The Afternoon of a Faun by Ralf Schwieger for Etat Libre d`Orange 2012


Post by Ainslie Walker


Named after a Russian Ballet, this fragrance certainly is a dance, and tells a story. But not a pretty one. Nor a sexy one either. According to Wikipedia, a faun is a rustic forest god or goddess of Roman mythology often associated with enchanted woods and the Greek god Pan and his satyrs. Half man, half goat. I’m thinking big sexy leather and man smells, but I’m getting A LOT more goat. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE goats…but I think this this one’s going feral.

Nymphs and SatyrPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

CS Lewis describes Mr. Tumnus, the Faun in his Narnia series as having reddish skin, curly hair, brown eyes, a short pointed beard, horns on his forehead, cloven hooves, goat legs with glossy black hair, a “strange but pleasant little face,” and a long tail.

The 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, orrisroot, myrrh, leather, benzoin, rose, jasmine, oak moss

I’m first hit with a big 80’s oak moss projection…My Dad wore grey flannel in the 80’s and it’s as if he has blasted past on his way out to work, doused. Saving the day, an aerated twist of iris and green dry foliage notes break in and take over. I feel its well structured, and giving me all the right imagery, but I’m not sure I like it. There’s something pungent. Daisies? Pee? Maybe it’s the immortelle?


Not a pretty mix….more like some herbal witches brew. I WISH I could smell the jasmine or rose, but nope. I’d like to smell some hints of violets and more orris, for an enchanted forest, but no. Suddenly I am reminded of the smell of autumn leaves, as if I am kicking my way through them, or rakeing them up, dry, crispy leaves, crackling, underneath earthy moist mossy smells are also being exposed. I THINK I like it a little more. In fact this is my favorite moment in my Afternoon with a Faun.

The Afternoon of a Faun Etat Libre d`Orange glade PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Spicy, sparkly and fresh it continues. Playful and tart. Despite all the spice I’m not reminded of any foods so to speak. There’s no gourmand. I don’t like it much on my skin, and I cannot imagine nuzzling up to someone with it on either. It’s old fashioned, almost old mannish…slightly dated, and synthetic. I’m struggling, but slightly enchanted to make it through to the end.

I have a headache. I can smell it all day on the other side of the room. I am sensitive to one of its ingredients, but which one??

There’s something sweet, maybe fruity I’m thinking berries and brambles, but again none in particular. Maybe some frankincense, but not the smoking variety, and some cinnamon-sweetness. I think the Faun must be trotting about on a warm sunny autumn day. Kicking up earth, herbal roots, moss, moss and more moss…berries…herbal…and peeing in delight. Something does sparkle..maybe more of a sprinkle? Perhaps the ballerina has an old injury and is wearing a STRONG herbal liniment…a Thai healing balm smell. Could be cinnamon, possibly medicinal Myrrh. Immortelle is also commonly found in liniments, so maybe why I make this connection.

The Afternoon of a Faun Etat Libre d`Orange Linament Francis Storr FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

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

Dry. Green. Twisted green. I like the green. I’ve read one reviewer who thinks the green smells of celery. I know what they mean, and yet I don’t agree. Instead, I am picturing the dark green suede platform clogs my kindergarten teacher used to wear. Weird, but interesting. The drydown is gentler, leathery suede.

Despite busting to wash it off, and pack my decant away in a tightly sealed zip lock bag, far far away, I enjoyed trying Afternoon with a Faun. It’s EXACTLY what it says on the bottle!!

Ainslie Walker

21 thoughts on “The Afternoon of a Faun by Ralf Schwieger for Etat Libre d`Orange 2012

  1. What a fantastic and evocative review, I can see that faun. He is part of the forest, mysterious and feral. No wonder those softly fragrant nymphs ran from him!
    I probably will too…


  2. Heya Ainslie,
    I love how you love it and hate it. I think perfume, like art, can move you in both directions at once. It never needs to be resolved either, you may continue ambivalence eternally.
    Portia xx


  3. Coming from Etat Libre d`Orange, I immediately thought of the ballet version of The Afternoon of a Faun performed by Nijinsky, the controversial one because of the faun appears to masturbate. 😀 I’m not a big fan of too green or herby scents but I’d like to have a sniff sometime.


  4. Wow. Im not sure I could get away with wearing this, but I might like to take this on a ride. Oxiana by profunium takes me a crazy ride like this. The beginning is scary, but the ending is nice.


    • Oooo thanks I will look out for that one. Yes definitely try this one, it’s good fun being taken on an adventure just through Ones sense of smell. It’s quite a Narnia journey, this one-will you trust the Faun?!?


  5. Celery! Yes that’s what it is! I wanted to like this one, simply because, like you, I got the imagery.. I really bought the imagery. It was too leathery, too celery-like, and something like salty sea moss. Just too dry, I didn’t get the flowers or citrus. I don’t hate it though… because it does succeed in being that little guy on the bottle, you are right.


  6. I tried this once again recently, but decided I definitely don’t like it. To me the immortelle note seems to be the deal-breaker. To me AoaF smells like I am wearing a curry to work.


  7. Pingback: Fils de Dieu du riz et des agrumes Etat Libre d`Orange « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

  8. Pingback: Greg Lauren by Ralf Schwieger for Barneys New York 2013 « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

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