Monday, 9 August 2010

Etat Libre D'Orange - Putain de Palaces

I've had mixed success with the ELDO line of fragrances. Of the ones I've tried, they've all struck me as quite synthetic, a little offbeat without really charming me. It's unlikely that I would have ordered a sample of Putain de Palaces. In fact I didn't. I ordered a batch of samples and this one was included in error. The name, depending on one's point of view, could be enough to deter, particularly if Secretions Magnifique was anything to go by. P de P actually turns out to be a gorgeous, sexy, feminine fragrance with enough hint of sex to be alluring in the best of ways. The name is quite misleading. Although there is an overt sexuality here, it is not an all-flesh-bared sluttiness, but a subtle behind-closed-doors seduction. The notes for P de P include violet, rose, leather, lily of the valley, mandarin, ginger, rice powder, amber and animalic notes. P de P opens with a strong violet note, dry and powdery. In fact, violet is never far away throughout the duration of development and if you are not a fan of violet, you might not like this, particularly the opening. I detected an interesting doughy note, with an undertone of green, which I think is lily of the valley. Once the top dissipates, an amber and green violet accord wells up, slightly sweet yet fresh. At this point the demure, slightly withdrawn lady takes off her silky gown, revealing her earthly delights. A bit risque, I know, but P de P does start to become quite sexual, without my ever being able to pin down exactly what it is that makes it so. For some reason the mixture of violet, powder and a slight leather note reminds me of the smell of woman, and underwear, and maybe makeup or soap, but in a clean, just-washed-but-ready-for-bed way.  It's wholly feminine, and in a way I felt like an impostor wearing this, but it was too distracting to stop. 

I can't say I detected much (if any) rose, ginger or mandarin. I think the rice powder with the violet, amber and whatever animalic notes they have put in here creates that smell of warm, feminine, slightly aroused skin. The dry down does soften as the violet and leather fade, leaving an ambery, even slightly milky accord. Every now and then there is a waft of violet and that alluring seductive, sensuous body note. Although I'm emphasizing the sexuality of this perfume, it is not by any means sex-on-wheels, at least not obviously so. It is quite sophisticated, even elegant in many ways, but has just enough of something faintly disturbing to make it interesting, like all good perfumes do. I find this incredibly sexy and feminine and highly recommend it. P de P veers well over the gender line, making it something that I would struggle to wear to work, but damn, it still smelled good on me, so I'd hate to know (actually I'd love to know) what this smells like on a woman.

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