Liberté by Domitille Bertier + Olivier Polge for Cacharel 2007

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

Liberte by Cacharel FragranticaPhoto 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.

 Liberte Cacharel  Sugared_jubes WikiMediaPhoto 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.

Further reading: The Scented Salamander and Australian Perfume Junkies
FragranceNet has $33/50ml before coupon

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.

Portia xx

Liberté Cacharel – Gisele Bündchen

32 comments on “Liberté by Domitille Bertier + Olivier Polge for Cacharel 2007

  1. Jackie says:

    Hi Portia,
    I find your post fascinating. I’m wearing Blood Orange EO layered over woods and spices now and for the same reason. Wondering if the synthetic fragrances are triggering scent memories that function the same way as the natural essences? I’ll order a bottle of Liberte to explore your soource. Will continue my explorations with the EO’s & let you know if I come up with a similar effect, meaning a happy experience as the barometer, not the scent per se. La-uh-v the video! And love you! More soon, J

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Jackie,
      YAY!! Love you right back.
      Interesting that you are doing a similar thing with essential oils, when you try the Liberte I’d love to know if you had a similar happy moment
      Portia xx

      • Jackie says:

        Just ordered from ebay; will arrive next week. Also, looking at Jabu by Mona di Orio. & will look around for some clues re: the patchouli angle. Patchouli is a whole new continent for me. Will follow up!

      • australianperfumejunkies says:


      • Jackie says:

        I found a room blend by Suzanne that speaks to all this:
        2. Scent Your Space

        In a traditional oil burner with a candle or a diffuser add 25 drops of oil

        “Party, Dance”

        Set the mood for a dance-off –

        Rosewood 8 drops

        Geranium 6 drops

        Mandarin 7 drops

        Patchouli 4 drops

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        WOW! I wonder……
        Portia xx

  2. Sarah K says:

    Isn’t it great when you don’t have to pay big bucks for something you really like? Enjoy!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Yes, it is and my wallet thanks me SarahK,
      I will admit though that I have a few Back Up Bottles. So it works out about the same. He He he
      Portia x

  3. Azar says:

    What a wonderful video, Portia! A great message that I will pass along to my students. About the perfume: Citrus, especially mandarin, always perks me up. If I’m feeling a little down I just zip open a tangerine or mandarin. The smell of the peel, the stain on my fingers, the fragrance all function as a tasty anti-depressant. I’m going to order some of this Liberte because you say it is happy stuff! I think that happy is better than beautiful and if the two go together (like Gisele in the video) who could ask for more and who cares if its synthetic?
    Azar xx

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      YAY Azar,
      I do hope you enjoy liberte. Giselle won me over completely in this interview, even when she criticised the opening of the fragrance as too sweet, it was all so natural and felt real. I loved too the stories of her family. She is SUPER COOL!
      I was just writing to Tara on Olfactoria’s Travels about mandarins and how they are life savers for me in India, and we had oranges in the garden as children. All very happy reminders.
      Portia xx

  4. einsof says:

    well, maybe it IS art… after all, isn’t art the thing that causes an emotional reaction in the beholder?good or bad is insignificant and undefinable anyway… only the emotional reaction is important. you can be disgusted by something and that’s still art.

    i do kinda want those orange slice sugar coated gelatin candies now… 😉

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      HA!! You have a point, and it’s completely unnatural, no way it could have come from nature, completely created by man.
      I’m not quite sold on the aret side but I love it.
      Yes soft sugar coated jubes are YUMMY!
      Portia x

  5. Maya says:

    I’m with einsof. I want some gumdrops. And I think art is like beauty. Your personal reaction is all that matters and makes something great or not.

  6. cookie queen says:

    I have so much to learn from you. Taking notes. xxx

  7. Jackie says:

    Just received a mini of Fendi Theorema in the mail. It’s a lovely orange, spice & wood fume with a sweet creamcicle open & a warm, very pleasant dry down. However, it was not wildly happiness inducing.
    More from the Orange Front as it arrives!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      BUMMER Jackie,
      I can’t remember exactly what Theorama smells like but it didn’t make me sit up and take notice either. Many perfumistas love it though, each has their own sweet love.
      Portia xx

  8. Jackie says:

    I had an inspiration when I was out & around yesterday. Although, it’s not in the scent notes for Liberte, I asked myself: What about musk? We now have a Kiehl’s counter in Santa Fe and I picked up a roller ball of the original Musk oil. Have been warming it on my wrists. It opens the interior mind and invites happiness. The missing link? More anon, J

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      I love musk and yes there probably is a bunch in Liberte, you’re right. I had some mates from the blog around yesterday and they were intrigued to try my happiness juice but were expecting it to be terrible. Both of them were very pleasantly surprised and I think they may have gone home top order a bottle.
      Portia xx

      • Jackie says:

        That’s interesting. I can identify with that. We’ve all had so many experiences of things that are supposed to be good for us, medicine, hardwork, school & much worse. Now, when we anticipate an ameliorating experience, we forecast something unpleasant. How wonderful we that we are now building deep into our reflexive memory myriad happy moments with which to anticipate the future. My bottle of Liberte probably won’t arrive until Wednesday; it’s already put a smile on my face. As have you!

  9. Jackie says:

    My little splash bottle of Liberte arrived at day early. I think is indeed some happy juice. You’ve raised the bar on what I want from my perfume experience. Love the translucent orange flacon in the shape of a cartoon flower. Will get a spray also. I must know more!
    Thank you for this important piece of the puzzle.
    with love & happy-ness, Jackie

  10. Jackie says:

    It’s very interesting to look at the scent notes of Liberte.
    Of course, there’s a level of complexity that traditional French perfumers bring to the table that is very difficult to decipher. At present, I’m making some natural fumes for friends with a strong orange presence: one light and refreshing and a second with woods and spices as a Fin d’Hiver seasonal wrap-up and, j’espere, mood lifter. I’m taking a series of workshops with a professional perfumer who was trained in Grasse. In March we will cover Jasmine and then in April, the Orange Flower Accord. Perhaps more will be revealed?
    Orange fragrantly yours, J

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Jackie,
      I always put the scent notes from Fragrantica into the post so you can use it as a guide. Be careful though, sometimes they are complete rubbish and others they are missing key ingredients.
      Portia xx

      • Jackie says:

        Thanks for pointing that out. I have noticed on another frag that notes on several sites were completely different. It’s a wild world.

  11. Natalie says:

    I love the name of this fragrance, and the box. So fun and (yes) free!

  12. Jackie Rosen says:

    Hi Portia,
    The big bottle of Liberte was waiting for me here in LA. What beautiful & fun packaging. I spritzed with abandon this morning & discovered a much warmer fragrance with much softer edges. In Santa Fe’s dry dry air, it’s sharper & much cooler. I now appreciate your barbecued citrus description in full. This bottle was only $20 delivered. Truly a cheap thrill. Will get some back ups before they disappear.

    Recently, a friend told me about being a little girl in Spain with her mother who has a custom fragrance made at the local chemist. I put together a blend with all essential oils from Spain: Seville Orange, Sweet Almond, Costus, Marjoram, etc. Think it would make a great body oil.
    Cheers from LA, Jackie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *