Hello Frag Hags and Friends,
I have written of this fragrance before, it is one of my go-to frags and I have no idea why it is so addictive to me. What I can say is that it’s a hugely under-rated gem, it’s cheap as chips at the discounters and when I wear it I am instantly transported to a happy place, even from dark despair. When I am already feeling good it’s a mood matcher, bright, sparkling and super silly.
Liberté by Domitille Bertier + Olivier Polge for Cacharel 2007
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Amalfi lemon, bergamot, mandarin orange, bitter orange, orange, freesia
Heart: Marmalade, white honey, heliotrope, gardenia, frangipani, white flowers, sugar
Base: Patchouli, vetiver, spices, vanilla
So here we have a fruit-chouli, one of my least liked of the fragrance models. It’s fizzy, spicy, sweetness in most other versions of this frag type leave me cold or send me straight to the bathroom to bathe. Very similar to one of the Miss Dior incarnations, that I don’t like particularly, there is something in the mix that makes me happy. The first time I wore it I felt as if it had burned its way into my olfactory area with a cauterising pole. Since then the ride has been less fraught but I will always remember that first scary/fabulous ride.
Here’s how my skin reacts with Liberté. Opening up I get the sweetest, sparkliest whoosh of hot citrus, like someone has thrown and enormous amount of sugar and oranges on a Bar B Q, I think the Bar B Q effect is a dry, woody and raspy patchouli. This fun and crazy zing lasts only about 2 minutes but it’s so fabulous. Once that burns off we still have loads of sugar, spice and citrus but it feels more jellied, more like sugar coated soft jubes. The ones that you put three in your mouth at once and the flavour engulfs your whole body. It’s a sticky, fun fair flavour that could be fairy floss if it was just a trifle sweeter, I think still the patchouli keeps Liberté’s feet on the ground.
Photo Stolen WikiMedia
Can I say that there is nothing natural feeling about Cacharel’s Liberté, everything feels so completely synthesized and over processed, like a citrus version of single wrap sliced cheese where the wrapper is probably healthier to eat than its contents. Yes, I KNOW, but I love it. It stays fairly linear for a couple of hours, getting softer and softer, adds in some vanilla and ends its life sweetly as it has been all through the 3 hours fragrant and 2-3 hours close to your skin.
Here’s the thing. I know this is no masterpiece of fragrance. Liberté has been discontinued in Australia and is selling for peanuts on the discount stores that still have it. Frankly, I don’t care what the world thinks because when I wear Liberté I am instantly and unreservedly happy. It brings a smile to my face even thinking about spritzing it. So it’s not art, so what? Art is rarely this profoundly joyful and I’ll take smiling and bubbling with fun. In fact, I make that choice regularly when I spritz Liberté.