Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange

Total Reviews: 20
Got my clammy little hands on a sample of SM, as part of a library of samples from Etat Libre D'Orange. It was not something I expected to like, let alone wear, but was sure it would be an interesting olfactory experience.

Though I wished to crack into it immediately, I held off, and went through the samples as listed in the accompanying sheet, making notes for myself in the process.

By the time I arrived at SM, I expected that this would not smell nearly as interesting as promised, and might even be wearable.

Opened the bottle. Definitely milky, definitely bloody, definitely rancid. At this point it was powerful so sniffing was unnecessary. It was not pleasant, but it was true to the notes which came with the sample, and that pleased me on some level.

Dabbed a tiny bit on my inner arm. This, for me, was a mistake. My stomach heaved and heaved hard. I still had not actively taken a sniff. My mind was grasping for pink notes, sex notes, musk notes, any notes.... anything... any distraction that would allow me to wait things out to engage with the dry down.

I tried. I did. I really tried.

I am a very good girl. I do not gag. I do not flinch.

60 seconds with SM and this girl was collapsed by the bath, gasping for air, eyes streaming, and scalding her inner arm under the hot tap. These secretions were magnificently insistent and penetrating, for sure.

Not only did I vomit, and vomit hard, I vomited so violently that I had to clap my hand over my face and gulp the vomit back down to avoid drowning. Which was fun. Was able to drop the fourth batch into the toilet bowl, and vomit without having to swallow.

So yes, I got what I asked for. The listed accords were clear and present. The result was magnificently intense, and it is robust in terms of longevity. Which was tough for me that afternoon, but useful if it works for you. SM travels far, whether in sillage or from an opened phial, and should not be presumed to be a secret skin scent. I entertained the idea of keeping it to assess the dry down on another day, but my body vetoed that notion.

Oh well.

Next time I'll be in a field with a bucket, gloves and anti-emetics!
22nd March, 2015
Secretions Magnifique - Etat Libre d'Orange
Heard so much about this one, being a very dirty smell, that was almost 'impossible' to smell etc... Maybe I created to high hopes about SM inside my imagination, a perfume - thick, full and stuffed with dirty, bloody and animalic notes.
So, when I smelled this, the first thing I thought was: ''this isn’t the real thing'', and the second was: ''this is a joke...'' And it turns out, it is a joke - this perfume is fun, full of humor and 'easy' to wear. To me it smelled thin, very chemical and definitely not as shocking as I imagined it - which was a disappointment, in a way. What I did smell was mushrooms, egg-protein, the smell of jodium, a high-pitched rusty-metallic, spicy-note that smelled like blood, growing into a milky coconut-note dressed up in lactones and musk’s. Best thing about it is the way the coconut-'cream' joints the blood-note; for the rest this thing did little for me, otherwise than offend me because I didn’t like the highly synthetic tonality of it. I hoped that it would smell more like the animalic, 'juicy', fresh blood-way that women's period-blood smells like on a woman- with a more dirty-animalic 'thickness'. Instead - its nice to smell, in the light of the craft, but in the end it misses the 'fleshy'-factor that could have give it more boost. SM scores points for originality - no doubt, but I would have want to see this perfume suffer more, losing more blood... Less magnifique, more secretions.
15th May, 2014
An arresting somehow strident, (salty/sweet, lymphatic, balsamic, irony and acid) main accord of lacteous buttermilk (pinacolata, tree glue, balsams), orange sanguine (possibly bloody combined with saline metal and sticky milk), salty/ozonic iodine (probably the main feature), metal, wax, brewer's yeast and floral lipstick "assembled" by the super talented "sorcerer" Antoine Lie (Nu_be Sulphur, Puredistance Black, 888 to quote some) in order to create one of the most argued olfactory creations of the contemporary age. Yes, the bloody breath of a lady vampira wearing a pungent fruity/floral and alcaline/ozonic scent over. Indolic crudity, vegetal and human "pollen", fish head, stem lymph, dirty lingerie, sea breeze, brew, vinegar and human anatomy in a bottle. Carnal, outrageous and sweaty fragrance, musky, erotic on a womanly woman, or may be not, not easy to say. One of the very few releases indolic and pharmaceutical all at once. I tend to appreciate the original creations, especially whether unique and immediately recognizable and I've always dreamt being able to prepare magic potions as an esoteric alchemist "stregone" but given it for granted I can't say to be ready for wearing Secretions Magnifiques on me in the course of a special occasion nor in the intimacy of my loneliness (maybe replacing the Marilyn Monroe's Chanel n 5 with this cynical ELDO in order to conciliate the sleep). The truth abides often in the middle.
29th December, 2013 (last edited: 06th September, 2015)
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A long-lasting, hyper-modern and highly original lactonic floral scent with striking salty/metallic facets.

