Secretions Magnifiques – A Satirical Courtroom Review

Jane Doe [class representative, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated]  v. Etat Libre d’Orange Secretions Magnifiques– Case # 13-527319-CA

[The Bailiff]: “All rise! The Court is now in session, The Honorable Michael Marx presiding. On the docket is the class action lawsuit, Jane Doe [class representative, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated]  v. Etat Libre d’Orange Secretions Magnifiques– Case # 13-527319-CA. The complaint alleges sexual harassment hostile work environment, assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Please state your name and business before the Court.”

[A small, dainty, very conservatively dressed blonde woman rises]: “I am Prudence Prim of the firm of Proskauler Rosybanks on behalf of the Plaintiff class.”

Saul Goodman. Source: Tv.com

Saul Goodman. Source: Tv.com

[A dandified man with a bad comb-over and a garish suit rises, and gives the jury a big grin]: “I am Saul Goodman, or, as you may know me, “Better Call Saul” representing the Defendant, Secretions Magnifiques from the house of Etat Libre d’Orange.”

[He points to the table where a balding, heavy-set man sits in a tight-fitting, food-stained Hawaiian shirt that barely holds together over his enormous, hairy stomach. His arms are covered with sailor tattoos, his legs are aggressively splayed apart, and his fly is open to reveal a lack of underwear. He belches, wets his fat lips, and blows a kiss to the attractive Juror #9 who visibly recoils in horror.]

"The Good Wife" snapshot via articles.philly.com.

“The Good Wife” snapshot via articles.philly.com.

[Judge Marx addresses the jury]: “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury. The Court thanks you for your time. You are here today to hear the civil class action complaint against Secretions Magnifiques. This is an employment law case. You cannot consider the role of Defendant’s employer, Etat Libre d’Orange, who will be tried separately. Also, I know it’s been impossible to sequester you against the recent media storm regarding the criminal charges being filed against Secretions Magnifiques for public lewdness and indecency. You cannot consider those issues. I repeat, you cannot. I will give you further instructions at the end of the trial. The Plaintiffs may now proceed.” [Bangs gavel.]

THE CASE FOR THE PLAINTIFFS:

[Prudence Prim rises]: “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. He is the most notorious man in the niche perfume world. This is not hype. This is not a lawyer’s hyperbole. Secretions Magnifiques is notorious. Say his name to any even moderately knowledgeable perfumista, and watch them pale. His legend is such that people nickname him Secretions Gag-nifiques,and see how long they can take his scent before they run to vomit or scrub him off. Yes, some people actually do become physically ill from this vile wretch. We are here to seek justice from Secretions Magnifiques for his tortious conduct in rendering the environment around him hostile to all who have the misfortune to be in his presence. We seek compensation for the pain, suffering, and the nights in which a husband wearing Secretions Magnifiques lost the chance for consortium with his wife because she locked him out of the bathroom. Help us heal the emotional wounds left by this heinous man.

Source: ichetkar.fr

Source: ichetkar.fr

Let us start at the beginning. Secretions Magnifiques was created by Antoine Lie and was released in 2006. Etat Libre, in a statement that will fully damage them in their own lawsuit, confesses flat-out to his lewd, indecent, and morally repugnant nature. Their description brazenly and blatantly talks about sperm! Blood! And all sorts of other things that fine, upstanding citizens should not be subjected to in their workplace. How brazen are they, you ask? In their manufacturer’s sample, Etat Libre’s description of Secretions Magnifiques actually comes with the image of an erect penis spraying out semen! [Crowd gasps and starts to whisper. Secretions Magnifiques smirks, and rubs his crotch.]

That’s not even the half of it! This is Etat Libre’s full description of the fragrance:

Like blood, sweat, sperm, saliva, Sécrétions Magnifiques is as real as an olfactory coitus that sends one into raptures, to the pinnacle of sensual pleasure, that extraordinary and unique moment when desire triumphs over reason. Masculine tenseness frees a rush of adrenalin in a cascade of high-pitched aldehydic notes. The sensation of freshness is gripping. Then the fragrance reveals a metallic side, precise and as sharp as unappeased desire.

We are on a razor-edge… skin and sweat mingle, and tastes of musk and sandalwood. The slightly salt marine effect stirs, arouses, and sets your mouth watering. Tongues and sexes find one another, pleasure explodes and all goes wild. Confusion reigns supreme. A subversive, disturbing perfume. It’s love or hate at first sight. Sensuous jousting is rarely satisfied with half-measures…In between Don Juan and the Woman who offers herself, arms are laid down…who will be the first to surrender?

