Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Fat Electrician by Etat Libre d'Orange

Total Reviews: 34
mspa Show all reviews
United States
the name is an oxymoron to the actual scent.
quite delicate and very well blended.
it is really sweet, and the vetiver and smoke are very subtle. sweetened myrrh is more what it feels like.
imo projection and performance are perfect.
i feel comfortabe wearing it, but although unisex, i believe it leans towards the feminine side of the spectrum and could be excellent feminine wear.
22nd September, 2017
This one is a love of mine, but I think of it more as a cool weather scent despite the vetiver. The sweet gourmandish chestnut paste note makes it quite cuddly, which forms a lovely push-pull with the almost sweaty vetiver. It's great today on a cloudy but warm day. I bought this in preference to Sycomore a couple of years ago and don't regret it. It's a bit more chunky and edgy and has a grounding effect on me.

Late evening and still loving Fat Electrician - it's a vetiver vanilla now that wafts up from time to time - very pleasant and the slight sourness of the vetiver keeps it interesting to the end.
19th July, 2017
When I first wore Fat Electrician, I tried to search all the boxes of my memory for what it reminded me of. The more I wore it, the more I enjoyed it, but just couldn't put a finger on it until now. It reminds me of when I was younger and I was dragged to church (Catholic church) and during certain holy days the priest would bring out the incense and bath the entire congregation with it and it filled the entire area. At the end of the service we all walked out with the scent of the incense clinging to our clothes and hair.

If you have a fancy dress like I did that required dry cleaning, the dress went back into the closet and next Sunday the smell of last's weeks service with all the pomp and clouds of incense would come flooding back. In fact, Fat Electrician took me way back to all those memories of the church services with the heavy myrrh, the lighting of the candles and the one time so much incense was used the fire alarm went off mid-service much to my amusement when I was a child.

My husband, on the other hand, took a whiff of this on me and said 'you know what....when I was younger my dad used to have pot parties back in the day and you smell like that bags of pot and hash that showed up at the house with whatever else they used to cover up that smell.....I don't like it at all.'

Fat Electrician is a definite thumbs up from me, but a big thumbs down from hubby, who associates the smell with not so happy memories. I appreciate the scent for what it is and the artistry behind it. I enjoy the memories it brings back for me, but sadly will not purchase full size at this time.
14th April, 2017
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Starts with a nutty and smoky vetiver with a dusty sweet touch. I get something fruity also, but that passes after the first half hour. Going into the dry-down, this will be dry and smoky, with vanilla and vetiver. It is a take on the rooty and not grassy vetiver and although I can definitely can smell it in the composition, I believe the emphasized note is the opoponax. And I guess I understand the whipped cream note they list. It is a very pleasing smoky and almost gourmand fragrance.
10th April, 2017
My skin tends to magnify vetiver to the point that whenever I wear a scent in which it's a dominant note, I'm essentially wearing a soliflore.

Which is okay when it comes to vetiver, because I love it. It's such a strange smell, at once grassy and sweet and metallic and lemony and salty, evoking memories of sunlit days by the beach or out hiking in the desert underneath an uninterrupted canopy of blue so deep it looks artificial.

So whenever I want relief from my ginormous white floral bombs or heavily ambered orientals, I grab something with vetiver in it. Chanel Sycamore is my fave (and my kingdom to make my paltry 2ml sample of vintage Djedi last from here to eternity), but I'm happy to have Fat Electrician in my collection as well. It's pretty much all vetiver all the time, but one that is also sweet and bright—vetiver dipped in something luscious.

Which should smell gross, the olfactory equivalent of, say, mixing lemon and chocolate or drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth, but it doesn’t. Is that the "chestnut cream" working this bit of disparate magic? Who knows. I don't have the faintest idea what chestnut cream even IS (I suspect that half the time, these modern-day perfume notes are dreamed up by the same kinds of people who name collections of lipsticks and eye shadows), but if it's the thing that gives this particular vetiver its slightly gourmand edge, I'm totally down with it.
23rd February, 2017 (last edited: 25th February, 2017)
I find this rather brilliant conceptually. It does, for me, capture the whole fat electrician vibe along with that burnt wiring smell.

