Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange

Total Reviews: 31
Yes, it's gross and smell like wet dog - but wearability was never the intention. Can perfume be art?

This is essentially a lovely, salty floral with a delicious woody-coconut drydown.

That's of course fully masked by the metallic "secretions", but otherwise this would have been a smelled-it-before composition that wouldn't have gained Etat Libre's naughty boy image.

For the sake of art, I plan on keeping a reference sample. Although I hope in my heart that it never disappears off the shelf.
04th February, 2018
She starts off sweet but grows stickier with time; the transparent liquid is best allowed to drip on the fingers and, in increasing degrees of proximity, close to the groin. I keep returning to her fingers, sniffing them. The scent is unmistakable. Her fingers have been somewhere without me, somewhere dark and somewhere sweet.
31st January, 2015 (last edited: 02nd February, 2015)
This is pure olfactory avantgarde.
Starts off as a fresh, marine floral with a slightly lactonic quality. After a few seconds, a sharp metallic note kicks in along with tons of salty seaweed. After about an hour, the metal and the seaweed mellow out and it becomes to smell exactly like sea breeze (very salty and slightly metallic) with a pinch of seaweed and light florals.

This is a very clever composition, it just plays with your mind.

05th January, 2014
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This really sticks in my throat the first few minutes, but after a short while I begin getting the coconut that totally agrees with me. I choose to smell beyond the nasty notes that are allegedly floating around in this potion. Instead I focus on trying to get the sandalwood, opoponax and iris. Soon I'll be ordering 50ml and wear the hell out of it.
04th December, 2013
I don't find the bloody/metallics notes, I don't find semen notes, I don't find milk note...
I think it's a very nice nautic/floral perfum, smells like "ocean rain" of mario valentino.
I love this secretions ;)
28th November, 2012
Tucker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I suppose writing a review of Secretions Magnifiques on Basenotes is like a rite of passage, and as it's on the back of my hand as I type, maybe I too will be invited to join the fraternity - after all, it does smell a bit like the dirty washing basket in a frat house.

A lot, if not all the reviews mention how this is a fragrance that reacts differently on different skins - at Les Scenteurs where I acquired my sample, neither assistant wanted to do the decant - although the girl was far more adamant than the boy (thanks Callum!)
Apparently, women react far more violently to this scent than men. And, even more interesting - the main customers for it in the London branch of Les Scenteurs are... wait for it ... almost exclusively French.

Without getting into some dangerous national stereotyping, this did make me wonder if, as Anglo Saxons, we are conditioned not to respond to fragrances that are too obviously linked to bodily functions. I remember Luca Turin writing that the British relate well to fragrances which contain disinfectant type nuances - Jeyes Fluid, Dettol, Wrights Coal Tar Soap etc, which might explain why Comme des Garcons ranges go down so well in the UK. Perhaps this also justifies why there are so many negative reviews from English speakers, it doesn't sit well with our attitudes towards sex and sexuality, and we are still indoctrinated into that Victorian belief that bad smells cause disease and can only be obliterated by stringent hygiene - and more disinfectant. So sperm? No Way.

Well, I've just taken another big slug of SM from my wrist, and my verdict is frankly ambivalent. I don't particularly like it , but there again I'm not keen on nautical/ozonic scents ( they're too Nineties - and there's nothing as unfashionable as something that was once the height of style) The sperm note is Ok and inoffensive. Unless you've got funky spunk, - there are far worse things than gism - which to me almost has a bleach-y tinge. I don't get the milkiness, perhaps I'm fortunate, and the bloody metallic aspect doesn't endear me to the fragrance but I don't hate it either. Funnily enough, I love feral fragrances - Kouros, Bal a Versailles, Knize 10, MKK, Yatagan etc- all those animalic notes completely justify why fragrance can be something erotic. But SM? - someone else said it before me - it's like having sex with a robot, impersonal, metallic and not remotely sexy.