Sexual harassment I tell you, sexual harassment! And how does all this occur? Well, Secretions Magnifiques’ parts, according to Luckyscent, consist of:

Iode accord, adrenaline accord, blood accord, milk accord, iris, coconut, sandalwood and opoponax.

Secretions Magnifiques’ character is revealed from the very first moment he sidles up against your skin. I won’t give you my take; just read the company’s own admission against interest about what he smells like. It’s their words, not mine, when they talk about “blood, sweat, sperm, saliva,” and metallic notes. Still, there is plenty of testimony from those in the class who have suffered from Secretions Magnifiques.

Source: nitestar.de

Source: nitestar.de

[She nods to the bailiffs who helps several pale, wan, witnesses from Fragrantica walk, one by one, shakily to the witness stand. Many are covered with clothes stained by vomit, or have bile encrusted on their face from their bouts with Secretions Magnifiques. Some look green, a few are dry-heaving even as they give their statements. One witness had to be revived by paramedics after collapsing in the hallway outside Courtroom 3A.]

  • I have never smelt something more disgusting than this scent. It’s blood and metal and illness.
  • Blood and just unpleasant.
  • Mostly seaweed to me and dirty seawater. Tried to wash it off and its not coming off. I smell like I took a dip at the sea and have not showered in a few days. My fiancée told me I’m not allowed to sleep in bed tonight.
  • I have to join the legion of those who wish this concoction had never seen the light of day. Honest to gods, I violently wretched. An eggy, razor-sharp whiff that made me recoil and run for the toilet. Perhaps it’s the smell of fear, whatever. Sadistically, I swabbed my partner with it to test the reaction with his chemistry as we are rather different… same dismal result, with extra grudge!
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. Source: DenofGeek.com

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. Source: DenofGeek.com

  • Biggest mistake ever!!! This literally worked like a whisk in my stomach and for the very first time in my life I had to jump up and run to wash it off. I don’t get any of the notes listed, probably just a tiny bit of seaweed due to the aquatic fishy smell. It doesn’t smell like blood, saliva, sperm or sweat but all these blended together and preserved in a sealed jar for a century. [¶] Every home should keep a small vial of this as a first-aid emetic in case someone in your family had food poisoning. Also girls who want to shed a few extra pounds, look no further: use this on a daily basis will definitely suppress your appetite to none because it not only lingers on your skin but also in your mind. 
  • WARNING: Do not sniff this if you are pregnant or you will vomit. […]  it started smelling like urine. It reminded me of my little cousin who used to wet the bed. Now, it smells just like a neglected child who is forced to wear her mother’s generic hooker perfume to cover up the fact that nobody has given her a bath or washed her clothes in a very very long time. To add insult to injury, the child has been eating wet catfood straight out of the can and has some of the food stuck in her hair. […][¶] Calling this perfume “disgusting” is an understatement. It’s actually depressing and exploitative to the point that the stench made me want to call Child Protective Services. I won’t be letting my husband smell my hand; I love him too much to expose him to something this disturbing and putrid.

Ladies and gentleman of the jury, there are dozens more witnesses from Luckyscent who have similar tales. Take, for example, an experienced nurse who could not handle the flashback to the worst of her experiences in the health care field:

This reminds me of my days of working at the local public health hospital where I was tasked with the dubious honor of assisting those who were homeless and in need of medical care. The stench of this thing they call a perfume is just like the whiff i would get when my patients would peel off their pants. Smegma, body odor and yeast. […] RUN away!

I can see from your faces that you don’t believe me, that you think it couldn’t possibly be that bad. Well, I’m sorry to have to do this. Guards! Bring in the testers!”

[The guards set up two, tiny canisters at each end of the room. The jury shifts in their chairs nervously. A small phalanx of the judge’s clerks tiptoe in and discreetly set up small garbage cans at intervals along the gallery and the jury box. The Plaintiff’s attorney takes a deep gulp of air, holds her nose, points to the guards and nods.

Pfft. Pfft. Pfft.

Abstract Black Smoke via mobile-wallpapers

Three small whiffs of scent are released from each of the two canisters. The notes dance burst out like ghosts to hover in the air with a cold metallic clang as the room gets chilly. The notes hover there, white spectres who line up before the jury and wait for their scent to carry across the room. Very soon, half the jurors pale. Juror #3 starts to violently gag. The other half, however, merely stare back at the hovering aromas, fold their arms nonchalantly, and shrug. The ghosts look frustrated and disappointed. They lunge at the unimpressed jurors, one of whom distinctly mutters “eh” and yawns. The Defendant smirks, and scratches himself. 

