I got home from my holiday to find a box awaiting pick up. I had no idea who the sender was but guessed it was fragrant in nature. There were also a couple of messages in my email inbox from Chandler Burr. That’s kind of unusual because he has been holding radio silence lately. So when I opened them and saw that he has creative directed a fragrance with the kooky crew from ELdO I was immediately on high alert.
Based on the heroine of his book You Or Someone Like You, a rollicking read that I found provocative, informative and unpretentious. The ad copy is just as provocative but lacks information thus presenting itself as audaciously pretentious. From the Press release: I find that the smells mesmerize. Astringent mint/green of eucalyptus, wild jasmine from vines climbing the stop signs, catalyzed car exhaust, hot California sunlight on ocean water (although “You” contains no jasmine, eucalyptus, car exhaust; if you need to know what it’s made of, “You” is not for you).
When Etat Libre d’Orange approached me about creative directing, my perfumer Caroline Sabas and I created not a “perfume” — people in Los Angeles don’t wear perfume – but a specific scent, the scent someone like Anne would wear, this woman high in the Hollywood hills, imported like the palms into this blue air.
Nevertheless, if head-up-your-ass ad-copy was a problem for me I’d definitely not be loving the perfume industry as much as I do. So I took all of that with a grain of salt and went to the box.
You Or Someone Like You by Etat Libre d’Orange 2017
You Or Someone Like You by Caroline Sabas
So, though the idea is to wear this scent experientially, I know you want to know what it smells like. Sharp herbaceous green opens. Like a tart unripe orange and grapefruit with the green of basil, cardamom and grass. Mint! There is a minty note running through too. There is no note list so I’m guessing here, we’ll all have a good laugh at my guesses when the note list is revealed. There is an awkward creamy note that is disturbing and alluring, like matcha tea.
Not long in and a spiky green that really does seem like eucalyptus comes through and suddenly I’m transported to bush walks through the Australian Mallee Scrub with the Cadets as a boy. Also we had a Wildflower Park and National Park not too far from where we grew up and we would picnic in them as a family.
I like that ELdO have allowed this slightly freaky niche fragrance to be born. The first couple of hours You Or Someone Like You doesn’t sit quietly and comfortably but there is always a lightly curdled feeling running through. Later in the development there feels like definite references to the LA air seen and smelled from the pinnacle of the Hollywood Hills. There is also the warmth and cool of lying in the sun with a foot or hand draped into the pool.
Dry down is a soft focus creamy-mint with a shitload of white musks, nothing particularly distinctive but it smells nice enough and hums away in the background for hours.
Then there is the final question. “Is it art Chandler?”
Does this read like something you’d try?