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TBG Interview: Etienne de Swardt, Founder, Etat Libre D’Orange

Enigmatic, intriguing, irreverent and irresistible.

That pretty much sums up the indie French perfume label Etat Libre D’Orange.

The selection of juices concocted by Etat stands out from a sea of same-ness in the over-commercialised perfume industry, and seals its cult status.

Classic examples:

Like This (Indonesian ginger, pumpkin, tangerine, immortal flower, Moroccan neroli, rose, spicy notes, vetiver, woody notes, musk, heliotrope) blended with the imagination of actor Tilda Swinton.

Tom of Finland (Aldehydes, citron, feuilles de bouleau, pin, safraleine, poivre, cypres, geranium, vanille, feve tonka, iris, vetiver, daim, musc, ambre gris), inspired by the Finnish homoerotic artist Touko Valio Laaksonen.

Secretions Magnifiques (Iodized accord – fucus, azurone – adrenalin accord, blood accord, milk accord, orris, coconut, sandalwood, opoponax), a cocktail of the “scent” of blood, sweat, sperm, saliva…

Etienne de Swardt at the Escentials Singapore store

Etienne de Swardt, the brand’s maverick founder answers – with his usual irreverence – a few of The Beauty Gazette’s quick questions.

What sets Etat Libre D’Orange apart? The permanent art of sabotage and indecency with the sole dogma of highest quality for the formulation itself; somehow to save our souls by emotion on skin.

Which are your top three favourites from the Etat Libre D’Orange collection? I do love all my scented freaks equally. But let’s say that I abuse most of the time the Cologne as being simple, natural, just a nice scent – the Afternoon of a Faun because it celebrates perfectly more than a century of what I call synesthesia (1912-2012 Nijinsky, Debussy and Stephan Mallarmé are still alive echoing on skin like no others). And of course, my delicious Fat Electrician where the curse of beauty is everything.

Where do you get your inspiration for the scents? Walking, walking, walking in Paris; or in the deep oak forest of the Loire valley; or watching the beautiful clouds above the cities of Blois & Vendome and cherishing all my beloved.

Why are the French so enamoured with perfumes? Because we care for love, no more no less.

Who are some of Etat’s biggest celebrity fans? From all the centuries I would say Rossy de Palma, Tilda Swinton, Vaslav Nijinski, Justin Vivian Bond, Marquis de Sade, Victor Hugo, and Roland Mouret.

What’s the best way to make perfume last longer? Free as bird no methods, just listen to your inner self according to the prey you will be hunting that day ;-)

Where are Etat Libre D’Orange juices made? In France. We are the very fruits of the loop of Mane and Givaudan and we macerate all our juices in the north of France.

What’s next for Etat Libre D’Orange? “I am trash, les fleurs du déchet” this Fall 2018 in which we will proclaim “trash but never wasted” because the beauty can reboot from everywhere especially the less suspected, we shall bow to the flowers and the fruits will carry on.

Etat Libre D’Orange is available at Escentials, Singapore.

©The Beauty Gazette

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