Etat Libre D’Orange’s Like This (2010)

Etat Libre D'Orange's Like This © Victor Wong
Etat Libre D’Orange’s Like This © Victor Wong

If anyone wants to know what “spirit” is,
or what “God’s fragrance” means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.

Like this.

The above verse is taken from the poem “Like This” by Rumi. Rumi is a 13th-century Persian Islamic poet, and his work has been translated into many of the world’s languages (source: wikipedia). If my interpretation is anywhere close to his idea of a “God’s fragrance”, that fragrance would be the human pheromones, the scent of attraction, the scent of the living. I think that’s absolutely ingenious, insightful, open-minded and unexpected.

So what does “Like This” smell like? Is it as poetic as Rumi’s “God’s fragrance”? Well, it turns out it smells like a slice of pumpkin pie. Next time when you host a Thanksgiving dinner, wow your guests by offering them a chance to smell “God’s fragrance” inexpensively – “Close your eyes, now take a sniff.” When they open their eyes, they see a spoonful of pumpkin pie filling you just scooped out of a can and placed under their noses.

Of course, “Like This” smells much more than a slice of pumpkin pie; the pumpkin pie smell is actually part of the dry down of the perfume. The opening is a sweet, vegetal, fresh ginger scent that guarantees to wake you up. But shortly after, the awakening notes turn warm and cozy (rose, pumpkin, sweet immortelle, musks) and it begs you to go back to bed or hug something. Look around, nothing good in sight? Hug yourself. “Like This” is a homey, cuddly scent, but you need to know if the one you want to snuggle with likes pumpkin pie, because I had once served someone a slice who did not like the smell of pumpkin spice but too polite to say no, and he looked like he had just dropped an egg on the kitchen floor every time he took a bite.