As far as generating hysterical reactions goes, Etat Libre d'Orange nailed it with Sécrétions Magnifiques. Yet the real controversy is that scent itself isn't nearly as terrifying as people make it out to be.

Opening with a striking juxtaposition of waxy plastic and marine notes, this is essentially a metallic floral crossed with a powerful lactonic effect. There's a faint fresh, green aspect to it as well as a subtle bread tone that runs throughout, and it's essentially a linear wear that allows you to focus on and track the individual components as they conspire to produce a legitimately original fragrance. It doesn't smell overly synthetic, but the metal effect sits somewhere between the rusty sharpness of an old water tank and the kind of metallic taste that can periodically develop in one's mouth. And that's all set against a series of milky components that also includes a semi-sweet floral note. So, in essence, what you're getting is a series of clever juxtaposing notes aren't entirely discordant, but do catch you off guard and keep your mind racing back and forth between them. In this respect, it's brilliant.

Once you've adjusted to what it's doing and the scent has settled down a bit, it reads more as a long-lasting, bitter/sweet milk scent with some unusual nuances popping up throughout. It's not all that different in tone to Womanity—especially after a few hours of wearing it.

Is it avant-garde? Absolutely. Is it unwearable? Not at all—quite wearable, in fact, but clearly it's not going to be for everyone. The scent indeed creates some bodily associations (mainly through the metallic effect that could be read as saliva or blood), but these associations are partially reliant on the concept and the packaging which serves to amplify them further. Without these peripheral attributes, Sécrétions Magnifiques is simply a clever, unusual composition—which raises questions about the process of production in that it appears that ELdO essentially sacrificed a perfectly reasonable fragrance (one that's no more challenging than some of their others) for the sake of shock and curiosity. This is the exploitation of sex—a conceit that should be overly familiar to anyone with a passing awareness of the way mainstream perfume is marketed—only here, it's rendered as tongue-in-cheek and as cynically as the brand's other infamous mockeries of an industry that tends to take itself too seriously (the Tilda Swinton celebrity scent and the comedically contrarian Rien spring to mind). On the one hand, this has brought ELdO great publicity and respect from the perfumista; on the other, it's falsely demonized a scent that perhaps didn't deserve it. Frankly, it would be very easy to make something absolutely vile and unwearable from aroma chemicals and essential oils, so that's clearly not what this. Instead, it's a tastefully assembled and fully developed fragrance that's fascinating to analyze while wearing it.

There are far more offensive fragrances than this being sold in mainstream department stores on a daily basis, so if you're after a milky floral with some intriguing salty/metal facets, there might be safer options out there, but don't dismiss this based upon hyperbole and ELdO's apparently successful strategy of provocation.

Pros: Makes an absolute mockery of the mainstream perfumery's reliance on selling sex.
Cons: Potentially detracts from an otherwise solid composition by instigating silly hysteria."

22nd September, 2013
blueyezz Show all reviews
United Kingdom
More an experiment than a perfume

As an exercise in a trying to transform a concept into an odour that can be tried and sampled, its interesting and partially successful. But as a fragrance to be worn and enjoyed its totally unsuccessful to my nose. These days I try to evaluate if a fragrance is "good" as well as determining if I personally like it. And I think its a "No" on both counts.

Its sour milk, slightly metallic edge isn't particularly interesting and a long way from challenging. My feeling is that, if you ignore the hyperbole and reputation, its simply meh - not particularly anything other than a fragrance thats not that "nice".

I was slightly put off by the retail environment, the new ELdO boutique in Shoreditch. It featured a large Tom of Finland book, perched on the unit in the middle of the shop, as well as a couple of S&M accoutrement, as if to hammer the edgy point home. It all felt a wee bit puerile and dated, bringing back the Madonna Sex book era.

