Finally another full expression of Nagel's signature rotten citrus. That extremely sweet, sticky, overripe, sickly, almost fermented fume, curiously reminiscent of the olive oil used to cure vegetables. Almost disgusting at first, but intriguing, it makes you go back again and again until you can't help buy buy the perfume.
In the sadly defunct Theorema, a rotten orange gave depth to an oriental gourmand. Here, a rotten mandarin injects interest in a fruity floral modern clean chypre. Without the rotten citrus, it would be a well crafted but uninspired piece. With it, it's a fun ride.
It feels like the intelligent sister of Nagel's nearly contemporaneous Armani Si', a potently sweet, annoying clean fruity-woody floral, which lacks Archives's lusciousness and fun.
Deep love for this experimental weird ELDO's concoction. Be patient for the carnal final warmth, the run is long but you won't be disappointed. Key Archives 69's notes: huge-huge pink pepper, tangerine, earth (camphor-patchouli-oakmoss), powdery orchid, frankincense. Around this central licentious accord swirl all the further elements in order to disclose an extremely satisfactory performance with a typical (classically barber-shop-eau de cologne-like) initial ELDO's basic "trademark" re-interpreted in to a modern provocative (either in olfactory hallmarks and marketing messages) inebriating vaguely leathery-camphoraceous-post-industrial experiment. The spicy resinous (almost pharmaceutical-like) fruity-floral main accord produces by soon a sort of weird almost sticky-syrupy steady undertone enriched by a bunch of nuances (vegetal, earthy, acrid, woody, laundry, candied) enhancing the A69's disorienting complexity. Frankly I detect a sort of resinous final woodiness along the dry down while the prune/tangerine/orchid peppery accord is responsible about a sort of deeply fruity, vaguely gassy, berrish and resinous final "chewing gum-candy-like" chypre olfactory basement. The patchouli is sheer under my nose and perfectly combined with the camphoraceous mossy (slightly bitter) earthyness in order to create a more assertive, botanical and austere (wonderfully earthy-rooty-camphoraceous) background to counteract the candied fruity floral spicy dominant intensity. I detect a spicy/resinous heady accord vaguely conjuring me some Paolo Terenzi's (Tiziana Terenzi) olfactory performance (Lillipur-Maremma). A soothing final vanilla amalgamates the opposite earthy/camphoraceous and "candied/resinous" patterns in order to disclose a final more linear, "pacified" and silky (yes almost gourmand) uniformity. Over a couple of hours the sweetness recedes, the resinous vibe holds partially off its effect and a worthful warm-organic-drier-somewhat shadowy (camphor/earth/moss/dry spices) mild sensuality jumps on the stage of your skin. As well as usual for Eldo this fragrance plays the game of contrasts in the body of a complex and well structured olfactory articulation. An interesting fragrance for us and another sexy beast for all the kinky pullulating all around.
Finally after some "disappointments" from this brand, I've found the first really good scent among ELd'O line. The opening is already intriguing and captivating: a vanilla/fruity accord with a dense floral heart and a bitter aftertaste, really peculiar, almost like olives, a kind of metallic sour subtle feel which fits just perfectly balancing the "gourmand" lively side. Totally bright, creative and smart, the overall feel is a silky, luscious vibe which effortlessly blends with a camphor-archaic feel, an "ironic" counterpoint play which I find really witty and interesting. And also, above all, totally pleasant to wear. That sort of metallic obscure aftertaste is what intrigues me the most, I can not really "get" it, it smells almost like an elusive dadaist bug which just "floats" below, still perfectly fitting and hiding in the blend. Overall this smells basically like a classic floral/fruity scent, say, a Guerlain, just "detourné" like a situationnist comic strip and decontextualised in this sort of contemporary, industrial-medicinal way. The evolution is equally interesting and quite unpredictable, as it progressively smells more ambery-resinous, still with a bold camphor-medicinal smell and a stronger cumin note. Slight rubbery feel. I miss a bit the incense note but I feel it's there. After a couple hours it becomes sweeter and more delicate, almost a gourmand, still with that genius camphor-cumin counterpart. I must say I really enjoyed wearing this – it's fun, it's bright, it's interesting to follow, and it smells terribly good. The final drydown is really good as well; silky, aromatic, aerial, and quite long-lasting. Perhaps a bit too sweet here and there, but overall, a really good scent, almost great, surely worth a try. Finally an avant-garde work (or at least I consider it that way) which manages to "say" something new still remaning a wearable and enjoyable scent.
Archives 69 succeeds in capturing the schizophrenic hermaphrodite ethos of ELDO. Think of it. What are their bestsellers? Perfumes created with androgynous actresses Rossy De Palma and Tilda Swinton. The bilge note from their infamous Secretions Magnifiques makes a cameo appearance. You can smell Incense et Bubblegum masticating at the altar -- and in fact, the sleeve is bubblegum pink.
Yet this is unmistakably Christine Nagel at work here. There are traces of Si Lolita and Narcisso For Her. Archives 69 wears close to the skin, smelling plasticky and resinous, sickly sweet and musky, and it has powerful longevity. Spray it very lightly, but it is quirky, chic, original and edgy, everything you think of this house.
The pink berries and pepper are mostly what I can pick out from this. To me it has a smell reminiscent of the old individually-wrapped Bazooka Joe bubble gum, but not sugared, adolescent, or gimmicky in any way. It's sophisticated, delicious and fun. Longevity is so-so.
It starts of a bit weird and ackward, the tangerine and pepperleaf just aren't blending well enough for me. The ocrhid starts to tie it all together and then once the incense kicks in it's amazing. The drydown is pleasant and all in all a really fun,unusual but wearable fragrance. I think this could be a really nice biitter fougere for some of the male basenoters.
Etat Libre D'Orange's main points of strength have always been considered their advertising campaigns and marketing strategies (provocative names, arousing images, trendy concepts) and, during the years, they grew up a consistent amount of loyal followers with their "borderline", love-or-hate approach.
On the other hand I'm realizing that their choice of giving the brand a provocative/controversial identity has often turned into a sort of limit. Many people who have been potentially interested in their juices have been disencouraged by the house misleading/questionable perfume's names and images. I would like to suggest this people to try to avoid the provocation and approach Eldo's fragrances focusing on their juices. If you'll be able to do it, you will discover a bunch of extremely solid compositions that range from the classics-inspired Je Suis Un Homme or Eloge Du Traitre, to the successful modernity of Like This, Fat Electrician, Jasmin & Cigarette and Tom Of Finland via the conceptual/artistic-weirdness of Rien, Charogne and Secretions Magnifique.
That said the new Archive 69 has been commited to perfumer Christine Nagel who previously worked for the likes of Guerlain, Cartier, Dior, Fendi, Armani, Givenchy and many many more....Her latest composition for Eldo strikes as a succesful concoction of resinous notes and frankincense joined by pepper and berries on top, a sophisticated orchid note in the heart and a remarkable camphoraceous vibe throughout. Overall, Archive 69 is an extremely sensual skin fragrance with a multi-facets character that goes from the peppery opening to the warm and comfortable musky/incensey drydown via the endless nuances of the heart where it continuely morphes from flowery to sort of gourmandic.
Probably it won't reply the success of the Fifi Prix des Spécialistes award winning Like This, but it's surely head and shoulders above the average quality available on the market.
15th February, 2012 (last edited: 19th February, 2012)