However, as reviewer no 87, I'm going to give this a thumbs up, purely on the basis of originality. I'd rather smell this any day than Lady Gaga's Fame which apparently has notes of blood and semen too, but to me is just another saccharine bomb in the arsenal of overtly sweet female fragrances that are dominating the market. So well done Etat Libre D'Orange - keep pushing the boundaries. Maybe you could do a fecal gourmand next?
06th November, 2012 (last edited: 16th November, 2012)
Most reviewers are interested in communicating how this fragrance makes them feel rather than what it smells like. As such, several of its notes are not mentioned at all.

What it smells like: the fragrance could fall into an "aquatic leather" category if such existed. I think they have done something akin to Angel: married notes that are not usually seen as having something in common. I smell a lot of a certain variety of leather (help with this, please?), which brings to mind that I've also seen no one mention this fragrance's initials (S.M.) in the context of the use of leather in the practice of S/M. I also detect something like a sweet but hissy, piercing cherry, possibly the smell of leather conditioner (another S/M reference, since you have to care for these expensive items). There is also cheap incense here, a possible source of the revulsion expressed here. I think much of that response is due to mixing florals, leather, and aquatic notes. Finally, all the drama vanishes about 2 hours in, and you get the smell of lipstick/facepowder/inside of elegant lady's purse. This accord is really pleasant and fashion-forward, and reminds me of other Etat Libre d'Orange fragrances (Incense and Bubblegum, Jasmine and Cigarette).

I may have an advantage here, since I sampled all the EldOs when they came out, and have lived with a full bottle of Secretions for about 2 years, wearing frequently. I like it, and others tell me they like it on me.
18th September, 2012
The metallic mineral note in this perfume is stunning. A masterpiece.
26th May, 2012 (last edited: 27th August, 2012)
Maybe the first pefume out there that really smells like the sea/ocean.
Just forget the notes/accords they stated it has.
It's Incensy, it's flowery, like tabacco, old debubbled champagne, it's marine like inside of a seashell from a tropical sea.
A little bit pleasant milky. Drydown is great, im loving it - it smells sweet of flowers and "wet fur". I don't smell the metallic note in here however the smell was tested also on my female friend's skin and it suprisingly wasn't pleasant at all - on her it smelled like "mettalic try-hard wannabe scent covered with black pepper".
What a chameleon!

If you love sea, and You know how REAL sea smells like with it's pros and cons. This is it.
08th March, 2012
I love perfumes that push the envelope. ELd'O of course does that, and with SM it does it in spades. Upon putting the scent on, I absolutely hated it. The acrid, metallic smell reminded me of the briny flinty odor of raw oysters. But lo and behold, the musk comes around and softens the blow, and it becomes a lovely, sheer floral. I find it totally sexy! It's not something I would wear everyday, but it would be my go-to on special occasions when I want to feel a little trampy.
11th January, 2012
I understand the commotion this scent has caused: it stands totally apart from any fragrance I've ever smelled, for better and for worse.

I get the semen accord when I sniff this straight from my wrist, on a background of faint unsweetened florals and an excellent salty note that zings my nose (I do love a good salt note). I happen to quite like that. In fact the "accord of jizz" is something I detect (or hallucinate? who knows) in a handful of other scents including FlowerbyKenzo, Le Male, and is related to an aspect of musk which also reminds me of freshly laundered bedsheets.

Rising up from here is a seaweed/bilge note that I find fascinating and nauseating by turn - I suspect it's the combination of this note and a strong milky-metallic accord that gives the "blood" accord that so many detect. Like one of those optical illusions where you see two different pictures alternately, Secretions Magnifiques can smell like saliva and blood or a watery floral impressionistic scene...

At a distance, the fragrance that emanates is much less repellant and actually quite wonderful - an ethereal mist of seawater and faint flowers. And mercifully, this is the effect that dominates the drydown.

Still not a normal scent, still seriously weird, but really quite delightful. Like a pointillist painting, stepping back makes the picture cohesive, whilst examination up close uncovers the strange components that make up the whole.