I'm really somewhat amazed by the cleverness behind this.

Longevity seems good. The projection seems moderate.

At the moment, I don't think this is a fragrance I'd want to wear often. Thus, I don't believe I'd purchase a full bottle.

But, I do definitely appreciate what these folks have accomplished with this as artwork.
14th February, 2017
I bought a sample of this after reading Claire Vukcevic's article about men's fragrances every beginner should sample. I guess I thought I would like the "smell of singed electrical sockets", and it turns out that I do. It does remind me of the smell of my mixer after a long DJ'ing session... I mean I get the idea behind the name (and Claire's description).

As a newbie to niche perfumery and this level of perfume study, I have a lot left to smell. When I smelled Fat Electrician, and identified the vetiver note therein, I realized that this presentation was unlike any I've tried so far. In the same way that, as a young cook, I had my mind blown the first time my favorite chef de cuisine scraped a vanilla bean into a sauce used on a sautéed monkfish liver, Fat Electrician makes a case for using vetiver without its usual accompaniments.

I love when vetiver is paired with something sweet, in this case, chestnut and vanilla. And, just like that first bite of monkfish liver with vanilla beurre monté, I am intrigued and surprised, and reassured that THIS is what is meant by "the art of perfumery".

I wasn't sure how wearable this would be, thinking that it would be best viewed from a distance. I was wrong. And the proof is in the empty sample bottles in my drawer.
29th December, 2016
Any perfume lover sold on the idea of a semi-modern vetiver may be justly discombobulated when putting this on for the first time.

You get a burst of sweet spices and then a steamed suet pudding with an ethereal metallic tang, and chestnut purée. There are some red fruits, and then a strange aromatic, sweet and vaguely herbaceous note comes floating over the top. What appears to be metallic begins to take on a sour aromatic vinegary overtone which you suspect is trying to smuggle a homeopathic spirit of vetiver into the profile.

The development stage is very volatile, changing at almost every sniff. What is certain though, this is not a Vetiver in the accepted sense. There may be vetiver in there, but this profile doesn't smell of it; rather, more of a pale, nutty-creamy chestnut purée heaped onto suet pudding in a stainless steel dish, and with a splash of aromatic vinegar.

Yet ironically, this radical construction is based on a traditional model of Vetiver ie: vetiver paired with myrrh and spicy notes, but its the character of the changes which Antoine Maisondieu made to this traditional form that make Fat Electrician radical. He has taken The Vetiver and thrust it into the odd gourmand territory of pale chestnut purée and vinegar. This is the innovative angle which, when latched onto the traditional form justifies the weird ELdO moniker semi-modern vetiver.

In every vetiver worth mentioning (and some that are not,) vetiver's name has had to take pride of place on the label - just as a megalomaniac film star's name must come top of the bill, because, as Luca Turin points out, when there's not enough vetiver in the mix the note gets lost, but when there is enough it takes over.

The problem of vetiver's distinct personality has at last been solved. The challenge has long been how to get enough of it into the mix without letting it dominate and forcing you to call your perfume Vetiver; the name an admission that the perfumer's attempts to bend this recalcitrant yet seductive weed to their will have failed.

In this case a novel and effective way to square the vetiver circle has been found. Instead of the tried and tested anisic route, or the citrus dead end, the lighter aspects of vetiver have been exalted into the head accord by means of a silver olive leaf note - which recalls the aromatic vinegars of pre-modern perfumery. This is a well blended, fairly neutral, comparatively subtle (and its really saying something to describe a penetrating top note as subtle,) sweet vinegar-like accord that washes off a trace of vetiver into its volatile fumes.

The blocking material between the buried vetiver and the exalted thin vinegar / metallic accord is a naturalistic chestnut purée. It has an oily granular-paste texture, and a mild-sweet & bland nut-meat aroma which is mid toned, yet its also opaque and thick enough to smother the vetiver early on, and it is so different from the vinegar accord as to be largely immune to it. The thick splodge of chestnut purée on the vetiver keeps it from rising into the light; a lot of chestnut - almost too much - but not so much as to stop a little vetiver from leaking out into the atmosphere on the volatile vinegar gasses. The vetiver is bowed down, repressed, but it's there none the less - like a Freudian neurosis.

