New Perfume Review Etat Libre D’Orange Remarkable People- The Joy of Cardamom


Etienne de Swardt the owner and creative force behind Etat Libre D’Orange is one of my favorite people in all of perfumery. His fragrances perfectly mirror his personality. They both carry a broad pleasure in provocation while having a laugh at the absurdity of it all. The ability to not take it so seriously has led to some seriously amazing perfumes from Etat Libre D’Orange. The other thing I like about the brand is M. de Swardt has steadfastly kept from developing an identifiable olfactory trademark which represents the brand. One reason for that is he keeps working with a number of the best perfumers in the business. Inviting them to run away with him for a good time making a new perfume. For the latest release, Remarkable People, M. de Swardt convinced perfumer Cecile Matton to go for a ride with him to make an exuberant paean to those who choose to be unconventional.


Etienne de Swardt

Mme Matton is collaborating with M. de Swardt for the first time. Remarkable People is actually the re-branding of the 2010 release called Josephine Baker made exclusively for European Sephora. It was made in small quantity and has been long discontinued. I never got the chance to try it because I hadn’t quite developed my system of getting European perfumes into my hands. Now with it as a part of the permanent collection it will see a little more exposure. I can honestly say I see very little of the chanteuse in this perfume and so the name change I think is for the better. What I do get is a perfume which is a good companion to last year’s Cologne. Both carry an infectious joie de vivre throughout. Remarkable People has a bit of a cologne architecture early before turning woodier at the end.

 cecile matton

Cecile Matton

Remarkable People opens with a fabulous mix of grapefruit and cardamom. The cardamom in particular is noteworthy for the way it melds with the slightly sulfurous quality of the grapefruit. I love cardamom in perfumes and Mme Matton has definitely found my sweet spot with the early moments of this one. Jasmine provides a floral change of pace before Mme Matton brings back the spices with a pinch of black pepper and curry as extracted via Mane’s Jungle Essence Process. This makes the curry presence less hirsute and more cleanly polite while still retaining some bite. The cardamom also remains into the heart to mix with all of this. The base is sandalwood and labdanum combined with one of Mane’s proprietary synthetics Lorenox. Lorenox is described as “woody, ambery, leathery, and aromatic.” In Remarkable People it is the leathery quality that comes out most directly.

Remarkable People has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

There have been a number of new perfumes this year which have made me smile due to their desire to be fun. I should’ve expected M. de Swardt to be one of those who could keep the party rolling. Remarkable People should put a smile on any perfume lover’s face.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Etat Libre D’Orange at Esxence 2015.

Mark Behnke

3 thoughts on “New Perfume Review Etat Libre D’Orange Remarkable People- The Joy of Cardamom

  1. I'm looking forward to sniffing this one, as I too never got a chance to, ahem, sniff 'Josephine Baker' (as much as I tried/wanted to) when it was 1st released.

    One small observation tho'… I think I may know why you're not finding/seeing any "Lady Day" in this 'fume. Are you not perhaps mixing up your "Josephine Baker's" with your "Billie Holiday's" here in your review ?? 😉   

    • Lady Banana,

      You are absolutely correct on the Lady Day part. I have a weird dyslexia with certain pairs of people in my mind and Josephine Baker and Billie Holiday are one of those pairs. I will edit the text appropriately. Thank you for pointing it out.


      • My pleasure 🙂 … I see u still don't find it that fitting a 'homage' anywayz. From what I've read it seems they've amped up the 'pink champagne' note (which was apparently so fleeting as to be non-existant in the original) which I thik is a good idea. But as for the rest, doesn't seem to be much of a change. … As for me, at least now (with said name change) I no longer object to the rather glaring lack of a banana note in the formula. 🙂

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