Etat Libre d’Orange is a French perfumery that signifies passion and liberation. It is a whimsical perfumery that uses irony to hone the names of its scents. A perfumery that plays with ideas and reinvents the pleasures to be found in the sense of smell, through sublime, delicately composed juices. It currently presents a collection of more than 30 fragrances - all aspirational and essential. With an emphasis on originality, audacity, authenticity and freedom of expression, Etat Libre d’Orange proposes surprising olfactory compositions, without any limitations in terms of creativity, raw materials, or expense. Popular fragrances include You Or Someone Like You, Hermann, Ghost in the Shell, and Remarkable People.
His unique philosophy leads him to create perfumes that seem to ask the wearer, “who do you want to be today?” For anybody who lives in a perpetual state of contradiction, unable to determine one singular identity for themselves, this can be a blessing. Swardt's flagrant disregard for tradition and convention allows him to delve into perfumery without any inhibitions. He does not shy away from giving even his basest instincts a perfume form. The Orange Free State is almost like his fantasy world where he can define beauty the way he likes, without being carried away by the norms of capitalism.
Etienne de Swardt worked in luxury perfume for a long time, but was never satisfied with its scope. The popularization of easy and uncomplicated fragrances forced him to step back. He decided to create his own perfume house in 2006 with the intention of starting a revolution. He wanted to create challenging perfumes that could be as flamboyant, excessive, and scandalous as they liked. Etienne de Swardt chose the name of the brand in honor of his birthplace and what it represents.
As a brand, Etat Libre d’Orange describes themselves as "ambitious, audacious... passionate, exuberant, liberated." They thrive in their freedom to create unique perfumes that enthusiasts are free to love. They are driven and intelligent when it comes to creating new perfumes, but it is the way they incorporate some whimsy into their work that really sets them apart. Etat Libre d’Orange challenges one's prejudices and reinvents the pleasures of scent fearlessly.
The man behind Etat Libre d'Orange, Etienne de Swardt, wanted his brand to shun consumerism and go back to the roots of perfumery. As per the website of the brand, Swardt did not want to participate in the "decay and atrophy known as the business of beauty." He hoped that Etat Libre d’Orange would have a cleansing effect on his soul and that the perfumes would act as a medicine for despair.