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  1. #1
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    Default A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    I tried Vierges & Toreros by Etat Libre d'Orange for the first time from a sample today (thanks Vibert) and it is truly the first fragrance I've ever smelled that sits on the fence halfway between a masculine (wood, leather, something dirty) and feminine (florals and herbs). Ever so often I layer two fragrances and come up with a disastrous combination. That is exactly what I think V&T smells like, a fragrance disaster. The florals are quite 'large and in charge' at the top notes and then filter down to an annoying makeup bag note (like Dior Homme does on my skin) - BUT coupled with the dark, cowboy saddle leather accord (Lonestar Memories-esque) it smells like you've opened up your grandmothers purse inside a Hickory Farms store.

    The Etat Libre D'Orange scents also are extremely tenacious...you've got to hand it to these young, French perfumers, they sure do know how to create molecules that stick and stay! I just wished I liked the scent that's sticking.

    I admire the strangeness, irony and aesthetic of this scent (let's face it - this is no less strange than many CdG scents I get all excited about...like Play) I just wish this scent would pick a side of the gender already!

    BTW - what does the name of the scent, Vierges & Toreros mean? I don't 'get it'.

    What other fragrances, in your opinion, walk the line between male/female, masculine/feminine, etc...?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    "Virgins and Toreros," if you can believe it. Wait until you get a whiff of Charogne ("Carrion").

    Vierges & Toreros is some weird stuff. I myself enjoyed the ambiguity and jarring dissonance in this scent, but I can't imagine it pleasing many! Its uses are certainly too limited to warrant a bottle, as far as I'm concerned.

    Others that sit on the gender fence for me, but not in the accepted "unisex" manner:

    Habanita
    Tabac Blond
    Carnal Flower
    Tubereuse Criminelle
    Nuit Noire
    and perhaps Pomegranate Noir.

    Interesting that three of these include tuberose...
    Last edited by Off-Scenter; 4th October 2007 at 10:43 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    I bought V&T blind...BAD move. It actually mean the virgin & the matador...something like that. I have no idea why...but I think it has something to do with blood & menstruation.

    I find it overtly masculine...maybe that's just me? I don't get any tuberose at all...which is what I was after.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    Torero = bullfighter more-or-less = matador. I'm not sure about the fine distinctions, not being a great fan of bullfighting.
    Last edited by Off-Scenter; 5th October 2007 at 01:19 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    I agree with Vibert in that both Habanita and Tabac Blond are DEFINITE hermaphrodites. I'd throw Bandit and Shalimar into the mix, too -- no hesitation there. (I think it's hilarious when a woman or man smells Shalimar -- one of my favorites -- on me and then spends the next five minutes trying to put his or her finger on what the fragrance is. It's so familiar to them, as generations of mothers, aunts and grandmothers wore it, yet it's so elusive to them when they smell it on a man. Shalimar's very spicy and rich on me, perfectly balanced, and beyond gender distinctions.)

    Eau Sauvage and other "crisp, lemony" frags don't really count as much as hermaphrodites, but you can't leave them out altogether.
    And some frags, such as Guerlain's Eau de Cologne Impériale and Czech & Speake's #88 pre-date the whole gender distinction in frags altogether.
    Last edited by tvlampboy; 5th October 2007 at 12:26 AM.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I tried Vierges & Toreros ... [snip]

    BTW - what does the name of the scent, Vierges & Toreros mean? I don't 'get it'.
    I can see only one link between virgins and bullfighters, apart from any possible generalized sexual references. Bullfighters are (perhaps understandably) very superstitious, and all of them kneel down in a chapel before an image of the Virgin Mary to pray before a corrida. The major Virgin of the toreros is in Seville, where the Maestranza bullring is located; that plaza de toros is the only one outside Madrid where bullfighters can receive the alternativa, the diploma that promotes them to the rank of matador. The Virgin of the toreros in Seville is the Virgen de la Macarena. (BTW, Spanish girls are sometimes named Macarena, like the girl in the song that started the dance craze in the '90s.)

    Mike, does the perfume conjure any images of kneeling bullfighters for you?
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  7. #7

    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    Add another hermaphrodite to the mix: Helmut Lang for Men.
    Lovely little musk/butter frag, yes, but definitely appropriate for gals as well as guys.

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
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    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    I can see only one link between virgins and bullfighters, apart from any possible generalized sexual references. Bullfighters are (perhaps understandably) very superstitious, and all of them kneel down in a chapel before an image of the Virgin Mary to pray before a corrida. The major Virgin of the toreros is in Seville, where the Maestranza bullring is located; that plaza de toros is the only one outside Madrid where bullfighters can receive the alternativa, the diploma that promotes them to the rank of matador. The Virgin of the toreros in Seville is the Virgen de la Macarena. (BTW, Spanish girls are sometimes named Macarena, like the girl in the song that started the dance craze in the '90s.)

