The latest fragrance from free-thinkers Etat Libre d'Orange is Archives 69, created by Christine Nagel. I will admit that the ad copy for this perfume had me a little puzzled; not because of its semi-explicit erotic prose and artwork (par for the course for this house), but because I don't exactly make those associations myself when wearing the scent.
from the Etat Libre d'Orange website:
While I do agree that there is a sensual component to this perfume, any fragrance built around incense is sensual to me. A beautiful incense perfume makes me feel most at home, at my strongest and most centered best. Archives 69 does not disappoint, in fact, I believe it's one of Etat Libre d'Orange's best fragrances to date that I have tried.
I've had a love affair with Antoine Lie's Tom of Finland for some time now; it is an all-time favorite perfume of mine. I will get into the specifics of that torrid affair in a future post, but I bring it up now because for me, Archives 69 has that same addictive thread running through it. There is a nascent magnetism in Archives 69 that permeates every molecule; the potential for connection is always hovering close enough that one can reach up and snatch it at any time.
It has a cheerfulness about it that is apparent from the outset; the bright tangerine and berry CO2 sets the stage for the spices that quickly emerge from behind. This isn't the sort of perfume that wears in distinct stages, everything meshes together at once, perhaps mirroring the racy premise of the art concept. The patchouli and camphor are particularly wonderful together, but this isn't the intense, unrelenting camphorous quality that Le Labo's Santal 33 has, this is much more subtle.
The drydown reveals one of the most delicious renditions of musk I've come across. It reminds me of civet, a full-bodied but not overwhelming one, and it works beautifully with the dry, thin incense notes, providing the exact contrast needed. This is exactly the kind of sunshine-jolted, spicy incense perfume that is appropriate for warm weather, and I'll be looking forward to procuring a full bottle of it.
A 100ml bottle is available at Escentual.com in the UK for 105 GBP, and a 50ml bottle is available for pre-order at Luckyscent.com in the US for $99.
[sample was provided by Escentual.com for review]