Etat Libre d’Orange
Liberated. Free to create. Free to love and be loved. Etat Libre d’Orange is an ambitious, audacious perfumery founded in 2006 by Etienne de Swardt. This is a different kind of perfumery, with a point of view. It is not just a perfume brand, it's a declaration of independence. Today, Swardt is the "editor" of Etat Libre d'Orange and oversees a creative team that includes veteran perfumers.
The Birth of a Rebel
Etienne de Swardt's journey from South Africa to Paris was a voyage of self-discovery and creative liberation. Before Etat Libre d'Orange, Swardt was making perfumes for pets, including brands "Oh My Dog!" and "Oh My Cat!". He worked on projects for Givenchy and Everlast and was no stranger to the world of scent.
The establishment of the new brand was accompanied by a manifesto stating “Perfume is dead, long live perfume!”. Etat Libre d'Orange fragrances are a testament to their motto. These scents are far from conventional; they embrace sexuality and eroticism not only in their aromas but also in their titles and imagery. This brand revels in pushing boundaries and challenging norms.
More than Fragrance
Etat Libre d’Orange currently presents a collection of more than 30 fragrances — all aspirational, all essential. With an emphasis on originality, audacity, authenticity and freedom of expression, Etat Libre d’Orange proposés surprising olfactory compositions, without any limitations in terms of creativity nor raw materials.
A perfume house with its singularity, its sincerity, unexpected rebelion, sometimes ironic, often subversive, and always elegant. And the rebellion doesn't stop at the scents; it extends to the visual aesthetic, with each perfume accompanied by striking visuals crafted by the graphic design team Ich & Kar.
A Declaration of Independence
Etat Libre d'Orange declared their founding year as "Year Zero of perfumery" and penned a "Declaration of Independence" with six articles that encapsulate their creative approach. They are committed to using high-quality materials, embracing simplicity in packaging, and challenging conventional concepts of fragrance.
The name Etat Libre d'Orange has significance to Swardt's birthplace in South Africa. Etat Libre d’Orange (the Orange Free State - a former sovereign Boer in South Africa during the 19th century) was a land of staggeringly rough beauty and color and unforgettable smells, a nation of contrasts, strong feelings, and mixed emotions. The rainbow mosaic of people and cultures gave it an unpredictable, sometimes savage nature.
Breaking Gender Norms
The fragrances from Etat Libre d'Orange are proudly genderless, breaking free from the confines of traditional gender categorisation. Initially, their bottles were identical, bearing the company's name and logo, but they soon introduced distinct packaging with fragrances like Tom of Finland in 2007. This perfume house has also joined forces with celebrities like Rossy de Palma, Tilda Swinton, and the Sex Pistols to create special edition scents.
The Perfume Revolution
Etat Libre d'Orange is not just a perfume brand; it's a revolution in scent. A pioneer of themes now pervasive across the industry. It challenges conformity, celebrates individuality, and invites you to embrace your desires without reservation. In a world where tradition can still stifle creativity, this perfume house dares to be different, proving that in the realm of fragrance, rebellion can be truly aromatic.