I agree with others that this is an experimental piece, but I must add that I think it IS wearable. The interest of this scent is worth the brief up-close spells of milk/metal/bilge-induced nausea. The bravery of ELdO makes me smile, as does wearing this strange scent-artwork.
05th July, 2011
Went to the public restroom to wash it off worried I might leave smelling more of it than when I arrived, felt a little bit like a victim of a cruel prank.

A benchmark, only for the very brave.
04th July, 2011 (last edited: 29th July, 2011)
I only give this a thumbs up because I think I know what they were going for. I ordered a decant after asking you fellow BNers what kinds of scents might suggest "bad" smells, you know, the sexy side of body odor, etc. This was one of the suggestions.

I have a REALLY REALLY strong stomach. I dabbed this on my wrists. IMHO is smells like a mix between a wet dog and the way a really severe wound smells after it's stopped bleeding and is trying to heal. It is revolting. I actually feel like regurgitating.

I think it's quality, but DO NOT BLIND BUY THIS. It could be great for the right person, just not for me.

Actually, I just tried it again and went for a run. After the run, the frag lost some of it's sickening edge and dried down (or heated up) into something more palatable. However, I just can't imagine whom you could be around while wearing this fragrance.

I agree with others that liken this to a work of experimental art. This is a Jackson Pollack among Michelangelos and da Vincis.
28th May, 2011 (last edited: 31st May, 2011)
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ROtto Show all reviews
United States
The people who give this a thumbs up either seem to be anosmic to the iodine/milk/metal accord, or admit that it's vile and unwearable, but admire ELdO for selling it. I have a different take, this scent is vile BUT wearable, which makes it OK by me.

I would not recommend spraying this on a blotter or your wrist and then inhaling deeply. But this is not how fragrances are normally used, and if you spray it on your body before dressing then it will be fine, and the various accords are much more interesting than vile.

One other note, there is an accord in the drydown which smells (to me) like white surgical bandages which lasts a very long time and is hard to wash off. However, it's fairly pleasant, if a bit strange, and won't interfere with any other fragrance you might wear.
25th March, 2011
Typically I'd rate a fragrance that smells this bad thumbs down, but I knew what I was getting into before I sniffed. This smells remarkably realistic & it's effing awful. I'm not usually effected by malodorous things but this has it's hooks in my gag reflex. I could only sniff this on a blotter. I repeatedly uncapped the vial to give a swipe to my arm only to quickly recap it as the bile rose.

I solicited the opinion of the dog. He sniffed the blotter & looked up at me without withdrawing.

I sprung it on my dad. I told him that what he was about to smell was foul, he braced himself, took a short inhalation then kicked himself to the other side of the room in his wheeled office chair while yelling, "Smells like a motherf****ing WHORE, dude!"

After several dozen good sniffs of the blotter (each with it's very own gag) I can find nothing beautiful in this fragrance & I suspect that's meant to be. MS is blood & jizz & turned milk splashed across a light floral. An unwearable, putrescent, ballsy composition.
12th March, 2011
cacio Show all reviews
United States
Abominable, unwearable, and intelligent. The press releases for many perfumes rave about skin and sex and pheromones. The ads display scantily clad women seemingly in the midst of spontaneous orgasms. The perfumes themselves are bland, insignificant, airheaded concoctions.

ELO goes all the way. SM is a simple floral defaced by a violent, metallic, rotten note reminiscent of decaying algae and seafood in brackish water. Human secretions? Only distantly. The metal vaguely relates to blood; there's definitely rotten milk; and the brackish water could recall the off-odor of a man who has eaten who knows what (asparagus concentrate?), amplified tenfold.

It's really a conceptual exercise. Being totally shameless in the imagery, and delivering an exceptionally novel and exceptionally disgusting composition. As with many works of arts, others might have different interpretations (futuristic? brutalist?) Kudos to ELO for actually selling this.

23rd January, 2011
You should read the scoop. It is not meant to shock with the smell of (decomposing) semen or blood. It is not meant to smell of those substances nor does it smell as them.