I've sat on the fence with the stars rating as its important that perfumers - and the people that wear them - take these risks.

Pros: I'm pleased perfumers are taking these sorts of risks
Cons: As a fragrance, it simply isn't that good

05th July, 2013
But in art it is like that, some things are made just to admire from the distance, this is like some Picasso paintings to me :) i cant understand it, i honestly dont find it beautiful but i see how it could be beautiful if only i can accept the mess in it :)!
Thumbs up for the scent, its really masterfully done, my body just cant stand that metalic note, so i cant judge it!

the opening is surprisingly pleasant, but after few minutes this metalic note comes out and spoils everything, that note is painful! my reaction to it is the same as when i put fork into mouth that was rubbed over aluminium, or when someone goes with nails over the blackboard, or at the dentist, i get that instant horrific reaction.

The airy , transparent and saline feel to it may be associated with some secretions, but maybe closer to a see cucumber secretion :)

but so far never did any parfume give me other painful reaction then vomiting! so hands down! this one makes me crumb my teeth from horror

so secretions horrifiques for me :)
26th October, 2012
I could never even pretend to be enough of an individual to say I like this. My olfactory apparatus having evolved like everyone else's over the eons, and my general sense of decency, wouldn't allow me to lie that much to myself or to others. What I do find interesting about Secretions Magnifiques (and no it's not that there are human beings walking this earth and choosing at some point in their day to spray this putrid spume on themselves uncoerced. No, I am well aware people will do anything to make an impression on anyone for any reason whatsoever. No, I understand all that). It's merely that S.M. has an undeniable marine note which brings to my mind the smell of the ocean, a smell that I, like many others, am quite fond of. What I find interesting is that the scent being brought to mind (the ocean), one of such awesome power, is conjured up by a marine note in Secretions Magnifiques that is just off enough to be truly awful. As if the perfumer took only the truly awful smells of the ocean and distilled them all into one even more awful smell. I guess that's where the art comes in. But anyway. It succeeds in it's own horrible way.
I read an admired reviewer tell of his getting sick in the loo in Barney's (not on S.M. by the way). I sympathize. I too became sick in Barney's. By God's grace I was not in the loo but in a fitting room by myself. I experienced an attack of dizziness after checking the price tag on a pair of jeans I was interested in. Fortunately I recovered quickly enough to be able to complete the purchase.
25th May, 2012 (last edited: 30th May, 2012)
Alityke Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I simply don't understand the hype n horror. I does not smell of a trauma room or an operating theatre. Yes it has a metallic or salt note which are done better by Thierry Mugler in Womanity and Cologne but this does not smell human. After an hour it smelt of a stale glass of water that's been sat so long its started to evaporate and synthetic sweetener.
There is a teeny tiny floral in there but it's so small my uneducated nose couldn't distinguish what flower it was.

After 2 hours it had almost disappeared from my skin. On a tissue applied at the same time the frag had developed to the one hour skin stage after 2 hours but no other notes were distinguishable on the tissue than on the skin.

Neurtral rather than negative as I find it simply something and nothing. The power of suggestion proven
05th February, 2012
First of all: I would give this one thumbs up, because of its construction, it stands apart from anything you've ever smelled, but the overwhelming metallic note pierces your stomach like surgic steel knife, it almost made me sick.

Forget the sex-accords hype, it smells like fish and baby powder.
06th January, 2012
So I finally got to try SM. I may be in the minority unaffected by the hype and able to embrace the scent for what it is, I dunno. I do believe, after trying this, that the bad rep it has gotten is more a result of conformity than anything else. Perhaps due to what it is supposed to represent and a few bad reviews by esteemed reviewers, others are quick to reject it without giving it an unbiased testing. I do not find it vile in the least. There are scents that are FAR more disgusting which are surprisingly praised by many and I am willing to bet they got the thumbs up from some respected reviewers/bloggers too!

