Etat Libre d’Orange Putain des Palaces

...the dirty musk of a femme fatale with funk in her trunk.

Ask any human behavior expert about the real purpose of cosmetics, and it all comes down to sex. Blush mimics the flush of sexual excitement in the cheeks, and a lipstick-rouged mouth is a pretty good stand-in for an engorged vulva. The beauty industry prefers to put a euphemistic gloss on lipstick’s base intentions with flirtily allusive names like “Passion Fruit Squeeze” and “Sensual Rosebud”. After all, “Engorged Vulva” comes a little close to the bone as a name for a product designed to create that very scenario. I mean, you want to cloak your intentions with a little bit of mystique, right?

Wrong -- at least as far as frisky indie perfume house Etat Libre d’Orange is concerned. This provocative French line includes concoctions like Secretions Magnifiques (listed notes of blood, milk and sweat), Delicious Closet Queen (fruity leather) and Don’t Get Me Wrong, Baby, I Don’t Swallow (sterile floral). While Etat Libre d’Orange delights in shattering hollow propriety, it also makes an effort to ensure that a number of their vulgarly named scents actually smell, well, decent.

My current favorite from ELO is Putain des Palaces, composed by Nathalie Feisthauer and gleefully translated on the packaging as “Hotel Slut”. Putain des Palaces is a powdery rose, violet and leather combo that teeters just on the edge of day-after mustiness. It’s the dirty musk of a femme fatale with funk in her trunk. This olfactory hologram of "unwashed Pretty Woman” is assisted by the alchemy of milky rice powder and ginger notes. Something about their creamy sharpness really puts the beast in the bouquet.

But if you banish the name “Hotel Slut” from your mind, you can experience the eau de parfum in a positively wholesome way: an almost-gourmand; a spicy rice pudding. This fluctuation between edible and f*ckable is what makes Putain des Palaces so fascinating.

Fumeheads, what are your favorite "glamorous hooker" scents?

Etat Libre d’Orange Putain des Palaces is available from, at $80 for 50ml

"16th Arrondissement" by Helmut Newton


  1. Bal a Versailles: period piece glamorous hookers!

  2. BaV - good one, Krista! Now I know why my husband leaves a pile of bills on the nightstand when I wear this one.

  3. You beat me to it - Bal a Versailles is my pick too. Tabu is another good slut scent, although that one may fall under the cheap hooker category...

  4. Patty, the "cheap hooker" category is too "easy" - if you'll pardon the pun. I'd throw in the entire contents of Bath & Bodyworks along with Tabu.

    Can I contribute to my own running query? Okay, thanks! I would like to nominate Amouage Jubilation 25 as a fine high-class escort scent, what with the "dirty moose" tang in between the sheets of its luxe florals.

  5. I actually smell like this fragrance...seriously..did a test and posted it on my blog...I'm just not as sweet.

  6. Bloody Frida, I'm so glad you posted, because I didn't know about your blog, and it looks like we share a sensibility. Consider me a follower. (I also like all your music picks!)

    Fumies, check out BF's post on Putain de Palaces:

  7. Ah thanks Katie! I read your blog but I haven't seen your 'tv station' yet (at work, they block youtube and at home, well I'm so busy I don't get much of a chance). I had a great photo of me as a hotel slut but I had to take it down...I felt too naked! ;)

  8. Yes, those comments on your Putain post got me hankering to see that pic, Bloody Frida. What a tease!

  9. I'll put it up for a few hours!!