Etat Libre D’Orange – Fils De Dieu / Philippine Houseboy


I managed to get myself a sneaky sample, from the very generous Nick Gilbert, of Etat Libre D’Orange’s new release Fils De Dieu.

Now as for the name, it was originally published that this scent would be called Philippine Houseboy… Awesome name! Then most likely due to all the moaning from over-sensitive perfumsita folk, the scent was renamed Fils De Dieu, or, Son of God, which is pretty much just as offensive. Anyway, I was told by Nick that the bottles would be available with both names, which hopefully is true as his official sample bottle was titled Philippine Houseboy… I need a bottle of that!

Anyway, on to the scent: I don’t want to read a list of notes, but it basically reads like a Thai curry, ginger, citrus fruits, rice, coconut and the like. But I’m not gonna let that sway me too much and will just tell you what it smells like!

Fils De Dieu du riz et des agrumes opens with bright tangy citrus fruits of limes, oranges and lemons. Pretty quickly a creamy pudding type of note creeps up underneath it. It doesn’t smell curry-ish at all, and instead is rather dessert like, but not foody enough to be considered edible.

There’s something slightly green to it, which smells like lemongrass? Or maybe some type of green herb, it’s not all that savoury though. Underneath these much paler citrus fruits, creamy – what is now- rice notes, is a musky leather which helps to take this out of green curry territory.
There is ginger in this, which isn’t as prominent as in Like This by ELdO, but it provides a spicy, unusual kick to it.

A slightly metallic note joins in after about 10-15 minutes, and is slightly reminiscent to that found in Secretions Magnifique only without the sour milk and nowhere near as intense. The two scents do share similarities, but Fils De Dieu is not difficult to wear and instead, instantly comforting and unusual.

The coconut and rice notes get more prominent in the drydown, with the metallic edge keeping the whole thing not too foody; any citrus notes have now turned into a definite lemongrass type accord – delicate and subtle.
The scent isn’t particularly sweet, and I wouldn’t consider it a gourmand, but I guess in sorts it is a kind of “savoury gourmand” which is really well executed.

I really enjoy this, it would be fantastic in the summer if you want something refreshing, without being aquatic or sporty, it is instead refreshing yet somehow creamy and warm at the same time. 

The late drydown of this isn’t quite as captivating as the opening or the heart of the fragrance, but it’s still unusual enough to catch a compliment or two.
I’m pretty sure I’ll buy a bottle of this, I love the brand, I love the name, and Fils De Dieu is like nothing I own (or would generally consider owning), but it is an extremely easy to wear scent that I think particularly in the warmer months I would reach for regularly.

On a side note, I also got a quick sniff of Bijou Romantique, the other new release by Etat Libre D’Orange, but it wasn’t instantly catchy enough for me to ask for a sample. As I remember though it’s a lovely floral bouquet in a classical style of perfumery, quite safe for ELdO, but an interesting addition to their line which I’m sure will be a very good seller for them. I’ll try it out properly in time.

Etat Libre D’Orange Fils De Dieu 50ml – 65 Euros from, will be available at Les Senteurs soon!

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