Consider Guerlians Jicky/Mitsouko/Shalimar. All three are connected to an individual love story. Of course each smell doesn't evoke any particular story at all. But, the associated romantics - which has been the most erotic statement allowed back then - push sells somehow. Secretion Magnifiques derides such associations by a hyperbole. The scoop speaks of what is considered erotic today: sex! Not by replicating the smells of sexual activities but more abstract it is made to replicate the mouthwatering suspense: will IT happen NOW? As a sexual active person I know what is meant by this ...

Besides of its insofar quite intelligent outfit it smells good. After an overly fresh start reminiscent of toilet cleaner branded "ocean breeze" it calms down to wet grass speckled with white apples. Some of them rotting - it's a Frech perfume, for sure. The dry down shows some woody, milky but slightly astringent notes like raw chestnut.

As far as people don't know they like it! I wore it on an inner European flight of 4 hours without any complaint. My tester I had with me broke and spilled down the knapsack. No offense at all! Alas, the smell made my GF tremendously hungry for some days, manly chocolate. Go figure, it has something to it. To bash it for its scoop and name neglects an interesting perfume, like judging books by their covers.
17th January, 2011
Thumbs up not because I "like" the smell but because it's such a major conceptual leap a perfumer to invest the time and money in a fragrance that's as ghastly and unpleasant as this. Like Warhol's Electric Chair series or Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ", it explores an olfactory concept that's unpleasant but a frank part of life.

I received a 10 ml bottle as part of an amazing Etat Libre D'Orange coffret ... as I made my way through the collection, I dabbed some on, honestly knowing nothing about what I had in store. I was floored / repulsed / horrified / confused ... and immediately googled it and was delighted by hours of "smelling" videos of people's live reactions to this on YouTube (this one being my favorite:

One of the things that makes this fragrance extraordinary is that you only need to smell this ONCE: The scent memory will forever be etched into your brain. Sometimes I just go near the bottle and I swear I can smell the pernicious aromas leaching through the glass.

How many other perfumes can you say that of?

13th December, 2010
Makes a statement. Certainly.

I don't think it stinks...well... it depends how you interpret it.

This IS a special perfume.

Amplifies the "animalic" you. Makes you more erotically aware, but really... NOT only that. Touches a lot of "places" that apparently have nothing to do with erotism. It's a psichological thing...

"here I show you who I really am, I'm flesh and blood and secretions, I don's smell pretty and I'm not a hypocrite".'s not "porny". or... could this be one aspect? latex, sweat.. and other... body liquids. Can you "smell" that kind of surrender?... does it arouse, or does it scare you? you have the olfactory experience in your brain thanks to this perfume.

Does is scar your skin? are you afraid of pain? have you got any fetish? fantasiesed over things you can't tell?

Oh, now what, erotic memmories? Shameful, forbidden attractions? You wouldn't tell unless "very high", right?
But what do you do with this perfume? Do you reject it, or do you "work" on what it makes you recall? :) if you have enough patience of course, to give it a thought...

It's not only blood and semen here, sory. Much more, I definetly smell much more.

No doubt, I believe this perfume is an inimitable masterpiece. I'd wear it (in public), yes.
It's not a "perfumey" perfume. It's an olfactive experience, should be regarded as so.
08th April, 2010
To quote Robert Plant:

"squeeze my lemon 'til the juice runs down my leg"

(I know this quote loosely belonged to others prior to Plant's use, but SM really only applies to the way Plant sang [screamed] it.)

Seriously, though, before looking at any reviews or notes (I try to test blind whenever I have no previous knowledge of something that shows up in the mail), this struck me as seminal. Put more politely, it's a romp on a tropical beach. There is coconut in the top, with some dry green herbaceous/citrus notes, then a very metallic "salty" note. It mellows out after a while, leaving behind only the feeling of swallowed salt water. Reminds me of something Demeter would put out, only made with better ingredients and with some note tiering.