    Mike, does the perfume conjure any images of kneeling bullfighters for you?
    LOL.

    The smell of kneeling bullfighters, huh?? [[scrunching my forehead and thinking]] Um...no.

    I didn't get blood or bulls or virgins. I got makeup, tanned leather (perhaps the bull?), and something smoked (not smoky - SMOKED, as in a smokehouse...perhaps Genoa Salami?). So strange.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    The only thing that matters is whether or not you like to wear it. It either feels good or not.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    The only thing that matters is whether or not you like to wear it. It either feels good or not.
    Amen! (No, not A*Men.)

  11. #11

    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by tvlampboy View Post
    Shalimar's very spicy and rich on me, perfectly balanced, and beyond gender distinctions....
    An SA at Saks once told me that male body chemistry has a tendency to add a spicy element to most any fragrance. I had a similar experieince with New Haarlem. A friend once described NH as "spicy and phermonal" when she leaned in to my neck for a closer sniff.
    Last edited by Sloan; 5th October 2007 at 05:38 AM.

  12. #12

    Wink Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I
    [what does the name of the scent, Vierges & Toreros mean? I don't 'get it'.[/B]
    Well, It refelct the excited noon on a bullfight arena.
    In Spain, when the bullfighter, matador or torero, whatever wnat you to call, wins agains the beast, the girls as public with euphoria,used to trow him tuberosas as a sign of respect, emotion and a flirty way long time ago.

    The perfume is based in dirty notes, animalistic and as the company says a based tuberosa fragance for men.

    You can detect the tuberosa all the way through aswell the animal notes that represent the bull, the sebum of a sweaty, sexy, masculine macho fighting against the animal, and a distinctive note of dust and blood that represent the arena fight, the dust around the air when both fight agaisnt each other and the blood falling on the dusty floor, when the matador finish his job killing the animal.
    Even I found the bullfight a cruelty this perfume is a masterpiece for me. I never liked tuberosa but know i'm addicted. Friend of mine even say that may have pheromones cause so many people reacted in a really flirty way when i had it on me. It's really masculine, very very manly, nothing to do wit dior homme. its simply animalistic, very leather with a dirty hint of tuberosa... Hmmm sexy sexy. Sex in a bottle I have to say, and my boyfriend too.

    It really evocate "las corridas de toros". Olé.
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    I can see only one link between virgins and bullfighters, apart from any possible generalized sexual references. Bullfighters are (perhaps understandably) very superstitious, and all of them kneel down in a chapel before an image of the Virgin Mary to pray before a corrida. The major Virgin of the toreros is in Seville, where the Maestranza bullring is located; that plaza de toros is the only one outside Madrid where bullfighters can receive the alternativa, the diploma that promotes them to the rank of matador. The Virgin of the toreros in Seville is the Virgen de la Macarena. (BTW, Spanish girls are sometimes named Macarena, like the girl in the song that started the dance craze in the '90s.)

    Mike, does the perfume conjure any images of kneeling bullfighters for you?
    It does It does. read what i wrotte.
    If you have been into the culture of bullfighting, high here in spain, you'll understand the complex of this wonderful perfume...
    Last edited by madridbatabidd; 5th October 2007 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  13. #13

    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    I feel that Jean Paul Gaultier 2 has to be considered in this thread. I have witnessed much confusion with this scent at the counter. This is for Men....no....this is for women.....no....this is for either......Really?
    I have no problem with this scent being at both the Men's and Women's counter.....but I feel that most men feel that this is way to sweet and falls into the women's category.
    Gary

  14. #14

    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    I think the most often fragrance I've seen that was gender-confused was Costume National. Some stores have it in the women's section, some in the men's...and it smells great on both.

  15. #15

    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    BLACK XS for men seems like it should be for women. I felt more uncomfortable wearing this than Gaultier2 or even Alexander Mcqueen's Kingdom.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    The only thing that matters is whether or not you like to wear it. It either feels good or not.

    I agree pluran. I think I was trying to justify why I didn't like it (I don't know why...clearly some here in this thread love V&T!) instead of just being ok just not feeling good wearing it.

    The way that the V&T florals and animals notes are balanced is off putting to my nose...in a way that the smell of a garbage can full of flowers and cut up meat might smell if you inhale the smell.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: A fragrance with a gender identity crisis

    Just a funny thought:

    All of the "gender ambiguous" fragrances I listed earlier (Habanita, Tabac Blond, Carnal Flower, Tubereuse Criminelle, Nuit Noire, and perhaps Pomegranate Noir) are among my favorites. They also strike me as extremely sexy/seductive. Not sure what that says about me...

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