His Honour, the Judge, decides enough time has passed for evidentiary analysis. He orders the ghosts back into their canisters, the windows opened, and the two solitary buckets filled with some dribbles of vomit to be removed. As a precautionary measure, he has the bailiffs hand out Pepcid anti-acid pills to everyone in the courtroom except the Defendant — whom he orders to zip up his fly and to stop adjusting himself. The Plaintiffs rest their case. The Court convenes for lunch, and then, upon its return, the Defense presents their case.]

THE DEFENSE:

Saul Goodman[The defense attorney, Saul Goodman, rises, points a finger at the jury and says]: “Piffle! Yes, Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that is my response to the Plaintiffs’ case. PIFFLE! So my client doesn’t smell of roses and vanilla. Big whoop-di-do. So he’s different, original, obnoxious, extremely weird, and sticks to your skin forever. Is that a reason to sue him and ask for half a billion dollars in damages? Ha! Ridiculous. No, Secretions Magnifiques sucks, but he’s hardly as bad as the legend. 

[Judge Marx interrupts him:] “Mr. Goodman, is your defense essentially that Secretions Magnifiques … er… “sucks,” as you put it, but he simply doesn’t suck that much????!”

[Saul Goodman:] “No, your Honour, not exactly. Well, yes, I am saying he doesn’t suck that badly, but my main argument is that the evidence presented to the court cannot be considered reliable because it is the result of mass hysteria driven by preconceptions that have conditioned the subjects to smell what they were told to smell. In short, it’s all Etat Libre’s fault for creating this ridiculous legend in the first place, and my client is not to blame for the social conditioning.”

[The Judge blinks, takes a closer double look at the huckster facade put up by Goodman, then nods at him to continue.

Source: Amazon.uk

Luca Turin. Source: Amazon.uk

[Saul Goodman gives him a small wink and grins:] “I call my first witness, the Honourable Luca Turin, perhaps the most famous, respected fragrance critic in the world, to repeat his 5 Star rave of Secretions Magnifiques in the perfume bible, Perfumes: The A-Z Guide:

  • Stupendous secretions! The Dada name has me drooling. The fragrance is both less and far more than I expected: It’s not an animalic (supposedly) raunchy thing that works on the assumption that we collect soiled underwear or frequent the same nightclubs as cats and dogs. It is, however, an elegant fresh floral in the manner of Parfums de Nicolai’s Odalisque, given a demonic twist by a touch of a stupendous bilge note, which, my vibrational nose tells me, can only be a nitrile. I remember years ago mounting an impassioned defense of a forgotten Quest material called Marenil, which smelled just like that: oily, metallic, entirely wrong, and begging to be used intelligently. I’m delighted to see it was possible.

Now, I can see my learned colleague yearning to make some objection about how Luca Turin’s views are purely academic and involve intellectual nostalgia about certain unusual synthetics. So I will call to the stand the perfume blogger, Kafkaesque, who has often disagreed with Mr. Turin’s views on fragrances.”

[Witness is sworn in, and Goodman starts the direct:] “Kafkaesque, let me ask a simple question: Do you agree with Mr. Turin in light of your experience with Secretions Magnifiques?”

Source: wallpaper.metalship.org

Source: wallpaper.metalship.org

[Kafkaesque]: I don’t agree with Mr. Turin’s gushing rave, but I share his view that Secretions Magnifiques is certainly much less than I expected, and hardly the scent of soiled underwear or urine. I didn’t experience the bilge or sea-water note that he describes, but I did detect a nitrile aroma similar to that which Mr. Turin says was used in Serge LutensIris Silver Mist. To quote his review of that fragrance, he wrote that the Lutens’ fragrance was dominated by a “seldom-used brutal iris nitrile called Irival. The result was the powderiest, rootiest, most sinister iris imaginable[.]” Secretions Magnifiques, on my skin, has a metallic, clanging, chilled vodka and powdered floral note that is extremely similar to what I experienced with Iris Silver Mist, and it is a large part of Secretions Magnifiques for me. 

Source: free-background-wallpaper.com

Source: free-background-wallpaper.com

But let me start at the beginning. Secretions Magnifiques opens on my skin clanging of steely metal with a floral, powdered undertone like iris. It is followed by more metallic blood, then a milky note that is chilled and alcoholic, as though iced vodka had been swirled in, along with some sweetness. It is all cold steel, cold vodka, cold milk, blood, and floral sweetness, in an extremely off-putting, unpleasant mix. But it also made me think, to use your terms, “Big Whoop-di-do.”