My neutral rating is because of me not SM. All you need do is look at my review history LOL. It is very hard for me to really like a fragrance so do not count this against SM. On first whiff, I smell what will soon become the death of the fragrance for me at least, a deep inky metallic note but it is yet to overcome the florals at this stage. As time goes by, this inky metallic note becomes a bully and possesses the scent. SM actually bears some similarities to Comme des Garcons Odeur 53 and 71 because of the metallic note. The difference is that CdG is easier on the nose due to the metallic note being fused with citrus to make for a less cloying and more bearable scent. I think on the right person, this is very wearable. Hey, if you like CdG and some other inky/ metallic scents, you just might like this..... or you just might genuinely hate it but whichever the case, this is a unique experience to be had.
10th August, 2011
First of all I would like to express my opinion regarding all the moralistic reactions I've heard / read or even seen about this perfume. It tooks more than a year for me to simply find a retailer in Italy and germany who was stocking this product. In a couple of stores I've been told that they refused to stock SM for its nasty graphic, in other stores they simply found it disgusting and decided not to sell it, but the best I've heard was from a mid aged female clerk who refused to stock the product because she could have found herself in the situation to spray it for customers who wanted to try it. OMG!

Said that, Secretions Magnifique is far from beeing spectacular or surprising. It has a STRONG metallic note throughout, mixed with a barely sweet floral-milky accord. The overall effect is pretty weird indeed, but IMO SM is to semen as it is to blood, saliva or mucus. Honestly, we can't say blood stinks, or mucus stinks they more lay in the organic odours limbo of unpleasant almost "adourless smells". I'd say theyr're kind of cloying. And that's exactly the effect SM has on me.

I prefer to consider Secretions Magnifique as an experimental (almost situationist) piece of art realized through the sense of smell. In my vision this is not a perfume, it's an universally familiar odour and a taboo subject made to provoke reactions. In this context, Antoine Lie perfectly achived his pourpose as SM has become one of the most controversial and discussed scents of the last 20 years. I agree when someone says that perfumery is another thing, but this composition is to perfumery as Derek Jarman's Blue is to cinema. Pure experimentation.

On the skin Secretion Magnifique has a tenacious lasting power and a considerable projection but I can't stand it for more than one/two hours. Would I ever want to buy a full bottle? Maybe not, but I totally respect ELDO's choice to produce and commercialize one of the weirdest fragrance ever created.

My Rating

the concept / project: 10 out of 10
the smell: 3 out of 10
overall: 6 out of 10
14th April, 2011 (last edited: 27th April, 2011)
This is certainly a unique scent. It causes your mind to stir and immediately elicits imagery.

There is nothing else really like this that I have smelled before. There are a lot of back-and-forth responses to what people smell when they smell SM, but the main thing to keep in mind is that it processed very, very differently on different people.

On my boyfriend's skin, it didn't smell great, but it wasn't horribly offensive either. On my skin it was a completely different story. When he applied it, it had more of the floral side come out, with even the sandalwood coming to the top; shortly after, it kinda changed into a very slightly metallic, floral, vaguely milky, iodinic smell. Not great, but not toxic.

On me, it immediately began to release a very acrid, very metallic, very milky, and very gland-ish odor. Animal-ish. No floral at all to begin with. To be blunt, the smell was kind of like stale, lingering menstrual blood applied to the sweaty neck of someone that had just worked out at the gym - plus old, half-curdled milk. Perhaps a touch of burning plastic and old leather car seats iin it, too, burning off in the distance -- just a hint. Luke-warm, breathy, and pungent. Maybe even bacterial? It sort of pierces you like a super-strong synthetic would, but not in a positive way. After a bit it all kind of died down, and the floral peeked out from the background. The final scent was metallic, very, very, very vaguely floral, with an aura of off-putting animal smell. I ended up scrubbing it off of my arm to have to keep from dealing with it any longer.

Overall, I would never wear this fragrance. Ever. Does that mean that it will smell horrible on you? Absolutely not. Depending on how your chemistry reacts with it, it may not even smell anything like what I described on you. Ultimately, I have to give a neutral rating because while I would never wear the fragrance, and I think the smell (at least on me) was pretty vile, I have to give ELDO credit for providing something as unique and artistic as this to the world.

