The Etat Libre d’Orange perfumes all have a very human quality.  The first impressions are generally flashy and ‘philosophical’, but the ends usually smell like real peoples’ lives.  In the case of Jasmin Et Cigarette, rather than designing a perfume to be worn in a late night bar, the company hilariously put the end result of this scenario (the morning after) actually in the perfume.  And so the top note of a beautifully fresh, living jasmine flower,  delicate, alive, kidnapped directly from nature,  is soon taken over, convincingly,  by the stale aroma of cigarette butts stubbed out by Saturday night careless punters in some overflowing,  snooker club’s ashtray.  Having myself actually on occasion at teenage parties mistakenly drunk from a beer glass in which someone’s fag had been extinguished, and paid the subsequent wrenching,  bog-heaving price,  I must say that I personally find this mouth of ashes hard to take.


On some skins, though, that resinous tobacco note, like swirls of cigarette smoke encircling a floral smelling shirt, achieves the Dietrich-ish pall the perfumer probably intended:  a tanked-up floozy; laughing, not giving a shit, and raucously lording it up in some late night saloon with her mates.   On my friend Laurie (the only perfume she will wear),  I have to say that this perfume really does smell kind of glorious. Strangely trustworthy and endearing; peculiarly vulnerable, with its contradictory angles of fag and flower;  butt and bloom, there is real poetry.



The majority though  (the moral majority…. …yes)  will obviously just smell spent,  trashed and unacceptable in this perfume ; a weeny bit dirty and annihilated.




Probably one to be avoided.








Filed under Flowers, Jasmine, Tobacco

25 responses to “FAG ASH LIL : : : JASMIN ET CIGARETTE by ETAT LIBRE D’ORANGE (2006)

  1. ginzaintherain

    Ps. the picture at the top is a guy at a party I went to last night, just round the corner at the local bar!

  2. OCW

    I’m very fond of the smell of tobacco. Not drowned butts in the dregs, but the sweet smell of pipe tobacco which reminds me of my grandparents house. I came very close to purchasing Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille last week (I was in Selfridges in Brum on a rare visit ‘home’).

  3. Continuing the smokey theme: I have just spent the last half-hour asking members of my household whether anyone has burnt their hair, also ruminating on the possibility that the kids have been playing with matches, when I suddenly realise that the smell is actually coming from me and is the fag-end of Paloma Picasso’s eponymous Parfum – a whole journey of a scent that has shrugged itself into a final riot of tawdry tobacco on my arm. I have a whole story for this perfume, but will share another time. For now, I’m sitting with the dame and waiting for my arm to stop smoking.

  4. Ana

    This one smells like bad breath on me. Repulsive

  5. This had sounded absolutely dreadful to me but when I actually sniffed it at Twisted Lily (on a strip, not on skin) it was glorious. I’m an after-dark kind of girl though. Love the photo!

  6. Rafael

    “…a tanked-up floozy; laughing, not giving a shit, and raucously lording it up in some late night saloon with her mates.” I resent these public floggings. I know what I am and comfortable with it at last. I’m searching for this one trying to scrounge a sample. You had me at “dirty”.

    • Sister Mary

      Oh Raphael! Hilarious!

      This one is Gorgeous! beginning to end upon myself. It does make me feel a little more naughty than I am… delicious to borrow that glamour from the tanked up floozies for a few hours…

    • Brilliant.

      I hope it works on you. What I do love about it is the way that it starts off soft, fresh and jasminey and then just morphs into an ashtray. That is on me, though. Others get more a soft tobacco. Nevertheless, there IS something tender and exquisite about this dirty oddity.

  7. Funnily enough, I was thinking of this review yesterday when I got an urge to spritz myself with Paloma Picasso, which as I nattered on about above, has a distinctly Fag Ash Lil aroma a mon avis! Also just been outbid on a Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac on Ebay! I’ll just have to get myself a pack of Benson and Hedges and improvise! x

  8. Sally M

    I’m one of the weirdos that must be channeling Fag Ash Lil on a good day when I wear this. I actually only tried it for the first time a month ago (I know, I know – I’m faaaaar behind on the niche-y stuff, being an old vintage ho’) – and just loved it on the cotton ball that the SA at The Perfume House provided. I kept coming back to it – just found it fascinating. So she bunged some on a strip and I went to lunch, sniffing maniacally every few minutes, which must have made the other diners feel somewhat unsettled. My friend like it too, although she got more of the jasmine than I did – I went straight to the ash, with the jasmine wafting in the background. The waitress was obviously interested in what we were doing – we had a veritable forest of strips on the table – and so I offered it to her to smell. She positively recoiled in horror. Back I went to the PH and got a sample to try at home on skin as I didn’t want John Q Public inching away from me if I resembled morning-after-the-night-before-party-smoke-clothes. Too odd – it smells just great on me – definitely ciggy-ish but not in a bad way at all. The jasmine seems to flatten anything dirty somehow. Longevity isn’t great though, so I’m not sure I’ll be springing for a FB any time soon.

    • I can imagine this scene perfectly. We perfumists, perfectly accustomed to certain non-standard aromas in our blends, sniffing happily away, and then a member of the ‘general public’, who knows nothing but mall fragrances, being genuinely shocked by the base of J + C which is just not what you are meant to smell like.

      I think the morning-after-the-night-before thing is the genuine danger with this scent, though. On some people it can JUST about veer away from that, a kind of rose-tinted version, but the danger of people reeling in disgust is very real.

  9. Laurels

    Someone commented somewhere recently (specificity? why?) that we’ve all quit smoking, and now we want tobacco in our perfumes. Jasmin et Cigarettes sounds fascinating for just that reason, although the last time I spent an evening in a smoky bar, I was shocked by how awful my clothes smelled the next morning. (Did I really smell that nasty for a decade-and-a-half?)

    • I know!

      I am not a smoker, just very very occasionally like three times a year or something as I like the rush it gives me if the moment is right, and I like the smell of cigarettes sometimes when they are actually being smoked, although on the whole I avoid smoke-filled environments like the plague (difficult in a country like Japan: the coffee shops are a nightmare if you want to keep your clothes smelling clean).

      The usual tobacco scent in perfumes is the fresh, aromatic leaves like in Tea For Two by L’Artisan Parfumeur, which I rather like. This has intimations of that aroma but is really much more like the stubbed out butts. I kind of think of it as a true olfactory joke, Jasmin et Cigarette, a surrealist tidbit. For that reason alone it is most definitely worth smelling at least once.

    • Sally M

      That’s exactly why I’m so shocked that I like this so well. I vividly remember the awful clothing smell (I quit 17 years ago) and how I recoil from people now who have been smoking and waft up to me. Its just a fascinating study – it’s got to be the jasmine that saves it…

      • She rises majestically from the ashtray, and all eyes affix on her trembling, Grasse-ridden florality, allowing us to temporarily forget the smoky stench as her petals entrance us.

  10. Katy

    Now I am just damn curious! Damn it!

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