Review: Etat Libre d’Orange Les Fleurs du Déchet — 4.0 points

I am all for sustainability and recycling, but the perfume must perform, or else it defeats the purpose of having a perfume. This is why I was initially apprehensive about Les Fleurs du Déchet (Etat Libre d’Orange, 2018), a fragrance that is meant to be a case in point of how waste reduction and the fragrance industry can go hand in hand. It brings attention to the fragrance ingredients derived from upcycled extractions of materials that are otherwise considered ‘spent’. It turned out that my worries were unfounded, as the strawberry accord at heart is delightful and sophisticated.

wild strawberry

Les Fleurs du Déchet serves up an epicure’s dream. The attributes that make strawberry attractive are accentuated and balanced skilfully. Green tartness that opens the composition contrasts with luscious sweetness. I think of a bite into Thurgau strawberries, which have been left to ripen on their own under the sun. It is complex, with jammy sweetness of rose shining through. As it develops, soft woods, with creamy and powdery notes, wrap around the rosy strawberry. A transparent peppery facet subtly reins in the sweetness throughout.

I reckon perfumer Daniela Andrier, the author of Les Fleurs du Déchet, possesses a knack for rendering bright, airy accords. A prime example is Candy (Prada, 2011), whose hefty notes of benzoin, caramel, and musk feel surprisingly weightless. And, Les Fleurs du Déchet is no exception. It eschews the typical dry down laden with vanilla and musk, as is the case for many fruity perfumes. Once the bright strawberry sweetness has dimmed, what remains is a tempting, lingering suggestion along with ambery, soft woods. It is delicate. And the softness also means that it begs one to lean in and discover the richness of strawberry.

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