Etat Libre d'Orange, Rien

I am not sure why ELdO named this fragrance Rien. It's doesn't smell animalic or musky to me at all (and maybe nothing ever will, now that I've smelled the sweaty grampa of Eau d'Hermes), so I don't understand the "second skin" line. It's also not especially understated; any Annick Goutal fragrance can rien the pants off of Rien. So, far, my experience with ELdO suggests that their puckish marketing department, responsible for names like Fat Electrician and Hotel Slut, doesn't bother smelling the perfumes at all. Such dissonance is not so unusual, I guess, but it is disappointing when the marketing tries so hard. All that evident effort makes me hope for some actual information about ELdO's surprising, sophisticated fragrances. Oh, well.

Rien is not the most surprising (wait until you hear about Fat Electrician!), but it does smell fantastic. It opens with a satisfying, smoky-cedar-rose burst, as if a spurned bride had thrown her bouquet into a bonfire, and the blooms ignited with a considerable spray of crackling sparks. As she watches the flowers burn, she hurls the deserter's favorite leather jacket into the flames, and plumes of rich, buttery smoke carry her curses up to the heavens. Eventually, everything settles into a comforting smolder of cathedral incense as she contemplates convent life and tries to remember that she's way too good for him anyway.