Name: Nombril Immense
Brand: Etat Libre D’Orange
What I liked:
– clean, easy to wear patchouli scent
– the packaging
What I didn’t like:
– patchouli lovers will find the patchouli here too tame and clean
– stays too close to the skin
Every perfume line must have at least one patchouli scent. And when that brand is Etat Libre D’Orange, the niche house famous for its unusual, controversial and daring creations, you expect the patchouli to shine in all its earthy, dirty, and raw glory. I sure did. And I was disappointed. The patchouli in Nombril Immense (which means giant bellybutton in French) is clean, tame, and demure.
But let’s start from the beginning. When you first spray it on, your nose is hit by a dollop of patchouli enriched with black pepper accents. According to the official notes, it is supposed to contain bergamot too, but I can’t detect it. Not even a whiff. Boo!
After about 20 minutes, patchouli, which remains the dominant note throughout the scent, is joined in a warm embrace with balsam of peru, which gives the scent a creamy, milky vibe. Every now and then, I can catch a whiff of something vegetal that reminds me of carrots. Finally, in the drydown, patchouli lies on a bed of musk and amber.
Because all the rawest, dirtiest facets of patchouli have been stripped away, leaving only a sanitized core behind, Nombril Immense is easy to wear, even by those who dislike patchouli. This musky, creamy version will, however, appeal more to women than to men, who may find its lack of edge too boring and dull.
But my main problem with it is the sillage. Nombril Immense is a lovely scent, but you have to stick your nose to your wrist to smell it. The opening is somewhat loud, but, after 20 minutes, it turns into a skin scent. It is so subtle that, at first, I thought it had incredibly poor staying power. But nope, it lasts more than 10 hours on the skin. It’s just that after 20 minutes you’ll have to work hard to smell it.
Etat Libre D’Orange Nombril Immense is a clean and tame patchouli scent with creamy, milky facets and a woody drydown. Easy to wear, it lacks the raw and dirty intensity of patchouli. Staying power is good but the scent stays too close to the skin.