Monday, October 11, 2010

Etat Libre d'Orange - Like This, Tilda Swinton

The warm smell of home

The famously unconventional beauty, Tilda Swinton collaborated with the famously unconventional perfume house, Etat Libre d'Orange, on their latest perfume, Like This.

Inspiration for the perfume came from a poem that Swinton loves called "Like This."
If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is,
or what "God’s fragrance" means,
lean your head toward him or her.

Keep your face there close.
Like this.
Swinton asked for a perfume that she could travel with, one with the smells of ease, simplicity and the spirit of the home in Scotland that she cherishes.
The warm ginger of new baking on a wood table, the immortelle of a fresh spring afternoon, the lazy sunshine of my grandfather's summer greenhouse, woodsmoke and the whiskey peat of the Scottish Highlands after rain.
Notes of tangerine, ginger and pumpkin are obviously references to Swinton's red hair. This is the only perfume I know of with a pumpkin note but Etat Libre d'Orange makes some of the most unusual perfumes. Then again, this pumpkin is surprisingly wearable. It's not gourmand; it doesn't feel like I'm wearing pumpkin pie, or some kind of candle scent, but it is warm and it does smell orange.

The pumpkin is like freshly carved flesh with the seeds still stuck to it. The ginger is lightly spicy and smells almost wet at first, with a curl of tangerine peel. There's a nutty smell, like a hint of nutmeg and a woodiness, like the skin of the ginger roots and vetiver and maybe woody licorice roots. Like This also has a sweet note like warm grasses with wildflowers and hay.

Like This is a very comforting perfume, like a warm, dry kitchen while it rains outside; a cup of ginger and licorice tea; the smell of something baking; skin. The next morning, there's still a nice warm muskiness on my skin.

House: Etat Libre d'Orange
Nose: Mathilde Bijaoui
Notes: yellow tangerine, ginger, pumpkin accord, immortelle flower, Moroccan neroli, Grasse rose, vetiver, heliotrope, musks


  1. I gave a sample of this to my best friend months ago and I still haven't heard what she thinks of it! She was really intrigued by the idea of pumpkin in a perfume.

    I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving weekend.

  2. Hi JoanElaine: I did enjoy it, it was beautiful here. I hope you did too.

  3. Great review! The pumpkin scares me a bit (I have always had an allergic reaction to pumpkin innards), but still sounds intriguing.

  4. Hi Josephine, it's not as pumpkiny as I imagined, you should try it.

  5. I found this scent quirky and interesting and you have captured it perfectly with your image of the warm, dry kitchen and hot herbal drink. I was so impressed that Tilda went down such an unusual stylistic route, but it is nicely in keeping with her offbeat looks and flaming red hair!

    Couldn't take the poem seriously, mind, but I am a bit of a Philistine about such things...

  6. Hi flittersniffer! Thanks for the comment. I'm not well-read in poetry, Yeats is about all I ever read, but how often is a poem cited as inspiration for a perfume? So ELdO gets some points for that.

  7. Love your review. I got a sample of this right after it came out. I tried it and became ill. I don't know if this fragrance makes me ill or if I associate it with a stomach-flu feeling. I can appreciate this fragrance for being original but it makes me sick to my stomach. I think it is the "maple syrup note" that kills me. I love the pumpkin in it. It's the only thing I can handle. I'm the only fragrance person that I know of that doesn't like Like This :(

  8. EauMG: That's too bad, but it seems everyone has something that they can't take. I hate lilies, or they hate me. Is it all immortelle notes you can't stand or just this one?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.