If you’re a little fed up of the usual perfume campaign narratives – perfect people recline in perfect sunsets smelling, well, perfect – then Etat Libre D’Orange new Hermann fragrance may pique your interest. It’s not that it doesn’t smell to die for (a surprising and seductive combination of blackcurrant buds, pepperwood and black pepper), it’s rather that Etat Libre D’Orange are no ordinary perfumier. Founded in 2006 by Etienne de Swart, the brand aims to be boldly unconventional and rebellious. You only need to glance at a few of their cheekily named products to know that: Putain de Palaces (more or less translated as “Hotel Slut”) or La Fin du Monde (“The End of the World”).
This story of this particular fragrance is “An Alternative Self” and takes its inspiration from Victor Hugo’s poem What Two Horsemen Were Thinking in the Forest, in which the narrator declares, “by my side, Hermann seemed to me like a shadow.” It’s all about the idea of a shadow, an ego, or some other self which could, as far as Etat Libre D’Orange are concerned, be your faithful perfume. This well scented alter-ego is available exclusively from the Conran Shop now. A perfume inspired by canonical French literature: there’s something you don’t see everyday.