Neutral Reviews of Rien by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Find out more about Rien by Etat Libre d'Orange in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Leather

    The listed notes tell me that I should adore Rien, but the sparks never really fly. Rien starts out with a burst of aldehydes and dry powder, soon followed by a gentle incense note and a very light rose. Because it's utterly devoid of sweetness, the rose/incense accord feels weightless and ethereal, even when leather and oakmoss rise up beneath it. The moss and leather are seasoned with black peppercorn in a medicinal combination that brings to mind a very soft oudh.

    Rien persists in this vein for quite some time, becoming drier and more woody with age. Though none is listed, I smell something suggestive of cedar in the base, and that note brings the drydown surprisingly close to the late stages of Diptyque's cedar-lined Tam Dao (!?). On the whole, I'd describe Rien as a very dry, gray "scratchy" fragrance, and believe that earlier reviewers have been spot on calling it stony or mineralic. In the end I think it's interesting, but not necessarily compelling.

    25 June, 2014

    PsychoTommy's avatar

    Hungary Hungary

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    As soon as ELDO products arrived to a luxury retailer for the first time in Budapest last week, I went down to sample this perfume, I couldn't wait!

    Now, am I the only one who thinks this is nothing out of the ordinary? Having read all the brilliantly outraged reviews here, I was expecting a decent amount of skank. I've been wearing the decant since yesterday, and all I get instead is a very dusty, muted leather warmed up by frankincense and spices. I admit, the leather is a bit chemical/tarry along Bvlgari Black's lines, and the whole thing is as beautiful as only a niche perfume can be, but this is certainly nothing groundbreaking...

    Upon first application (spray), there's a striking similarity to Bandit (huge amount of old leather and oakmoss), and a few minutes later it turns into none other than the venerable Kouros itself with the leather and incense notes turned up a bit, and the animalic skank (civet) more muted. After about 30 minutes, it's not even that - the whole thing warms up to become a generic leather/frankincense niche thing (along the lines of, let's say, MDO Les Nombres d'Or Cuir), that lasts for quite a time, and projects a little less. In the end, it ends up jawdroppingly similar to Dzing!, without the vanilla and with something camphoraceous in the background (maybe another link to Black's leather notes).

    The hype's okay, but if you are looking for a really animalic / chemical / dark leather composition, look elsewhere: Montale's Aoud Cuir d'Arabie eats this thing for breakfast. After an hour, this is less challenging to wear than even Kouros or Salvador Dalí PH. If you want piss, dribble and unwashed parts, Miel de Bois cuts it better.

    This is a brilliant perfume with a commencement as long and complex as, say, War and Peace (going from Bandit to Dzing! is no easy feat), but it isn't any more difficult and skanky than Dzing! or Kouros. If those perfumes send you screaming, stay away - otherwise, try it by all means!

    22 March, 2013

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    I don’t get the blackcurrant bud in the opening, but I do get leather and aldehydes. I’m surprised at the leather because it is a rather strong version, and yet I barely dislike it… I hate most leather notes. There’s a definite smoky / incense aspect to this leather – the pyramid says “frankincense” but it smells more smoky to my nose, possibly because the leather is so strong. There’s also some spice that I can smell but not identify. Powder? Not really… nor do I get much vanilla in the base. The leather dominates from beginning to end to such an extent, that I do not consider myself as a good judge of what’s really happening in the fragrance: It’s an interesting fragrance and my main reaction to it is that I don’t exactly like it, but I’m surprised that I can tolerate it. Rien has very little movement or complexity for me. It’s a long lasting fragrance with better than average sillage

    I will vote a neutral for Rien, but I’m tempted to vote a thumbs up simply because it’s a strong leather scent that doesn’t revolt me… they must have done a lot right in this one.

    09 October, 2011

    Kaern's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Believe it or not, Rien is like Knize Ten cranked up tenfold. It's a very powerful deep and dark animalic leather with no softening edges. I couldn't wear Rien comfortably, but some love it. It tends to polarise, so I am going to give it a neutral - ha ha.

    Stop Press:I have tested the new Pentachords range from Andy Tauer and would like to put on record that 'Auburn' is quite simply the best oriental I have ever experienced -- it's basically cinnamon, lemon, sandalwood and incense, but it's so much more than the sum of it's parts. Truly wonderful and needs to be tested. Wasn't as knocked out by the other two in the range, but that maybe because I tried them after 'Auburn'.

