The ad-copy of Archives 69, from the Etat Libre d’Orange website:
She carries her memories like her scent.
They surround her, they endure, and they speak her name. She is a collector, and among her souvenirs can be found the beauty of beginnings, the ache of endings. In the sanctuary of her heart lie the sacred and the profane, they come together like the notes of her fragrance. She doesn’t linger long at the altar of regret. She lights the candle and burns the incense at the shrine of remembrance and expectation, pleasure and pain, in anticipation of the glorious memories yet to create. And when you know her, you will know the end of innocence. With the song of a siren, she lures with an indecent charm, an almost malevolent delicacy. She sings to the inner animal. She awakens the sleeping lion, she tames the savage beast. She shows the way to wondrous and frightening delights, and we may be surprised by the strength of her seduction.
She is masculine/feminine, succubus and incubus, and she can be dangerous, but only to those who willingly resist the confines of safety.
We shudder at the urgency of her will, and tremble at our own hungry response. In her insatiable desire to have and to give, she is under and over, she consumes with her life force. She knows when to strike, when to stroke. And as she feasts, we taste every delicious touch, every bite, every flicker of her tongue. She is heaven and hell, the terrible and the beautiful.
She can dance on a grave, awakening the spectre with a blood kiss, and we will join her in this feverish whirl, to the tempo of a tango, until we are one with her, in mind and body.
And you will carry this memory as you carry this scent.
69 rue des Archives is the address of Etat Libre d’Orange. Archives 69 is the essence of Etat Libre d’Orange. This is a perfume designed to free the senses, to open the heart to all the possibilities. It is an invitation to pleasure, an ode to seduction. It comes without restrictions, rules or regulations. It is yours to do with as you wish.
This is the scent of sensual liberation.
Errr, how about, no? To be absolutely honest, I snorted and tried my best to stifle my laughter when I read this ad-copy while typing away in the library. A succubus/incubus who seduces and licks you, who “awakens the [your] sleeping lion” and “tames the [your] savage beast”? Even with my propensity for the absurd, this description of Archives 69 really takes the prize for most over-the-top, most irrelevant description of the perfume.
Lest you believe that I dislike the fragrance, allow me to state upfront my take on the fragrance itself: it’s intellectually-stimulating (definitely not stimulating in the way they describe) and generally wearable. I’d even consider it to be an edgy fragrance. The challenge now is coming up with ad-copy that better fits the fragrance. But before we dive into that, what does Archives 69 smell like?
Archives 69 opens with a effervescent, fizzy soda note that’s actually quite delightful. It smells like… Fanta Orange, for those of you who know what I’m referring to, and also brings to mind sherbet sweets. I like how perfumer Christine Nagel plays with the pink pepper and the aldehydes to create this bubbly effect that causes the nose to tingle without resulting in a cloying migraine-inducing nightmare.
But Archives 69 isn’t just young, flirty fun. From the onset, it is possible to detect a metallic undercurrent, an homage to Sécrétions Magnifique, if you ask me. It teeters on the edge of veering into nauseating territory and leaves one wondering, “Am I going to puke, or am I not?” Thankfully, the metallic notes are reined in (phew!) and also disappear soon after only to reappear in a more subtle form, like one of those holograms that always seem to pop up in Star Wars. Perhaps we can think of the initial metallic undercurrent as R2-D2, who is metal in the flesh (hah!) and Obi Wan Kenobi as the later metallic undercurrent that is projected as a hologram by R2-D2. Right, that seems to be stretching it, but I’m just shamelessly trying to appeal to Star Wars fans 😀 Anyway, this lighter metallic undercurrent adds some edge to Archives 69, and continues through the rest of the phases of the fragrance’s development.
If I had to describe the rest of Archives 69 in just one sentence, I’d say that it’s a mélange of fruit, flower and spice that’s fuzzy and indistinct, with each part hard to pick out individually. I guess you could also say that it’s an orgy of these ingredients (scoring points for the sexual imagery here, I’m sure Etat Libre d’Orange would approve). Despite the frenzy of competing notes, there is an incense at the core of Archives 69 that anchors it and that serves as a counterpoint for the rest of the notes. It’s as though there’s someone meditating in the midst of the chaos, and what can I say, I found this effect to be a very clever trick of perfumery indeed.
I don’t wear Archives 69 often, because it just has so much going on, all the time. But when I do, I’m always guaranteed a fragrant roller coaster ride.
They’re having lunch in a diner, sipping fizzy orange soda.
She licks her metal spoon, clearing it of the leftover fruit pudding they had shared.
She puts the spoon down, slowly, sensually.
She stretches her hand over the table, places it over his hand and caresses his hand.
“Baby, shall we…
… have another fruit pudding?
His excitement shoots through the roof.
“Yes, more, give me more…
… fruit pudding. That was some good fruit pudding!”
~ The Smelly Vagabond
Read the rest of the re-written Etat Libre d’Orange ad-copies here!