The end of the world will smell of popcorn and iris.
How will the end of the World smell like? Each of us has their own different idea (I am guessing that many of those ideas would be influenced by Hollywood productions). Quentin Bisch had had a very untypical imagination of the smell, which had been then transformed into perfumes, which in 2013 Etat Libre d’Orange – a niche perfumery brand added to their portfolio. Bisch is a young and promising perfumer, known to those who have seen Perfume series at BBC. In the show Bisch, as a young Givaudan perfumery school adept, with tears in his eyes tells us how his dreams are coming true to become a true perfumer. This touching the heartstrings scene shows us how sensitive and full of limitless passion are perfume creators and how important these traits are in this remarkable profession. The founder of Etat Libre d’Orange – Etienne de Swardt – had known Bisch even before he joined Givaudan. Bisch had been regularly visiting flag perfumery shop EldO in Paris and introduced himself as a big fan of the brand and de Swardt’s perfumery conception. So when Etienne decided to create a scent inspired by book ”The End of the World Filmed by the Angel of Notre-Dame” Bisch was the first one that came to his mind. La Fin du Monde was the first solo and fully commercial composition made by Quentin. With this smell he proved his undeniable talent. I will say more – he got off to a very good start – as it was a very strong debut!
The start-off stuns with exquisite and at the same time very present-day version of iris (which resembles the one used in Dior Homme), which was skilfully enhanced by carrot seeds that harmonize with the iris perfectly – this was already proved by Rosine Courage in Nirmal for Laboratorio Olfattivo and Bertrand Duchaufour in Bois d’Ombrie for Eau D’Italie. Cumin and sesame brilliantly fulfill the innovative and very eloquent popcorn cord that lends a kind of surprising and intriguing aura(we can also smell the characteristic popcorn butter theme there as well). Popcorn was Bisch’s first idea for the smell. During one of his talks with de Swardt, Bisch tried to convince him that every idea for the end of the World comes from different movies, American movies mostly. Popcorn was an ideal ingredient for this how perverse conception… Ingenious, is it not? I myself like and admire such ideas very much.
With time this very intense at the beginning scent looses its power but is well present within the next couple of hours. It gains warm sensuality due to sandalwood and ambrette, which together enrich the sensual and physical base of the smell(the essence from ambrette seeds was used earlier by James Heeley in cool as Autumn rain Iris de Nuit). The base of the smell is very characteristic and it engrosses as well as stages of the smell. As we can see here La Fin du Monde as a whole smells surprisingly pleasant and at the same time very intriguing as it is very familiar and alien at the same time.
La Fin du Monde wins me over to itself from the very first second till the very last one (the distance is quite far by the way). It is a fantastic fragrance that presents pure perfumery ingenuity. I have not had a chance to wear this kind of scent – created with great passion, inventiveness and fresh look for a long time. Bisch skilfully made a use of well-trodden paths and at the same time found new ones. With great courage he connected uncommon notes in one absolutely convincing whole, that makes fully operational – and what is even more important – wearable perfume, which is far from those niche ”freaks” but perfectly matches the style of Etat Libre d’Orange which is known for its original ideas and brave pushing of boundaries of what is known as perfumes. Quentin Bisch has created fully original, modern and with avantgarde taste fragrance, that is worn with pure pleasure and satisfaction, the one that you have when you wear special perfume.
I do not think La Fin du Monde is either female or male. I would rather say it is bit more masculine only because it lacks archetype female notes, and present iris is totally served as unisex. I would say that more female is Dior Homme, especially when we talk about Intense version of the smell rather than La Fin du Monde, which I think of as an important flask to test not only by those who admire Dior Homme.
main notes: popcorn, carrot seed, cumin, sesame, black pepper, freesia, vetiver, sandalwood, ambrette, iris, styrax, gunpowder
launched in: 2013
perfumer: Quentin Bisch