The Afternoon Of A Faun opens with one of the best turkish delight (loukoum) accords I’ve smelt. A rich turkish rose, powdery iris and a hit of bergamot. In all these loukoum fragrances they add a huge dose of almonds and/or cherries – neither of which I associate with the sweet (that’s more nougat to me)… rose, powder and citrus… perfect!
There’s a spiciness in the opening too, a slightly spicy and fruity black and pink pepper along with a subtle immortelle underneath. This spice works perfectly with the loukhum accord but due to the higher presence of florals rather than foody ingredients (and not much sweetness) – it stays away from being gourmand and is instead: mouthwateringly fragrant.
A frankincense and myrrh begin to join in, slightly bitter, resinous smoky – all that lovely stuff, that just makes that turkish rose better and better. The iris keeps providing a lovely and lighthanded dose of powder throughout – completely rounding out any sharp edges and making The Afternoon Of A Faun both light, and super smooth on my skin. The immortelle never takes over, but is detectable throughout – dry rather than syrupy, with the spice subtle – similar to it’s use in Like This but just a little more potent. The “fuzzy” texture most closely resembles Archives 69 in the Etat Libre D’Orange lineup, and I find a fair few similarities between the fragrances – but this is undoubtably easier to wear (and nicer!). They both have a subtle metallic incense, a “pink berry” aroma that here seems to be a sideline of the rose, and a peppery spice. There’s a lot of textures going on and a list of florals that whilst is pretty straightforward to read (rose, jasmine, iris) it is somehow presented quite abstract.
The turkish delight accord breaks down a little becoming less familiar and less gourmand but the rose note staying true to the opening. However, as the bitter resins gain in strength, that familiar metallic note of the house signature, and a subtle leather note intermingle with the more delicate powder of spicy florals, the whole thing gets a little more “perfumey” and less edible. The drydown is light but rich, an unusual combination of spice, bitterness, resins and iris powder – the memory of pale pink florals and fruit just about in view.
The Afternoon Of A Faun seems to get a lot of stick, I’ve read hardly anything about it and none of it has been positive – well, I really enjoy it. Thankfully a very generous reader sent me a 10ml miniature of this so I’m very grateful… so thank you! (you know who you are)
Definitely a great release from the line, in beautiful packaging, and a name that I absolutely love. I’m growing to really really like this one and consider it a must sniff for any ELdO fan. Recommended
The Afternoon Of A Faun 100ml EDP Etat Libre D’Orange – 119 Euros http://etatlibredorange.com