Let's start with the surface: The name ("The End of the World") and the shiny orange symbol for radioactivity are enough to make you think you're about to smell someone's interpretation of nuclear annihilation. But this is Etat Libre d'Orange, the quirky, irreverent, fun-loving French house, and things often are not what they seem. The perfume was inspired by a satirical book called The End of the World Filmed by the Angel of Notre Dame, and you can sense the creator's tongue firmly in cheek in here. We are not smelling the apocalypse; we are smelling its distant aftereffects through the lens of satire, when the world has found a new normal that may be disconcertingly like what came before. La Fin du Monde mixes warm and cold, keeping us close to the action while representing the narrator's distant viewpoint. It features the vegetal and the sweet. And if your nose is paying careful attention, you just might get the opening hint at popcorn, as though this wild show is too good to enjoy without a little indulgence. Notes include popcorn, carrot seed, cumin, sesame, black pepper, freesia, vetiver, sandalwood, ambrette seed, iris, styrax, and gunpowder.
État Libre d'Orange, or Orange Free State, was created by Etienne de Swardt to be a provocative, intelligent line, each perfume with a point of view. In the Free Orange State, there are no constraints and nothing is off limits. As the company declares in its manifesto, "Perfume is dead. Long live perfume!" Fils de Dieu was created for État Libre d'Orange by perfumer Ralf Schwieger.
La Fin du Monde was inspired by the satirical novel The End of the World Filmed by the Angel of Notre Dame.