Edgy French parfumier Etat Libre d’Orange gives us a glimpse of how it came up with its new perfume, I am Trash/Les fleurs du Déchet.
Featuring worms and waste, this is a far cry from your familiar floaty fairy-tale fragrance ad.
Not surprisingly from a house that has previously offered pet perfumes Oh My Dog! (a success) and Oh My Cat! (not so), as well as human scents Putain des Palaces and Fat Electrician, Etat Libre d’Orange takes an unusual approach all round.
Depletion of natural ingredients such as essential oils, rising costs in the production chain, and increasing sustainability concerns among consumers make scent-manufacture a costly business. Then there’s the advertising and marketing: Perfume-makers are estimated to spend some US$800 million a year on it, yet we’re still side-stepping those random spritzes of unwanted smells when we venture into a department store.
So Etat Libre d’Orange – named after its founder Etienne de Swardt’s South African birthplace of the Orange Free State – is striking at the core perceptions of a hitherto ‘glamorous’ industry with its edgy approach.
Describing itself as “une parfumerie spirituelle, qui manie l’ironie, aiguise les noms, bouscule les préjugés, attise l’ambiguïté, joue avec les idées pour réinventer le plaisir de sentir”, the firm shows us its upcoming scent Les fleurs du Déchet (literally, the Flowers of Waste) emerging from the detritus of flowers and other elements jettisoned from the highly wasteful fragrance industry.
Environmentalists among us may love the notion of re-purposing waste to create a new scent, others may be inclined to turn up our noses.
Delight or disgust?
Will you be on the lookout for the autumn 2018 launch, or maybe even pre-orduring?
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