As things settle down, vetiver does, ever so slowly creep out, but it spends the first half of the development in hiding, and then, when it does emerge it's disguised as some kind of baroque courtier done up in whitened face, powdered wig, and plastic comedy glasses. And then, when it really gets going, FE's alter ego starts cracking acerbic one liners right and left - and its then, finally, you come to realise that that old scoundrel vetiver has been capering under your nose for ages, and for much of the time you didn't even know he was there.

The mark of a radical art work in any discipline is the initial confusion it engenders in the mind of the audience. The first time I smelled FE I thought it was boring and a bit weird (ie: Challenging and irritating), and I thought to myself 'who wants to smell like ... chestnut purée?' But later, I re-watched the art critic Robert Hughes talking about Carl Andre's notorious pile of bricks in the Tate Gallery; the howls of indignation provoked by this 'sculpture' and the public money wasted on buying it. But, by virtue of its location in the gallery, it forced people to reconsider the forms that sculpture might now take; after that, sculpture could no longer be just a marble torso nicked from the Parthenon.

Fat Electrician was the pile of bricks in my head, which challenged baffled, confused and annoyed, but which eventually lit up a neural pathway that led to a lightbulb moment.

Besides the technical accomplishment of having re-engineered the vetiver to make of it a balanced two part structure, there is also the achievement of having democratised a dictatorial material which long exerted a stranglehold on any structure a perfumer tried to make it play along with.

But, if it 'means' anything, and whether perfume can or should have any significance beyond smelling good is another story, Fat Electrician is about humour and irony. These people at ELdO are no doubt far too subtle to spell it out, preferring, as they do, to weave their postmodernist word games into clouds of semiological signifiers, enveloping their weird fumes with a tantalising mystique.

Whatever. Let's let Antoine Maisondieu and ELdO have the last word when they declare -
"The Vetiver is dead, long live vetiver!"

31st May, 2016 (last edited: 30th June, 2016)
Oh my goodness.....Fat Electrician is sooooo good. This is vetiver done right!

I love Etat Libre d'Orange's approach, and even the ad copy makes me smile.

If I had to choose one full bottle purchase from ELdO, this would be in the running....It's gorgeous! I never knew how much I appreciated vetiver until I tried this beauty!
01st April, 2016
I was going to say something about Fat Electrician but I noticed that rbaker had already said just about all of it. Smoky, dry, woody, nutty, strange, but comfortable - this is pretty swell stuff. The olive wood touch really makes this for me. It's one of those off-kilter and oft-used scents like tomato leaf that makes things less trite for me.
31st January, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Burnt, burnt, burnt - a deep, smoky-burnt vetiver, one of the smokiest imaginable due to it being paired with an incense note that is achieved by combining a delightful opoponax with myrrh. The opoponax with not the elegant version of Gucci Envy for men, but an earthy deep variety.

This mix is an ingenious creation of what could be experienced as burnt electrical wires in a shortcut. But that is all I get; there is little further change over time.

The sillage is strong, true projection excellent and the longevity is six hours on my skin.

A fairly linear scent, but a great and creatively spicy transformation of a remarkable vetiver concept - a delight. 3.75/5.
14th January, 2016
As a vetiver lover I have tried all kinds of vetivers, dry, dirty, sweet, bitter, etc. In my opinion Fat Electrician is a dirty vetiver. As a matter of fact all I can smell here is vetiver and myrhh. There is nothing sweet in Fat Electrician. If you are a true vetiver lover this one is definitely for you. Etat Libre d'Orange brought out the true vetiver in Fat Electrician.
06th May, 2015
An intriguing and thoroughly modern take on vetiver. Smoke, wood and a wisp of ozone.
12th April, 2015
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Woody dry chemical vetiver with synthetical appealing nuances, if you are into weird wood scents, this is for you
04th March, 2015
One of the most appealing scents I’ve tried from the Etat Libre d’Orange line, Fat Electricial is essentially an elegantly balanced two-part structure of incense and vetiver – superbly ironic, given the name. Though dry and even somewhat astringent in its opening, Fat Electrician slowly reveals a velvet-soft, sweet vanillic grace note that plays up the nutty and earthy facets of its vetiver.

