Hey Fragrance Fiends,
Having loved the Claude Debussy Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun as a child, it was on one of my Dad’s records and it had some heavy hitters after it but I thought that this was so beautiful and soft by comparison. A gentle, pastoral piece of loveliness. I could imagine the naughty faun watching beautiful languid girls going down through a paddock to the water to bathe, laughing and carefree, the trill of their voices mixing with the gurgle of the river. Anyway enough of that, Etat Libre d’Orange released their fragrance in 2012 with a sister, Dangerous Complicity (which I found a bit meh) but…
Afternoon Of A Faun by Ralf Schwieger for Etat Libre d’Orange 2012
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Bergamot, pepper, cinnamon, incense, immortelle, orris root, myrrh, leather, benzoin, rose, jasmine, oakmoss
Afternoon of a Faun is a totally different and much more enjoyable piece of fragrant art. Unusual, nuanced, enveloping and slightly awkward it is both fun and pretty. The lovely wet pepper and citrus opening that quickly becomes deepened and broadened by the spices and immortelle, it’s cool and elegant iris all underpinned by a sweet darkness that feels both alluring and a little bit wicked. Afternoon of a Faun is not sensual in the bodily scent or skank way but it does have a wonderful frission of notes that keep me sniffing my hand compulsively because i can’t quite believe that it smells like it does. There is a vegetal funkiness, a dankness or earthiness that must be the oakmoss, immortelle and leather combination (or quite possibly something unmentioned in the notes list). Sadly i am too unschooled to really be able to parse this out. Through the heart I am seriously thinking Afternoon Of A Faun is a vetiver fragrance on my skin, not in the notes but it does have that feel and later the spice and rose make definite star turns.
Photo Stolen Wikipedia
Excellent sillage but only moderate projection and a good life at around the 6 hours mark before I lose the ability to smell it completely, Afternoon of a Faun becomes a softly insistent resinous wash in its last couple of hours and I find the ride enjoyable and interesting when I take special note but easy enough to wear as a daily scent too.
Gaia says, “The Afternoon of a Faun” is the name of a French poem written by Stéphane Mallarmé between 1865 and 1867 and published in 1976 (thank you, Wikipedia). Lucasz tells us that it was the 100 year anniversary of original L’après-midi d’un faune ballet choreographed for The Ballets Russes by Vaslav Nijinsky and that the inspiration here are the nymphs and fauns playing together.
Photo Stolen Wikipedia
I don’t know if you ever read E M Forsters short stories but The Story Of A Panic tells the story of young Eustace being changed forever by the attentions of a faun. The whole omnibus is excellent reading but I always loved The Story Of A Panic especially. There is something of the foreboding in ELdO’s Afternoon Of A Faun that we get in the E M Forster story.
Here is Prelude to Afternoon Of A Faun by Claude Debussy, the music and fragrance are a perfectly symmetrical accompaniment.
What are your thoughts? Tried it? Wanted to?
Come on and join the conversation, I’d love to read your musings too>