Bijou Romantique by Mathilde Bijaoui for Etat Libre d`Orange 2012

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Post by Ainslie Walker

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Hello lovely Australian Perfume Junkies and Junkettes!

Etat Libre d’Orange’s Bijou Romantique -The Romantic Jewel. Another fabulous name and image from cult favorite brand. I decide to blind wear, reading nothing about the fragrance.

Bijou Romantique by Etat Libre d`Orange 2012

Bijou Romantique by Mathilde Bijaoui

Bijou Romantique Etat Libre d`Orange FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, lemon, pink pepper, ylang-ylang
Heart: Clary sage, iris, coconut, Evee ® molecule
Base: vetiver, benzoin, vanilla

After a few wears, the sensual woody oriental has me reaching for my Shalimar to compare. Yes. There is something fizzy, smouldery and voluptuously vanilla about this unlikely pairing. It’s not often one can describe a fragrance from the Etat Libre d’Orange house as “classic” If I do dare to compare to Shalimar, I would have to say this is Shalimar’s new-romantic slightly rock n roll buddy. Whilst Shalimar wafts down gorgeous corridors and enters wonderful opera house box seats to peer down on some live opera, Bijou Romantique charges straight to the VIP area back/side stage of a gig, more than likely in a venue such as the State Theatre of Sydney or Albert Hall of London. Not to say at the end of the night both don’t end up in some glorious boudoir with their head turning sexy, sultry and sweet swirls. Très Romantique!

Bijou Romantique Etat Libre d`Orange Duran Duran FlickrFlickr

Of course Bijou Romantique provides a curious difference that we can expect from olfactive director Etienne de Swardt and perfumer Mathilde Bijaoui (who also brought us the incredible Like This)

Etat Libre d’Orange shakes up the classic formula a little by adding only one sweet, heady white floral; ylang ylang. Fizzy top notes of lemon, pink pepper and bergamot lift and combine with vanilla and benzoin in the base. Creating that sherbet tingle in ones olfactory bulbs. Orris, ylang, patchouli and create a smooth, velvet and cool but pretty heart. Nodding to past classics. Virtually “old fashioned” for this brand, but in the best possible sense. Vetiver and I believe incense (not in the marketing) give the smoldering edge and clary sage gives a dry growl in the background. Dry down is a sweet and powdery combination of all of the above, even getting slightly ambered however the longer it is on the harder it is to pick the individual notes. It’s just yummy and sensual with a kick of unusual and elegant.

There’s something so hard and yet completely soft in this combination. A womanly, tough exterior with a soft soft center -maybe that’s the sweet coconut listed in the notes I don’t really pick up after all? I also get more dry incense or something similar. Especially in hot weather. In fact that’s one big thing I notice: the dual nature of this fragrance depending on if I wear it during the hot of the day or cool of the evening. On the right man I think this would work perfectly. In fact I pick up some of the powdered notes in Tom of Finland without the leather.

Bijou Romantique Etat Libre d`Orange Blonde_woman_in_black_leather WikipediaWikipedia

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Scents of Self
LuckyScent has $85/50ml
Posh Peasant has samples starting at $4/ml

Have you tried Bijou Romantique? What are the most romantic jewels in your perfume collections?

7 comments on “Bijou Romantique by Mathilde Bijaoui for Etat Libre d`Orange 2012

  1. Azar says:

    I’ve yet to try this one, Ainslie, but seriously loved your review and am very tempted to add another sample to the “sample sea”. Romantic Jewels? How about the Micallef jewel series of fragrances? My favorite from that group is the Jewel for Her, also called simply M. Micallef.
    Azar xx

  2. australianperfumejunkies says:

    Hey Ainslie,
    I have a decant of this somewhere around the sea of samples, looks like I need to search it out when I get home.
    Portia xx

  3. poodle says:

    I totally agree with you on the similarity to Shalimar. I thought that when I sniffed it too and I’m glad to hear someone else say it.

  4. DaveStPaul says:

    Nice write-up, A.W. When I was at the ELdO shop last year I tried many scents but somehow missed Bijou. Next time, for sure!

    Have you noticed how those sneaks at ELdO have a hidden treat for you on the label? How if you look from just far enough away, that formerly plain label is suddenly — how should I say it — perky and voluptuous?

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