Ironically again, Fat Electrician’s sillage and projection are both relatively understated. After an hour or two’s wear the scent settles into an extended drydown of relatively straightforward warm vetiver. While it’s hardly revolutionary, it is very well-executed, wearable, and attractive. A good vetiver to add to the growing stable that includes Sycomore, Givenchy Vetyver, Encre Noire, Vétiver Extraordinaire, and Etro’s Vetiver.
13th June, 2014
Etat Libre d'Orange - Fat Electrician
Yes, there are actually people who smell like this; people like fat electricians who sit around and eat more than do any work, and when they do, they sweat a lot and smell like Fat Electrician. The one and only true inspiration for this perfume must have been without a doubt, a smelly fat electrician, being invited in the house of a perfumer who gained instant inspiration for a new perfume by this encounter....
Fat Electrician smells like fresh cotton fabric drenched in fresh sweat together with the warm radiation of a 'fat', fleshy-oily, fresh leathery smell of the warmth of fat electrician's skin; a sort of creamy-nutty, dirty-smoky, and spiced-greeny smell. It opens with salty lemonpeel, 'chestnut', fresh vetiver, pepper and a touch of cinnamon, creating a warm dusty, spiced-smoky and gritty texture. It gets rounder and more 'weighted' due to oppoponax, the clever use of medicinal-resinous myrrh and a smooth woody-earthy note of patchouli. The vetiver grows stronger - giving it a crisp and rawish-rooty green note that reminds me of freshly cut paprika and the flesh of olives - before catching a more dirty animalic smokiness with hints of dark chocolate and coffee, that introduces the salty hay-like touched vanilla-pots.
Fat Electrician keeps a great focus on a smoky, 'weighted' warmth with a counteract of fresh green-juicy notes, resulting in a very potent sour-bitter scentprofile that attracts and turns-off at the same time. A highly original perfume that intrigues from start to finish. Very well done.
22nd May, 2014
I can feel the woody amber with my nose, and there is an acetone, shellac, sour plastic quality that I smell as the volatility of the note pulls it away from me.

And then I don’t really smell anything.

Great name, perplexing olfactory experience. It comes and goes in 5 minutes. A discrete, tidy performance that leaves me in a chin-scratching state.

I feel like I should applaud.
02nd November, 2013
It's all about opoponox

Opposites attract even in perfumes. First time I wore this I thought that this was about balance between vetiver and vanilla. Something to excite you and something to sooth you.

On the second time I didn't notice the vanilla much. I was more thinking about vetiver, or vetivers. It started with some dark vetiver like in Encre noir, but changed gradually to lighter and greener vetiver like in Coeur de Vetiver Sacre.

But even the vetiver made room for the main player here. I didn't recognise it first, because I haven't smelled it in many perfumes. It was like something dusty and sweaty honey. It was smell familiar from Gucci pour homme II. It was opoponax and there was a lot of it. I would guess that Fat electrician is more of a winter fragrance because of it.

Next day all that is left from this perfume is some traces of iso E super on your skin.

In my opinion Fat electrician isn't the best Eldo, but it is very good nevertheless. When many of their best efforts seems to be new interpretations of classic themes, this one is more modern perfume. I could see this one being the most wearable of all Eldos for most younger men.

22nd June, 2013
Marais Show all reviews
United Kingdom
ELdO's best?

One of the best atypical vetivers available. The usual sharp rootiness of vetiver enjoys an unlikely but successful yin/yang partnership with a sweetish powdery accord provided by vanilla/myrrh/opoponax (but mainly vanilla). A touch of incense combines with the vetiver to create a metallic 'blown fuse' aroma in keeping with the name. Worth a try for lovers of Hermes' Vetiver Tonka (which is too sweet for me), Serge Lutens' Vetiver Oriental and even those who think they don't like vetiver. Wearable in all weathers. Projection is moderate, longevity excellent (10 hours from 5 sprays). The only ELdO scent I have found worth purchasing.