I rarely find a perfume I won't wear, but I have met my match. However, I give it a good rating for being interesting, and fairly well-done, if not to my taste (no pun...).

Update: All day this scent haunted me- despite a good scrubbing I kept smelling it everywhere, even in tangerine peels! Its felt presence made me uneasy-like maybe I forgot to take a shower.
30th January, 2010
The statement “this is awful” is not far from the truth, but it is much closer to the lie.

A reliable source told me, strictly confidential, that this is the devil’s signature scent. That realization really frightened me. Namely, it means that devil’s taste corresponds with mine. Then I realized that I could live with it as long as I am capable to make the difference between the devil and his taste. Should I hate Marlene Dietrich because Nazis loved her songs? So, I have no intention to be the devil’s attorney but I would like to be the devil's signature scent’s attorney.

Do you know what demands the most courage? To be different. And yes, Sécrétions Magnifiques is different. Should we burn it because of that? What do you think, the lovers of Middle Century? Should we do it? Come on, it’s easy: let Sécrétions Magnifiques pay the price! It is different, for God’s sake. How dare it? Shell we tolerate that? Oh, wait a minute; it could also pay the price of our own frustrations! Now, that’s a brilliant thought.

You are the judge in this trail, my friend; so be a fair judge, not an inquisitor. Everyone deserves the fair trail, even Sécrétions Magnifiques. When you go to the court do not take your prejudices with you. Do not condemn Sécrétions Magnifiques just because you heard some bad things about it.

Longevity, sillage, notes… Sorry, but that’s irrelevant in this case.
30th October, 2009
Obviously here is a scent that behaves very differently on different people's skins. I belong too the group that gets fresh water, flowers floating in it, sweet milkiness, a touch of seaweed... now that doesn't sound _that_ horrible, does it? ;)

I find this scent very relaxing and dreamy, it makes me visualize floating flowers, white and pink, streaming and cascading water, mermaids with flowers in their hair...
17th June, 2009
LOL!!! It vaguely lives up to it's name sake. It's actually an amusing experience, it's slightly sweet, slighty floral, and slightly smells like a sectretional fluid. Let's just say that if it really smelled like this, things might be different in the bedroom, LOL!

Thumbs up for the amusing experience, but I wouldn't wear this out in public EVER.
06th June, 2009
I received a sample of Secretions Magnifique and tentatively tried out a swipe of the applicator after I made sure I had a clear run to the bathroom for when the waves of nausea and inevitable scrubbing would occur.

I precariously sniffed the forbidden fragrance and .... was extremely disappointing. I found it to have a floral note and none of the unpleasantness that people talk about.

I asked my wife (an OR nurse who deals in blood everyday) and she said it smelled nice. I asked her if it smelled like blood to her and she laughed and laughed. I asked my teenage daughter to smell it , and she said it smelled nice (and believe me they tell me when they don't like the way something smells).

This is the Secretions Magnifique of legend? I find it very hard to believe that this is the fragrance that has people feeling nauseous and is considered by many to be the worst fragrance ever?

There is a light floral scent to it, that although not unpleasant is not something that I would consider wearing regularly. I worked in the ER and in Trauma in hospitals previously, this smells nothing and I do mean NOTHING like blood or sex.

In reading the many reviews it would appear that either many Basenoters have not smelled real blood and sex before or that their preconceived notions, delicate constitutions and creative imaginations get the best of them :)

If my wife and daughter who dislike or are indifferent to much of my fairly extensive wardrobe like this and I enjoy it as well, it definitely gets a thumbs up :)
06th April, 2009
I really don't get all the negative views on this one. I find it to be a delightful refreshing and innovative metallic floral. There is simply nothing quite like it. Sorry guys, but it's a thumbs up for me.
14th October, 2008
At first I thought this smelt of melon, and then I found it smelt of something so deeply rude (and subjective) (and male) that I blushed. And I'm no prude. Love it to bits though, and it's a great perfume to wear if you want to see peoples' initial expression of "mmm melons how summery" approval ssuddenly turn to one of "is that what I THINK it is????" as you pass by.
29th September, 2008
Put in your mind a women, pearly woman with lovely, long wavy hair, laying in a inmmaculate bed with satin sheets, naked, clean. There's summer and her beautiful body smells clean, but disticntive, the human body smell mixing with the aroma of her shower gel nad body lotion.
She lays but her legs are wide open!. Smell of nudity and puberscense.

