They're indeed discussed controversially, and I personally find their marketing concept (strange names, big philosophy) somewhat annoying, too. There are so many apparently uber-creative "niche houses" these days, and in many cases their creativity confines to weird marketing ideas, while the perfumery skills seem to be quite poor.
But I was very positively surprised by the ELDO line. There are some well-composed and interesting fragrances in this line. Jasmin et Cigarette
(jasmine, tobacco, musk), Rien
(Leather, cedarwood) et Vierges et Toreros
(tuberose, woods) are my favourites. Wearable, unique, very good longevity. Not too complex, but refined in their own way. Putain des Palaces
and Vraie Blonde
are also interesting, but leaning more on the feminine side. Eloge du Traitre
is a deep, quite heavy cedar - moss conoction (very similar to Mazzolari); good, but not too original. Didn't care for Nombril Immense
(patchouli) and Antihero
(lavender and woods) and couldn't stand Secretion Magnifiques
They develop extremely different on different skins, so you should test it before buying blind. I don't know if Etat Libre already offers samples on their website (where you can order full bottles: www.etatlibredorange.com)
, but there are several online stores (www.first-in-fragrance.com; www.suendhaft.com
) where you can buy samples.