Pros: Unusual, good sillage and longevity
Cons: none

07th June, 2013
Burnt electrical wiring at the start (I kid you not) – this has to be one of the more ingenious manipulations of vetiver. Followed by dry, dry, dry resins with little hints of herbal green. The opoponax-myrrh blend here is top class, and there's an almost eucalyptus like note (the olive leaves?) which merges effortlessly. One of ELDO's stronger offerings – but you've got to have a nose for resins to enjoy it. Sadly, the fun lasts for about 3 hours, after which all that's left is a wooden cupboard.
08th May, 2012
It smells like yoghurt.....
02nd March, 2012
This is what I call a different take on vetiver. A solid interpretation that is able to emerge in this crowded territory. A fine mixture of opoponax and vetiver laying on a slightly sweet vanilla base and enriched by hints of incense and resinous elements throughout. Easy to wear yet distinctive, simple yet perfectly refined. A nice everyday's fragrance and one of the best releases in the Eldo's range. A valid option if you're looking for a modern masculine but you want to avoid the usual clean-laundered synthetic-citrus loaded with woody maber.
06th July, 2011 (last edited: 27th March, 2012)
Very sharp and pungent vetiver opening. Unlike most vetivers though that accentuate this with citrus notes, I like what ELDO does by complimenting this with vanilla and myrrh accords. After drydown it remains pretty linear vetiver accords with hints of myrrh tickling the nose. A very nice new take on vetiver.
14th June, 2011
The name, Fat Electrician, and accompanying thumbnail image are a stroke of brilliance: between two generous handfuls of voluptuous, oppoponax-creamy flesh runs a thin streak of vetiver. We're used to the sometimes exhausting smut of Etat Libre d'Orange, but here they offer us a reserved, sweet vetiver bearing similarities to Chanel's noble Sycomore – a comparison both surprising and delicious.

ELDO seems to rely on two strategies in general: eat-my-dust innovation (Sécrétions Magnifique, Jasmin et Cigarette) or shameless imitation (Eloge du Traitre is Yatagan reloaded, Je Suis Un Homme takes a stab at Eau Sauvage). Fat Electrician falls into the second category and is a reprise of Molinard's Habanita, but here done so much more convincingly, making Habanita feel like an inept drag queen. This is tenacious, satisfying, and unusually plausible (from this house) as an everyday scent.
13th April, 2011
Best vetiver to me. It avoids the one dimensional marine note typical to vetiver in the drydown. In that is is as good as Givenchys Vetyver. But the latter puts to much nuts, milky aldehydes etc in, shifting it to the bold side. The ELdO seems to be light handed, the oppoponax tickles the nose just right. The Fat Electrician rearranges known components of perfumery and achieves a - to me - new effect. I would like it less sweet, though.
06th March, 2011
A fragrance that has contrasting parts. A ‘fat’ part, and an ‘electric’ part.

The “Fat” part:
Vanilla bean, opoponax and myrrh create this. These base and heart notes lend to a warm vanilla like, semi-gourmand sensual feel. I’m reminded of Givenchy Pi here, but I like FE much more. These notes create a comforting, ‘round’ feel (insert ‘fat’). Very wearable and very likeable

The “Electrician” part:
Vetiver baby! This is the sharper, more rooty aspect of vetiver used. Some say it has a ‘metallic’ (insert ‘electric’) sense to it, but I don’t get that whatsoever. It’s a sharp dry vetiver note to me, and as a vetiver lover, there is nothing off putting about it. I’m also highly, highly reminded of the use of vetiver in The Different Company Sel de Vetiver here. FE has that same, semi salty gauzy accord to it.

The “Fat Electrician” as a whole:
Overall a very wearable, likeable vetiver/vanilla scent. Its Givenchy Pi with a masculine sharper top. The overall feel is very warm and inviting, without being too ‘gooey’ and over vanilla like which I like (and keeps me away from Givenchy Pi). The salty/dry vetiver creates a very interesting pairing and offsets nicely the warmer opoponax & myrrh. It highly reminds me of Sel de Vetiver which I already own and absolutely love. Its so close I question if its worth owning both… but I’ll probably spoil myself and buy FE too, I like it that much.

