic or have the “critical effect” of genotoxicity (they mess with your genetic info). These are serious issues and IFRA also advises on the use of such ingredients to flavor products that come into contact with our mouths and digestive systems: tobacco, toothpaste, pastilles, syrups and the like. What got me on an IFRA kick in the first place? I’ve been testing LOTS of perfumes recently that are full of Iso E Super and I was wondering what IFRA had to say about it.

Iso E Super is on IFRA’s restricted list (as flavoring) due to its critical effect of sensitization; it can cause an allergic response (one that may worsen with repeated use). You can smell Iso E Super in hundreds of perfumes and in toiletries, home fragrance sprays and candles, and household cleaning products, like laundry detergents and dryer sheets…

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Loewe 001 Man ~ fragrance review

Loewe 001 Man brand images

On a visit to Madrid years ago, I walked inside a Loewe shop and picked up and sprayed a perfume tester. A human shark, made up in the crudely hyper-theatrical style of an amateur touring production of Carmen, ran across the store and grabbed the bottle from my hands. She snapped: “Ask if you want to smell!” as she held the bottle protectively to her breast. My traveling companion looked at me with pity. I imagined him thinking: “Poor Kevin…to be reprimanded in public.” I did not say a word. I did not smile. I turned and walked out of the shop.

Whenever I see the word “Loewe,” that crass sales assistant comes to mind and I want to go back in time and spray that mediocre perfume I had smelled into her eyeballs. Yes, I have a temper…and a long memory! (“Italian by way of Virginia.”)…

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The Different Company Oud Shamash & Oud For Love ~ fragrance reviews & a quick oud poll

The Different Company Oud Shamash & Oud For Love

I’m not vexed by (more) oud perfumes hitting the market…I’m bored with perfumes that proclaim their oud affiliation on their bottles: oud-this, oud-that — Oud! Aoud! Oudh!

If a fragrance is heavy on orange blossom or cedar or sage we usually don’t see those ingredients listed on labels ad nauseum. Perhaps the only other ingredient besides oud that is as advertised in perfume names is rose. So: when I hear an announcement of another oud fragrance, I don’t frown or sigh, I give it a try. Just this year I fell in love with, and bought, Diptyque’s Oud Palao.

The Different Company could not resist the tide of oud-named fragrances, and has given us TWO…

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Diptyque Kimonanthe ~ fragrance review

Even the most jaded perfumistas like myself are not immune from the occasional jerky motion or drool as we read about a new fragrance. I’m sometimes brought out of the glazed-eye/nodding-off stage when a new perfume is by a house I love and a perfumer I admire, has a great list of notes and a well-done backstory. Diptyque Kimonanthe, the newest fragrance in the La Collection 34 series, sparked desire (and hope) for all these reasons.

Diptyque provided me with some of my earliest (and greatest) niche perfume experiences: I’ve owned (or own) L’Eau Trois, L’Ombre dans L’Eau, Olène, Ofrésia, Oud Palao, Tam Dao, Philosykos, Oyédo, Eau d’Elide, Eau Lente, Jardin Clos, L’Autre, L’Eau and Virgilio. I won’t even mention countless candles and gallons of Essence of John Galliano room spray…

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