One Thousand Scents

Friday, September 27, 2013

Dirty Mind: Archives 69 by Etat Libre d'Orange



Naturally, you are supposed to think of sex when you hear the name of Etat Libre d'Orange's 2011 launch "Archives 69". And then you are supposed to feel abashed when you learn that you, filthy beast, jumped to conclusions, because it's actually (supposedly) a reference to their address in Paris, 69 Rue des Archives. But in a classic case of having their cake and simultaneously eating it too, the logo for the scent is in fact three people engaged in mutual oral sex*.

Are people that easily shocked these days? Are we really meant to find any of this scandalous? Or am I just jaded?

Never mind. Archives 69 isn't about oral sex, or archives, or a building in Paris, or even the year 1969. What it's really all about, for some reason, is good clean fun.

The top is a bright, fizzy soda-pop burst of citrusy aldehyde with a leaf-green overtone that suggests candy spearmint leaves. (No aldehydes in the official list of notes, which run "Mandarin, pink pepper, pimiento leaf, orchid, prune, incense, camphor, benzoin, patchouli, musk": but since the intro feels like a softer version of Clinique Wrappings they're in there, all right.) The middle is a sweetened, slightly fruit-flavoured version of the relentlessly dry orchid from YSL Nu, but not enough to bring Archives 69 into the dreaded fruity-floral category; despite the candy-coated top, this has nothing of the teenaged girl about it. The base is pleasantly musky and close to the skin.

Archives 69 doesn't read as sexy: it's much too cheerful for that. It's all about having a good time, though, and I guess the kind of fun you're having (and how many people you're having it with) is up to you.

*Not so much 69, then, as 103.5.

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