If you’re a fan of Sel de Vetiver, definitely give this a testing.
19th October, 2010 (last edited: 06th February, 2012)
Really superb, and more wearable than some of ELdO's more outre offerings. Fat Electrician is basically vetiver and sweet myrrh, which is kind of brilliant since it pairs vetiver's dry, earthy masculinity with the (dry, earthy) feminine sweetness of myrrh. Very sexy and interesting, very high quality ingredients. Check the silly sales narrative that goes along with it (something about a sexually ambiguous electrician from New Jersey) for a laugh. Excellent longevity with demure projection. Bravo!
10th October, 2010
This Fat Electrician is my new best friend. Seriously good stuff, executed perfectly. One moment it's warm and embracing, next it's cool and rough. Try it: he'll be your new best friend too.
14th April, 2010
bbBD Show all reviews
United States
I have to hand it to Etat Libre d'Orange - their line represents without question a shining beacon of niche perfumery. The whole raison d'etre for niche perfumery should be to provide an alternative to generic, market-research driven and profit-first designer perfume offerings. It feels like a new house pops up weekly, each sporting fancy bottles, high prices, yet totally uninspired fragrances built upon the same aromachemicals that everyone else is using (I'm looking at you "Boadicea the Victorious"). By contrast ELdO fragrances are original from the ground up, they are reasonably priced, and they are among the most creative compositions one can buy. After releasing its original line Etat Libre hasn't come out with too many new scents. The newest, Fat Electrician, carries on the ELdO banner proudly.

There are countless vetivers fragrances available today. What differentiates all these vetivers is the pungency and specific nature of the vetiver note and what the accompanying notes are. There are many excellent modern vetivers (Sycomore, Vetiver Extraordinaire, Givenchy Vetyver, etc.), but let's face it, if you own one vetiver you need not own the others unless the minutiae of vetiver scents is 'your thing'. Leave it to Etat Libre to make a truly different vetiver scent that is perfectly wearable.

Fat Electrician's initial vetiver blast is pungent and slightly sharp, yet not overly salty (i.e. Goutal or LezNez). Unlike vetivers that brighten the earthiness of the vetiver note with citrus or contrast the vetiver with something like tobacco, ELdO goes the route of creamy vanilla. Quickly after application a distinct opoponax note opens up - the vetiver is the most prominent note, but the sweet, woody opoponax is there. After opoponax comes myrrh, a note that is most prominent in the base. Moving parallel to the development of these woody notes is 'the vanilla'. Slowly but surely a background of smooth vanilla becomes more and more prominent, but it never fully overtakes the vetiver note that remains in the foreground throughout the composition. By the time Fat Electrician has settled into its base one smells a melange of vetiver and myrrh on a bed of vanilla (and the vanilla itself is not thin, but very rich and creamy). Besides being unique, it smells just damn good... the base (which is long lasting) is my favorite part of Fat Electrician.

For people about to sample Fat Electrician allow me to warn you that this fragrance operates on a couple levels. Sampling on your arm you will experience something along the lines of what I've described, along with perhaps your own interpretation of notes. The vanilla and background notes seem quite prominent. However when worn on the body, the vetiver note is primarily what you will smell, with the vanilla and woody notes only becoming distinct after a couple hours. Surprisingly the sillage is less robust then most ELdOs, making FE a good choice for situations that call for a more discrete fragrance choice. Longevity is fantastic - once the base settles it will last on the skin for many hours.

Great for vetiver fans - and also great for people looking for an entree to vetiver fragrances.

16th January, 2010
This doesn't have quite the nuclear vanilla bomb of Bulgari Black, but to me it's definitely a vanilla-dominant fragrance. A bit of smoke, a bit of incense, and of course a long thread of vetiver.

I'm not a big vanilla fan, but I like this anyway. It's dry enough that the vanilla doesn't come off as cloying or overstated. The dovetailing of the vanilla and the vetiver is quite successful, as is the overall composition.

A distinctive and very wearable take on vetiver.
12th January, 2010