June Cologne of the Month: Etat Libre d’Orange Hermann
If ever there was a fragrance line that could bring out your alter ego, French surrealist cult favorite Etat Libre d’Orange is it. You don’t just wear Etat Libre d’Orange; you experience it.
We’ve selected one of the most enigmatic and irresistible Etat Libre d’Orange fragrances: Hermann a Mes Cotes Me Paraissant Une Ombre. This cryptic title is taken from a Victor Hugo poem, and translates to “By my side, Hermann appeared as if he was my shadow.” But in case you don’t feel like memorizing a difficult line of French poetry just to rock a new scent, Hermann is all about conjuring your shadow side — warm and cold, bright and hazy, subtle and bold.
The fragrance begins with a sheer burst of tangy blackcurrant buds, shot through with a shiver of galbanum’s green menthol spice. The chill of the galbanum short-circuits the blackcurrant’s fire, so the first impression presents the sharpness of spice with none of its heat. This surprising opening downshifts into a very luxe and smooth peppery rose and frankincense heart. But still – the contradictions continue: the frankincense gilds the classic romantic floral texture with a hint of ancient darkness. Hermann’s heart is both romantic and dangerous, and not to be trusted. The base of sheer ambroxan and musky, herbal patchouli carries the shadowy imagery all the way through the dry down. Each individual note in this fragrance is paired with its evil twin opposite, that casts a long, mysterious shade over the composition. This is definitely a scent to wear for any event where your hidden side gets to come out and play for awhile.