    I have done 180's on 2 fragrances, namely Orange Star by Tauer and Guerlain's Double Vaniille -- I love them both now. That will teach me not to write kneejerk reviews.

    There is a new 'Oud' synthetic available now to perfumers and fragrances with this note are (boringly) everywhere now. Surprisingly, the best I have come across is by Jo Malone and called 'Bergamot and Oud'. It's a really refined and lovely scent -- not like a lot of these 'ouds' that leave you cross-eyed and close to collapse.

    30th September, 2011

    Harvitz81's avatar



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    Rien starts off with a splurge of aldehydes laced with leather. Some incense/florals begin to make there way in, though not too heavy. The leather is animalistic and on drydown it becomes very woody. Almost cedar-like. I would think just looking at the notes that I’d love this fragrance, but I’ve worn it several times and it just doesn’t do it for me.

    25 July, 2011

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    My biggest problem with this fragrance is that it's got a serious identity crisis. First, it smells like a leather scent with a strong smell of animal sweat on top of the leather. I like it! Then after about 20 minutes, the leather smell recedes, and Rien becomes more floral, as if the beastly funk is being taken over by jasmine or some other raunchy floral note. Rien starts to lose my interest by now. Soon thereafter, a very synthetic, chemical smell like hairspray seeps in, and basically takes over the fragrance for a couple of hours. Here, it just smells like a solid, impenetrable block of undefinable, boring smell. Then after about hour three, Rien turns into a dry wood scent. What the hell is this?

    Rien isn't a bad fragrance, but it gets very dull after the first half hour. I find it uninspired. It's not particularly well blended either - it's like a revue of various aromachemicals, prancing out onto the stage, one after the other.

    Rien just reinforces what I dislike most about niche fragrances in general - they attempt to be different from designer fragrances, for the mere sake of being different from designer fragrances, with little concern for artistry. It's like a perfumer ego trip, rather than a wearable fragrance.

    MY RATING: 5.5/10

    08 February, 2011

    Doctor Mod's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rien is not nothing; it is something, but defining that "something" is a task that has proved more elusive than I would have imagined.

    This is the second fragrance I've subjected to the "steaming bathtub test" here in my hotel room in Honolulu, and, for what it's worth, it performed quite well under those conditions. The scent of Rien mingled with the steam was quite heady and certainly unique. I've discovered that a few/a lot of drops of fragrance in hot bathwater can bring out aspects of a perfume that one might not detect on one's own skin-it also makes for a glorious bath. The aldehyde, incense, and leather are very sharply defined. There are moments when the leather accords evokes Hermes Kelly Caleche, despite Rien being a much less refined scent.

    But how a fragrance performs in bathwater and how it works on the skin are two different matters. After applying Rien, I felt a pleasant aura of leather and incense--and some hard-to-define floral accord--surrounding me for several hours. At the same time, however, there was a strange, synthetic note that was as disturbing as it was intriguing. I'm still not sure what it was--I didn't perceive it as any sort of too, too personal smell as some have suggested, nor, for that matter, as particularly erotic in nature. Perhaps the problem I had was that it didn't smell natural in the slightest, but rather like an odd chemical compound that isn't really fit for human consumption.

    The sillage and longevity are quite good, but after four or five hours Rien's disturbing quality increases to the extent that it overpowers its more positive aspects. By that time, one wished it gone.

    Non, je ne regrette Rien--but I'm not in the least tempted to repeat the test, much less buy a full bottle.

    (Apologies to Edith Piaf.)

    19 August, 2010

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    I do not totally understand this fragrance. This is an animalic leather that is VERY animalic. More so animalic than Kouros, more bad-ass leather than Black Jeans or Bandit. This stuff is spicy, too. What's weird is that it gets worse as it dries down, getting woodier as it goes on but the civet/animalic note keeps coming back. Smells chalky and rocky from a distance. Disturbing scent. Wear with caution!

    29 September, 2008

    Caltha's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Rien smells like a headshop! That musty, smoky/sweetish melange of incense, scented candles, scented soap and perhaps some exotic spices that clings to any item you might buy. Not hippie chic, just plain hippie.

    13 February, 2007

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