Perfume Directory

Archives 69 (2011)
by Etat Libre d'Orange


Archives 69 information

Year of Launch2011
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 39 votes)

People and companies

HouseEtat Libre d'Orange
PerfumerChristine Nagel

About Archives 69

The fragrances is names after the address of the Etat Libre d’Orange flagship boutique, at 69 Rue des Archives in Paris.

Archives 69 fragrance notes

Reviews of Archives 69

Have you ever sniffed a freshly-opened jar of olives packed in olive oil that had a lot of dried Mediterranean herbs in it? Add just a little fruity sweetness to that aroma and that's what Archives 69's first minutes smelled like to me. Such a great opening, it almost made me laugh out loud.

Just a few minutes in, I'm getting some berries, not too sweet, balanced with some truly delicious moldy plums and nearly-rotten citrus. (You know how if you leave citrus sitting out in a bowl it devlops that pale grey mold on it? That's what this smells like to me, and it's wonderful, with a faint whiff of metallic twang.) This stage is so fabulous I want it to last forever.

After about an hour, a little more sweetness develops, but fortunately not at the expense of the overripe plums and citrus, which are still enchanting me. The late stage of resinous patchouli kicked in at about the 90-minute mark, and is so well blended that the overripe fruits sort of float above those heavier elements.

This is a heavenly scent experience, and by far the best ELdO I've encountered. I've liked a few (Fat Electrician, Like This), but never enough to go for a FB. Archives 69 manages to be edgy, avant-garde, and wearable all at once, and is the first ELdO that made me say "I want a full bottle and I want it NOW."
26th April, 2018
Upon wearing Archives 69, I initially thought of it as a regular fruitchouli: ripe sweet plum, rosy fruity pink pepper over a slightly medicinal and earthy patchouli base. However, to my surprise, it doesn't become gooey jammy in texture like many gourmand fruity patchouli does, and it's got a few tricks up its sleeves as well.

Christine Nagel's "rotten fruit" note: an overripe, almost sour mandarine lurks underneath the ripe plum during the opening phase of Archives 69. Its ripened sweetness is a natural extension of the succulent plum, while its sour aftertaste helps to balance the potentially over-the-top fruity sweetness.

Another interesting addition is the camphor. Personally, I don't find it manifests as a distinct element. Rather, it feels like a refreshing breeze blown out of patchouli into the otherwise thick fruity fog. The same goes with the orchid and incense accords. Smell-wise, they feel more like an extension of the fruity notes into floral and woody territories, but texture-wise, they help to maintain a powdery, relatively dry one in order to limit the saccharine sensation.

Besides all of the above, the most interesting part for me, is a prominent balsamic and even slightly cumin-animalic muskiness in the dry down. Combined with the camphor tonality, it actually reminds me of the camphor-cumin pairing of Cadavre Exquis. This combination in Archives 69 is of course a far cry and is extremely diluted and tamed compared to that of Cadavre Exquis, but it still adds an unexpected sensuality to the dominant fruitchouli centerpiece.

Archives 69 has a moderate to soft sillage and a 12h+ longevity on me.

Overall, I still regard Archives 69 primarily as a fruitchouli fragrance, because the sugary plum and the earthy patchouli largely overshadows the other elements on my skin. However, even though these supporting elements only tangentially show themselves, they effectively keep the sweetness at bay. Being usually wary about the syrupy nature of many gourmand fruitchouli, I actually find the slightly powdery texture of Archives 69 much improves its wearability to me. I'd definitely recommend it to those who enjoy fruitchouli combo but would like a few subtle twists embedded within.
25th April, 2018
This is another interesting fragrance from Etat Libre d'Orange. To me, it has a definite indie feel that's attractive and captivating.

It has fruits, and not just any fruits but bright, sweet berries, yet weaves them into a masculine-smelling fragrance, presumably from the use of patchouli. (Update: wearing it a second time, it smells like frankincense is part of the masculine anchoring.)

This house reminds me of 4160 Tuesdays as a house that can experiment with something well off the beaten path and make it a wearable success.
16th April, 2018 (last edited: 25th April, 2018)
Anomalisa by Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman 2015
The Girlfriends by Gustav Klimt
01st February, 2018
I got an unexpected surprise when sampling this perfume. It transported me back to my grandmother's ultra fem peach bathroom. It makes me think of "Caress" soap, dressing powder and lipstick.

This is not to say that it smells "grandmotherly". It makes me think of a very feminine lady. One who dresses in a pencil skirt and stockings just to do the grocery shopping. She is well dressed no matter the occasion.

I must say this scent hurt my heart a little, but I am happier for it.
05th December, 2016
I love's so odd.

The other reviewers' mention of bruised fruit is apt, and taken to an extreme. Moldy plums, ripened to the point of fermentation. It's quite a novel topnote.

The heart teeters on the edge of too sweet, but the backdrop of resins and animal notes keep it wearable.

Nagel has a portfolio of beloved, yet hard-to-find or discontinued scents. Archives 69 brings to mind Theorema, maybe Ambre Soie, some creaminess of Lalique White, but mostly Mauboussin's namesake scent, and Histoire d'Eau. Some might catch some striking similarities with Chanel's Egoiste. The dry, pink pepper-cedar accord, the fruit, the transparency. This one is more daring than the others, keeping the ELDO mentality, which is a good thing.
17th June, 2015 (last edited: 18th June, 2015)

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