Product Review: Etat Libre D’Orange Je Suis Un Homme

by Gio


Name: Je Suis Un Homme
Brand: Etat Libre D’Orange
Size: 50ml
Price: $69.00

What I liked:
– if you like light citrusy colognes, this is for you
– can be easily worn by women too
– the packaging

What I didn’t like:
– flat and not very original
– may be too subtle for some people
– poor staying power

Perfume descriptions can be so deceiving. They’ll hook you in, line and sinker, enticing you to get your hands on at least a small sample and then when you do, you eagerly spray it on only to realize it is nothing like you expected it to be. That’s what happened with Je Suis Un Homme by Etat Libre D’Orange.

Here’s how the brand describes the scent: “Napoleon would have sprayed himself with this, a reinterpretation of his favourite cologne. Citrus and bergamot summon the guard to prepare an attack. Birch wood and cognac evoke the leather of saddle and boots. Energetic and masculine, this is a scent for the man – or the woman – who is ready to launch the offensive…”

Not only this perfume features some of my fave notes (I love leather and anything citrus), but it claims to be a recreation of Napoleon’s cologne, which can’t fail to appeal to a history geek like me. How could I possibly have resisted its calling? Not even the fact that it’s a perfume for men put me off. On the contrary, I happen to like fragrances for men, and, as it turns out, Je Suis Un Homme can easily be worn by women too. It’s a light cologne, not a macho scent.

Je Suis Un Homme opens with a strong burst of dazzling citrusy notes that shine over a background of clover, which gives the composition a slightly bitter, medicinal aroma. All too soon, this accord disappears and is replaced by a blend of leather and cognac. I expected this mix to make me smell like I had just entered a bar, full of men who are relaxing, at the end of a gruelling and sweaty day at work, with a glass of liquor and a cigarette. That pungent, smokey, animal scent of a man.

Instead, all I got was a very subtle liquory sweetness. Rather than in a bar, I felt like I had just come back home to find my man sitting on the couch, sipping a glass of cognac while watching TV. The drydown is even a more generic and understated blend of patchouli and musk, with a hint of sweetness (vanilla maybe?). Je Suis Un Homme starts with a bang, but once the top notes are gone, it becomes flat, subtle and tame, sitting so close to the skin that you’ll barely be able to smell it. Less than four hours later, it’s already time to spritz it on again…

Etat Libre D’Orange Je Suis Un Homme is a light citrusy cologne that opens with a bang, but soon becomes subdued, tame and understated. It can be easily worn by both men and women, but requires frequent reapplication throughout the day.

Rating: 3/5

Disclaimer: the review contains an affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

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Viv April 5, 2013 - 2:36 pm

Nice – I often use ‘men’s’ cologne – especially in the summer.

beautifulwithbrains April 5, 2013 - 6:18 pm

Viv,I like to use men’s colognes in the summer too. They’re lovely, aren’t they?


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