Afternoon Of A Faun by Ralf Schwieger for Etat Libre d’Orange 2012

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

The Afternoon of a Faun Etat Libre d`Orange fragranticaPhoto 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.

The Afternoon of a Faun Etat Libre d`Orange Henri_Rousseau wikipediaPhoto 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.

The Afternoon of a Faun Etat Libre d`Orange John_Reinhard_Weguelin WikipediaPhoto 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.

Further reading: Chemist In A Bottle and The Non-Blonde
LuckyScent has $149/100ml
Etat Libre d’Orange has €110/100ml (Delivers to the world)
Surrender To Chance starts at $4.50/ml

What are your thoughts? Tried it? Wanted to?
Come on and join the conversation, I’d love to read your musings too>
Portia xx

2 comments to Afternoon Of A Faun by Ralf Schwieger for Etat Libre d’Orange 2012

  1. Azar says:

    Hi Portia,
    I suppose my experience of Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun is too pedagogical. The two piano reduction is one of the pieces I use to test my older students’ sight reading abilities. While they may have heard the music they are usually are not prepared for the notation. What I usually hear on the first pass are “Fauns Gone Terribly Wild” or sometimes “Zombie Fauns”. That being said, the reduction I use looks a lot harder than it actually is, one of the those scary looking things that are not really difficult when you find the solution. By the second time around most students have figured this out and the music begins to resemble Debussy. I have not tried the Ralf Schwieger version of this piece. Perhaps that would be a good holiday “test” for me!
    Azar xx

  2. […] reading: Australian Perfume Junkies and Chemist In A Bottle LuckyScent has $149/100ml Etat Libre d’Orange has €110/100ml (Delivers […]

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