Etat Libre d’Orange – Bendelirious

If you ask me, it looks like someone’s lip is being botoxed by a pointy building.

The ad-copy for Bendelirious, taken from the Etat Libre d’Orange website:

The first time he sees her, it’s a party, and he senses something special in the air. He looks for the source of exuberance, and he is rewarded with only a fleeting glimpse of a woman in a minidress and sky-high stilettos, but she leaves in her wake an array of glorious contradictions: soft and cool, delicate and earthy. She is a star and he’s dazzled. 
He sees her again, at another party. It’s a benefit this time, an event marked by luxury and compassion. She passes his table with its iris centerpiece, and like the precious iris she evokes elegance and grace. She illuminates the room, and he wants to follow the light.
And he does, to a cavernous club, where the uptown girl has become a downtown diva. In leather jacket and ballerinas, in the sweet madness of the moment, she is an urban fairy, waving a bottle of champagne like a magic wand. She can dance on tables and sing on subway platforms and draw everyone into her bewitching aura. For one brief spell-binding moment, their eyes meet, and now he is completely enchanted.

Having sunken into the monotony of preparing for my upcoming examinations, I figured that I needed some laughs, and so I decided that it was time to revive my old project to review ELdO’s fragrances and rewrite their ridiculous ad-copies! Procrastination is my best friend, so here I am typing away on the computer when I should really be revising…

Surprisingly, I don’t find the ad-copy for Bendelirious particularly inaccurate nor over the top in portraying the fragrance as it is, unlike with the previous ones I reviewed in the series. Bendelirious really is ultimately an effervescent cherry-iris fragrance that is at once fun and elegant. Where iris-dominated fragrances are usually earthy and weighed down with powder, the fruity notes in Bendelirious lift up the iris much as a dancer would his ballerina partner, ensuring that she is the star while providing her with the support that she needs.

If you’re worried that the cherry might veer into cough syrup territory, fear not. Perfumer Antoine Lie has opted for a light-handed approach to the fragrance and has deftly weaned the cherry of any such connotations. As time passes and the cherry fades, a soft leather accord (more suede than anything) emerges, but I wouldn’t call it a ‘downtown diva’ at any rate. Perhaps the folks over at ELdO went with it to stave off the assumption that Bendelirious was going to be yet another fruity floral, but they really needn’t have worried – Bendelirious is exciting as she is. In any case, Bendelirious is far greater a star than her washed-out sister Iris Prima by Penhaligon’s, who flops under the flimsy support of her reed-thin synthetic musks.

Bendelirious shares some similarities with Histoires de Parfums’ 1889 Moulin Rouge, whose premise is also a powdery iris supported with fruit, except in the case of Moulin Rouge, the fruit is plum rounded off with a gorgeous Damask rose. If anything, Bendelirious is the light-hearted younger sister of Moulin Rouge.

My only complaint, if any, is that Bendelirious lacks the stamina of her older sister. She dances, but then loses her strength far too quickly, whirling off the stage within four hours. Which is a pity, because she could have performed a few more pirouettes before disappearing.

I don’t think it’s really necessary to re-write the ad-copy for Bendelirious, but I’ll do so anyway, in the tradition of the series:

Re-written ad-copy

He’d  never seen anyone like her before. She was fun and flirty to the right degree, just enough to draw him in without any connotation of promiscuity. He figured that her charm was part of the tools of her trade – to entertain her patrons when she wasn’t dancing on stage.

On stage, though, she was a different creature altogether. Lovelier than a swan and more graceful than a gazelle. There she was lost in herself, and that was when her beauty was most exposed. Her legs and arms formed perfect lines, but his gaze was trained upon her cherry lips, that gave away no sign that she was straining.

In his mind’s eye, she blew him a kiss. He blinked, but she had already vanished from the stage, to the well-mannered applause of the audience.

[This review was based on my own bottle of Bendelirious, which I bought some time back.]

~ The Smelly Vagabond

4 thoughts on “Etat Libre d’Orange – Bendelirious

  1. Actually, I do love ELdO’s ad copies. Some of them are so outrageously funny (I’m sure it wasn’t their intention though.) I’m not always impressed by the scents but their styles and concepts kinda resonate with the rebel inside me.
    I haven’t tried Bendelirious but if it’s like 1889 Moulin Rouge, I’m interested.
    Good luck with your exam! 😉

    • Dear thinkingmagpie,

      I have a love-hate relationship with their ad-copies. Sometimes I find them hilariously funny, and other times I find them astoundingly cringe-worthy. I’m always bemused, and sometimes confused, when the scent doesn’t match the ad-copy, which is often the case with ELdO. They’re really quite tame and pleasant sometimes, despite what the ad-copy says!

      • That’s so true! In some cases, from the ad-copy and the name, I was expecting something more avant-garde but turned out to be, as you said, tame!

  2. Pingback: Etat Libre d’Orange Bendelirious EDP Perfume Review | EauMG

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