Certainly a cerebral experience. Kind of like peyote for your sense of smell.
19th February, 2011
Definitely an avant garde fragrance- it's no holds barred- questions what you believe is perfumery, in general - from the packaging, the name and the smell. Actually its reputation is rather bigger than the scent's real bite. The reputation precedes the fragrance.
The Iodine accord is thick and not very pleasant - a little suffocating . When that releases its grip on your throat, the metallic iris is quite lovely mixed with odorous old sweat. It's the smell of someone who has allowed his sweat to dry on his skin and clothes- a little rancid. Lasting power is pretty good which is either a plus or a minus !
Ther is nothing to be afraid of with this scent. I'm not afraid of Secretions Magnifique !
26th September, 2010
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All of the hype is true; 'Secretions Magnifiques' is vile and fetid. It smells like blood and semen.

But there is something else there, something quite artful that I have been trying to put my finger on... Something in its simple, clean, white-floral aspect, which keeps me interested. I knew it wasn't simply the anachronistic juxtaposition of associations: i.e.,white flowers evoke purity and fetid necrosis evokes death and murk. It had to be more....

And then it occurred to me: it was HOW the underlying implications of its putrid aspects transformed that white floral into something false and icky!

Just like Piper Laurie's brilliant portrayal of the overly-religious mother in 'Carrie'. She obsesses with purity and chastity, but because we see all the unwholesomeness and madness she is constantly attempting to cover up (as well the effects of her 'real' inner workings on her progeny), we also understand that her project of purity is indistinguishable from (rather than antidotal to) her own dark and untoward places. It makes us question our own notions of what is good, and how and why we whitewash our own landscapes. And it makes her especially, *psychologically* frightening and disturbing.

An all-time great, malevolent character with terrifying facets of surprising origins.

Such is 'Secretions Magnifiques'.
02nd November, 2009
This is the second time I gave it a full wearing till the dry-down in hopes that something might just 'click'. Applied it about 15 hours a go and I am smelling like an oily fish lying on the beach with a coconut! IMO, ELDO has some of the most honest and accurate list of notes around, but last I checked, my blood and semen doesn't smell like this. It starts out very fishy, 'iode-ic,' watery, and oily with some sweet cloying florals around, accented with a lactonic coconut note. As it progresses, it gets saltier and more metallic. Very persistent and strangely sensual. It turns out to be just an above average soft milky sweet-salty floral though. I have something to confess too... I actually found it quite enjoyable - though not revolutionary. I'd give it a C+ grade.

If it's an artistic statement they wanted to make, well, they've done it. Bravo - thumbs up for having the guts to release this!
13th October, 2009 (last edited: 18th October, 2009)
I gave this fragrance a shot because of the controversy surrounding it. It's very interesting, though not anything I would consider wearing. I get saliva, copper, plastic, and a haunting little suggestion of flowers. It sort of smells like the inside of a person's mouth, or like (someone else's) skin. Very strange, and not nearly as offensive as some of the more fastidious reviewers would have us believe. Quite powerful and long-lasting too; you will have to decide if this is a benefit. Totally unsuitable for day wear, and you would have to be incredibly brave to wear it on a date or for an evening out, but points to Etat Libre for coming up with something unique.
08th September, 2009
Horatio Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Out damn spot!
Dead mermaid washed up on a beach.
14th March, 2009
Lemon, juniper, a shed load of abandoned clams, refried rice pudding, calone, the glue from discarded hymnbooks, wet sheep, more calone, the sputtering pilot-lights of old bathroom geysers, an underage orifice eased with Pledge and sanctimony, a Galia melon passing its sell-by date at the speed of sound, white lilacs in formaldehyde; lighter fuel; baby koala sick; isinglass. Though not necessarily in that order. Luca Turin’s entry on this in his Guide, and his rating of 5 stars for it, is his all-time I'm-still-a-schoolboy-at-heart low. By the way, if your partner’s semen smells like this, you should get him to a specialist.
13th January, 2009
Gblue Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Slightly citrus, very metallic, and a little bit salty. Doesn't smell particularly like "secretions" to me.
16th December, 2008
Hi have to admit that on my skin it did, indeed smell very animalic - blood, semen, sweat. The blood notes, in particular, stand out and make me wince. Is it something that I would like to wear? No. Do the idea and execution of this fragrance fascinate me? Absolutely.
08th March, 2007