Vierges et Toreros (2007)

Vierges et Toreros by Etat Libre d'Orange
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Vierges et Toreros is a perfume by Etat Libre d'Orange for women and men and was released in 2007. The scent is spicy-animal. It is still in production.

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Fragrance Notes

Bergamot, Pepper, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang, Leather, Animalic note, Costus root, Patchouli, Vetiver

Ratings

Scent

6.9 (75 Ratings)

Longevity

7.6 (49 Ratings)

Sillage

6.4 (44 Ratings)

Bottle

6.3 (43 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 08.10.2018
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Reviews

5
Virgins and bullfighters.
Upon application, I immediately smell something bloody and I am reminded of my bad experience with Secretions Magnifiques. Ever since I tried that, most of the ELDO creations are ruined for me, as they share a common accord. Now, combine that association with the artwork that comes along with this perfume and it's no surprise where we can link the blood smell to, for both the virgins as well as the bullfighters. ;-)

I think most ELDO perfumes should be considered as an olfactory experience or art if you will, and not so much as wearable perfume. Yes, I know that eventually it's a matter of taste, but I think it's fairly safe to say that there are few who would actually enjoy wearing this.

After the sharpness of the opening settles down a little, I do get the leather. But it's so strong and animalic, it's as if I can smell the bull while it is still alive. That is why the association with blood makes me feel uncomfortable. The projected cloud was much lighter than when I smelled it up close to the skin, so perhaps this could work when applied lightly and from a distance, making it less concentrated in one spot on the skin.

After about 10 minutes, I washed this off. Even if the heart would have been gorgeous, the opening of this perfume is something I could never get past. Better yet, an opening I would never want to get past. To be fair, I think ELDO is very good in creating these olfactory experiences. I remember smelling Secretions Magnifiques, and the scent itself wasn't even really disgusting. But the scent evokes such strong associations that most people feel disgusted.
Scent 6.0/10
Helpful Review    5
Funky grandpapa
The opening is of a citrus, aldehydic, quite fresh aromatic, herb cologne. There is a trace of a sweaty cumin like a newly, slightly damp, armpit. Not unpleasant, just makes the nose wrinkle a little. The herbs are slightly spicy like an oregano with musky and mossy woods. An overall lifting, fresher laundry note arrives and takes the armpit away. I'm getting a floral vibe but it's hard to separate from the slightly white laundry note. I'm suspecting a chemical white floral. There is a pleasing rounded aspect to this at first that then straightens out to a more woodsy thing. There seems to be a supporting base of wood here, like a rich cedar. It is dry and dusty but still holding onto the florals. A slightly darker and more harsh leathery oud-ish woody nuance is present, but tiny, like a micro percentage of a norimbanol type dark dryness. This dries and dries until it gets almost metallic but slightly creamy as well. There is a slight change of course at the very end where a sweetness that wasn't apparent emerges. Not a caramel sweetness, more like old flowers sweet.

Overall, a citrus, herbal, woody, slight hint of sweat, then fresh, woody and metallic. I quite liked this. Nice, but fairly safe, considering the name. Reminds me of a very smart grandfather type who wears a nice classic gentlemanly cologne, but who put his shirt on twice. Funky but classic at the same time.

Having looked at the notes now. I didn't pick up any virgins or toreadors. Just the change from feminine flowers to masculine leathery woods and then the metallic note. No smoke on my skin. I would smell this again happily. It's fairly classic manly cologne material. The sweat here is never horrid, more like human endeavour on the skin.

(I'm blind testing a series of ELdO samples so these, until indicated, are straight from the nose notes).
Bottle 5.0/10 Sillage 5.0/10 Longevity 5.0/10 Scent 7.0/10
Very helpful Review    9
The minotaur
Being spanish, i deeply dislike when bullfighting is shown as something attractive and beautiful ,or when Spain is associated with such practices, since i can hardly think of a viler cruelty you can do to a conscious, sentient being. So i approached this fragance with a moral caution. It turns out i am very fond of it.

Vierges et Toreros is presented as an olfactive fight between animal notes (bullfighters) and the tuberose (virgins) but it seems to my nose this is an unbalanced battle, since toreros are superior in number, so i will go with "gang bang" instead of battle: this virgin will deal with all the bullfighters and come out with flying colours.

But, up to what point tuberose and animal notes are antagonists? To me they are intimately related and thats why Vierges et Toreros work so well. Etat Libre d´Orange´s marketing is alluring, but my nose doesn´t experience a confrontation. Even the game of genders is lost in translation , since the word tuberose is masculine in spanish (nardo) and even "nardo" is a vulgar word to refer´s a man´s dick. On the other hand, tuberoses are found on every Virgin´s altar in churches all over Spain in summer, more than any other flower including madonna lilies. The sensual scent of tuberose contains this virginal and sexual imaginery for me (just as the Histoires de Parfums tuberose series explore so successfully)

In Vierges et Toreros tuberose is a basenote, meaning that it is more obvious as the faster fleeting notes loose their intensity. Tuberose is always there, though, dense and dusty. My first impression when i smelled Vierges et Toreros is a very manly body scent. Working as a gym instructor and PT, i have learnt how different people´s sweat smell. Not very often you have one client with an extremely fragant sweat (i am aware how kinky this sounds, ok? but i don´t go around smelling people on a purpose, this collateral is a curse more than a blessing, believe me) Vierges et Toreros intensely animal opening recalls this macho odor you find in some men: pungent, testosteronic, spicy, musky... As the fragance evolves it gets less dirty, eventually transforming into a rough leathery note. The tuberose in the opening is dark and camphoraceous. I smell animalis and costus root, too. Patchouli is another big component of the fragance, being it earthy and deep as the vetiver is here; there is also a woody, slightly metallic aromachemical that i find a bit distracting, but i dont dislike it. The drydown is rubbery and smoky and while the tuberose is more noticeable, it´s never a flowery perfume. It just happens to contain a flower that also smells animalic, but for that matter Histoires de Parfums´ Tuberose 3 Animale is more openly flowery, and similar in spirit. It doesnt last long on my skin, and it starts being a sillage monster but soon stays close to the skin, which it kind of frustrates me.

A tad creamier tuberose and more lasting power would make Vierges et Toreros a great fragance, instead of just a good fragance. But good is good enough. No virgins, more bulls than fighters and, happily, 100% cruelty free.
5 Replies
jtd
Helpful Review    6
A Ruse
This is supposed to be a twist on a floral leather. Past floral/leathers have used the juxtaposition of the hard and the soft to lead to an interesting blend. I’m not sure if it’s blend here or just a contrast. The tuberose doesn’t last long, but it makes for an interesting opening. Fairly soon, the dominant note is a plastic/leather accord that lasts through the basenotes. There’s supposed to be a strong animalic vibe here, but I don’t really get it. Maybe that’s what I’m calling plastic, but the artificial quality of plastic seems so far away from raunch in the bodliy sense that I don’t get anything carnal. Just a very clean plastic.

I know Etat Libre d’Orange is the pixie of the perfume world. They challenge our notions of olfactory beauty. (I’m a fan of Secretions Magnifiques.) And I’m very appreciative that they do. But this doesn’t really seem like a challenge. It’s more that they’ve decided to use an accord that simply appeals to the nose. It’s really a play on tromp la nez. Plastic can smell good. So can gasoline and paper for that matter. I know we don’t usually point these things out when we discuss the art of perfumery, but here’s the evidence. In this case, though, and using the ridiculous gender distinction of the virgin and the toreador as a red herring, we’re distracted from the plastic by a description of florals and leather.
1 Replies

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