This fragance start so aldehydeic, clean, as pure as blowns you away. Very aquatic too.
Like a pool with a lot chloorine, just clean and neutral,
But then the notes itself make you dive in something more organic, like a swamp in a forest,.
The the fucus note emerges so sharp that nearly hurts when you sniff.
I know very well the fucus smell as I grown up next to the beach, it's a group of brown algae, not eatable, that hasn't a obvious smell but when treated with alcohols, smells very very metallic and organic like, not a lovely smell I have to be honest, but not vile too, just green, little medicinal,and metallic: ( It has been used as teraphical mud baths for ages in Galicia, north Spain where I am originally from.My grandma used to do "cataplasmas" with that algae to cure skin deseases).
Well, that's how this perfume smell like:
something green metallic, kind of medicinal but the initial splash ozonic aquatic goes all over the olfatory experience.And something really clean on the background, SOMETHING SO PURE.
The blood accord mixed nicely with the fucus giving a more sharper metallic twist, and the iris note come in the dry down very very subtle, appearing like a shy note of peachy skin surrounding it all. A feminine touch, i must say. I suppose it is beacuse of the mix of the iris and the milk note, it's creamy but clean.
I know now.
I don't know if the USA have that shower gel, the name is Lactovit.
The milky base smell like this, creamy clean soap, like a fresh young woman skin after a bath with this shower gel.
The conclusion is, despiste what you could spect, this fragance is just clean yet sharp, yet sexual but not dirty.
It's very marine, yes, very metallic, quiet indeed, but it's addictive.
I son't think so it's a wearable frag for a man, it has a dinstictive smell of woman-clean- skin- like, but I think I'll give a try to see reactions.
If seduction had an odour that will be.
15th October, 2007
moon_fish Show all reviews
Russian Federation
I`m with fragola. I like this experience (my wife definitely not).
I can smell a lot in common with L`Homme by YSL in this scent.
Allover impression for me - this is a Mermaid scent. Watery, fishy, and full of glamour.
19th June, 2007
Well, it's definitely over-hyped. You do have to forget about sperm, blood, and milk as smells for comparison; E.L.d'O. are trying so hard to be provocative when they describe it that way. However, I'm torn. I like its weirdness, the metallic watery quality, but it does trigger something kind of primal in response. On me it has a subtle hint of flower that seems so out of place among the other notes that you can't help but notice it. It eventually mellows into something like salt water or wet dog. But in a good way if that makes any sense at all. So much of perfume is about sex appeal that it's almost ironic that a smell called Sécrétions Magnifiques was created with total disregard to olfactory/physical attraction. I wouldn't call it a milky kiss, rather a dash of intense strangeness, not usually what people are looking for from a perfume.
25th May, 2007
I love this one. I think it's very innovative and very chic in its own way.

I don't get p**** (We'll leave THAT note to AGENT PROVOCATEUR).

I don't get semen (we'll leave THAT note to Davidoff COOL WATER), but I do get milk.

Milk and saliva and metal.

Picture this: at breakfastime, your three-year-old has abandoned his bowl of CHEERIOS. Left his metal spoon in it, and it sits on the table throughout the day.

You smell that bowl at 5pm when you return home. THAT'S the smell: milk that's sat too long, a vague edible sweetness, and sharp metal that's sat in milk all day.

But curiously, I like it! In summertime, it goes on as a fresh, sweetish, slightly metallic skin scent.

I think ELd'O's visual marketing campaign makes people smell things that aren't there.
03rd March, 2007 (last edited: 23rd May, 2010)