Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Etat Libre d'Orange Malaise of the 1970s fragrance: Change of Name, Change of Pace

Etat Libre d'Orange changes the name of their Sex Pistols fragrance (a 2010 release for French Sephora) into a more encompassing name and concept ~and please note this might be one of many to follow. The official site of the niche French brand even declares: The Sex Pistols are dead, long live Malaise (hope not, in the literal sense of the word!). "We thought it was hilarious to name a juice after a band whose stars were called Rotten and Vicious so we could sell it in a cosmetics emporium. But that’s not necessarily the whole story. In fact, we have many more in stock.
Because what is perfume, when you think of it? A potion we use to reinvent our memories. The matrix of as many stories as there are ways of getting into the scent. So what if we drew the consequence of this story-generating mechanism by dressing up the same perfume with as many names, characters and plotlines as it inspires? What if we gave it avatars? So we’re taking ‘Sex Pistols’ and giving it a new name that fits these troubled times…"

But let's see how the presentation changed:

Relive the anarchy of Britain in the punk age with the Etat Libre d'Orange Malaise of the 1970s Eau de Parfum.
Inspired by a wealth of seventies pop culture references, from Star Wars to The Stranglers, Malaise of the 1970s captures the resistant and tumultuous spirit of the times. A metallic juice that resonates like the twang of a guitar string, its sharpness reminiscent of safety pins fastened to tartan. A distillation of rebellion, music and raw emotion.
This scent from Etat Libre d'Orange blends the piquancy of black pepper and electric aldehydes with the headiness of patchouli and leather. Like an act of resistance, you cannot keep it out of your body any more than you can stop breathing. Blast off the last wafts of patchouli tailing after the Summer of Love. Growl out "No More Heroes". Take off to a galaxy far, far away. and indulge in the unique malaise of the 1970s.

Notes for Malaise of the 1970s: Citrus, Black Pepper, Amber, Prune, Electric Aldehydes, Heliotrope, Patchouli, Orcanox, Leather.

One note: Trainspotting came out in 1996. (Even if McGregor became Obi-Wan later on). Just so you know. 

Watch a clip on the brand and its manifesto/aims by president Etienne de Swardt.


  1. The softening of ELdO?

  2. Jen,

    I was thinking of it and not daring say it out loud. Perhaps we should say it.
    At any rate, the fragrances are good. I hope they continue to remain interesting to a certain degree. ;-)

  3. I've been noticing a change in the cultural attitude of the brand. First "Phillipine Houseboy" becomes "Fils de Dieu," now "Sex Pistols" gets watered down to "Malaise of the 1970's." I love the brand and its rebellious streak, but it seems that sales are now trumping attitude. Sad, but not entirely unexpected.

  4. KC,

    or it might have to do with specific groups objecting? (The Philippines activists, the copyright owners for the name Sex Pistols etc). Who knows?
    I hope it's not something as pedestrian as sales ;-)

  5. Anonymous13:14

    In the notes for Malaise is listed "orcanox", which is not familiar ... can you please explain what this is? ~ danoji ~

  6. Danoji,

    Orcanox is another name for ambroxan. ;-)

    Hope that helps!


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