Rien – Etat Libre D’Orange


This is going to be more of a recommendation than a review, I just love Etat Libre D’Orange‘s magnificent Rien.

I’m not sure why I ordered a sample of Rien many months ago, I think I was drawn to the rave mixed reviews and the delicious sounding description pushed forward by ELdO. If I’m honest, I have NO idea what ELdO think they have produced but it certainly doesn’t match the description:

“the spicy savour of blackcurrant bays and the musky notes of blond suede” You know what, now that they’ve mentioned blackcurrant, I do pick it up the tiniest bit, but I think it’s in my head… sorry I’m not reviewing yet I’m just giving you some snippets.“Rien is a second skin perfume, a perfume that clings to the body and perseveres in the mind…  As light as mohair and as precious as cashmere, the fragrance envelops skin with a powdered caress.”Powdered? Cashmere? Light? Suede? What the hell! Second Skin? Rien… is none of these.

Rien opens with some crazy blast of aldehydes, they are unbelievably sparkling and bizarre. However, underneath these, is the most bitter, twisted leather/civet/incense concoction I had ever laid my nose upon. The leather is rough, certainly not “blond suede”, it is black, worn and filthy! The incense is deep in there, it is sharp and blended impeccably with the leather. Civet is not listed, but I can smell it in all its’ intensity. It is sharp and bitter and animalic. The civet appears to be the only thing providing any sweetness to Rien.
It is also not a second skin! It is unimaginably powerful, and projects from meters away! One spray, will fill a room in a matter of seconds. So if you’re to try this, go light on the trigger. I adore this scent, but one too many sprays, and I feel queasy!

So, back to the scent. Rien is pretty linear, what you get at the beginning, is there about where you’ll end up hours and hours down the line when it never ends. Bitter leather, incense, animalics, and I’m sure I can sense some oud deeper down in there, it gives it a kind of medicinal edge.  There is really nothing else like it, and Etat Libre D’Orange have done a fantastic job with this, along with many of their other fragrances which I will have to review in time.

I own and treasure my bottle of this, and I know it is going to last me a long longg looonnggggg time. It’s ugliness is absolutely beautiful, and once you work with it and allow it to settle and mellow, you’ll forgive it for attacking you at the beginning. A masterpiece.

Etat Libre D’Orange Rien 50ml EDP – £53 RRP

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10 thoughts on “Rien – Etat Libre D’Orange

  1. Liam says:

    I love your description of black worn filthy suede! Never smelled this stuff before but very compelled to do so now :D

    • You must. The combination of the incense and civet with the leather makes it so intense it blows other leather powerhouses like Knize Ten out the window!
      It’s not ugly though, it’s absolutely stunning.
      Thanks for the reply :)

  2. Federico says:

    Which fragrance would you choose: Rien or Vierges et Toreros? :)

    • Wellllll, I own both :P So that’s a hard question.
      If you want something easy to wear regularly that is still interesting enough to be…. interesting :P Go for Vierges et Toreros (I almost consider it my signature this year) – I find it super comforting, and there’s tons going on in it.
      If you want something to make more a statement but harder, or lets say, tiresome, to wear regularly… Rien.

  3. Federico says:

    Thanks a lot for your answer :)
    And.. In terms of longevity and projections, which is better?

    • Rien is better. But as I said in this old review :P Obnoxiously so. It can be overwhelming (which i’m all for) – but honestly, the novelty wears off because of the strength and it can get annoying and tiresome. Vierges et Toreros is much more subtle once it’s settled, but it’s always there – both great longevity.

  4. Federico says:

    I finally blind bought Rien and I really fell in love with it. It’s really a masterpiece of perfumery, absolutely gorgeous. I don’t even find it that hard to wear :)

    • Wonderful Federico! And that came very quickly. Glad you love it – you’re right, it’s not hard to wear, it’s just very very loud and powerful and totally in your face (and everybody elses!). That’s the most challenging part about it I think, I’ve never encountered a fragrance like it. Enjoy it man, you smell wonderful :)

  5. Federico says:

    Maybe my nose is f****d up.. But sometimes this smells like a bonfire with leather around it. Outstanding.

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