Source: wallpaper.metalship.org

Source: wallpaper.metalship.org

The metallic notes are the most interesting, the floral ones are a bore, and my real problem with the fragrance is something else entirely: Synthetics. The least offensive are the subtle aldehydes lurking about, undoubtedly from that mis-named “adrenaline accord” referenced in Etat Libre’s statement. They describe it as “a cascade of high-pitched aldehydic notes. The sensation of freshness is gripping.” As usual, Etat Libre goes too far. It’s not “high-pitched,” and the sensation is hardly “gripping,” but then, they always exaggerate. Plus, they may like aldehydes more than I do. 

Bounce Fabric SoftenerMy bigger problem lies with the white musk in Secretions Magnifiques’ base. It combines with the aldehydes to create a clean, almost laundry note, along with a slightly fresh sweetness. Eventually, it starts to become one of the most prominent parts of the scent, smelling much like Bounce fabric softener sheets that you throw in the dryer, though it also has a horrible, metallic hairspray undertone. I cannot bear any of it. That said, the freshness of the aroma seems like an ironic opposite to the lewdness of the spraying semen pictured in Etat Libre’s imagery, and certainly contrary to the accounts of dirty “smegma” and urine offered by some of the Plaintiffs’ witnesses here today.

Thirty minutes in, the cold, clean synthetic freshness of Secretions Magnifiques mixes with the metallic notes and a milk aroma that starts to feel a little sour and curdled. The result does churn my stomach a little and it does render me a little queasy. Strangely enough, the part of my arm where I applied the fragrance almost feels cold. Perhaps I’m a little suggestive, but it feels as though the chilled metallics and the nitrile’s vodka-like feel have cooled my arm. The power of imagery only goes so far, however. I am known to be an extremely suggestive vomiter who will start heaving even at a mere mental visual or image. And yet, I hardly felt like vomiting over Secretions Magnifiques. To paraphrase your comment, it sucks, but it doesn’t suck that bad.

Part of it may be a question of skin chemistry. I don’t smell semen or seawater, though there is something slightly salty about the concoction. The blood isn’t hugely significant on my skin, and feels more like the drop you’d have in your mouth if you accidentally bit the inside of your cheek. There is no coconut, though there is that milky aspect to which I referred earlier. As for the purported “sandalwood,” it’s wholly synthetic — a subtle haze of beige, generic woods that doesn’t even rise to the level of ersatz, wannabe Australian sandalwood. 

Source: overstock.com

Source: overstock.com

In less than two hours, Secretions Magnifiques turns into a synthetic, sweet, floral, aldehydic, woody musk. The blood note largely vanished after 90-minutes, the metallic element warmed up and became softer, and the whole fragrance turned smoother. It’s soft and sweet with the milky note having deepened into cream, backed by those abstract, amorphous beige woods and an equally abstract, chilled, floral note that vaguely resembles iris. It’s well-blended, but the whole thing smells simultaneously cheap and somewhat like refined, fresh, clean soap with — as Mr. Turin noted — a somewhat demonic, metallic twist thrown in for shock value.

Secretions Magnifiques remains that way for hours and hours. The reports of the fragrance’s frightening longevity are completely accurate. Secretions Magnifiques was still going strong on my perfume-consuming skin at the 13th hour when I gave up out of sheer boredom and washed it off. It seemed quite capable of lasting another 10 hours on me — and smelling of clean, fresh Bounce laundry sheets with abstract, sweet, slightly milky, woody floral musk is not my cup of tea. All in all, it’s an unappealing scent, but Secretions Magnifiques is hardly as vile as I had expected.”

[Saul Goodman:] “Then, how do you account for all the negative reports?”

[Kafkaesque:] “There are a few things to consider. First, for all the negative reports on Fragrantica given by the Plaintiffs, there are at least as many indifferent and underwhelmed reviews, if not more so. A few madmen even think Secretions Magnifiques is a beautiful masterpiece that they love, but I personally think that goes too far. The thing to consider are the many, many reports that essentially mirror this comment from a Fragrantica poster:

How terrible is this fragrance? To me, it’s nothing on par with some of the horror stories written below. I don’t really care for it, but that’s because it just smells awkward. These notes do not compliment one another and don’t make for a particularly nice perfume.

The other thing to consider is skin chemistry. Some people’s skins will bring out the more unpleasant sides. Yet, I firmly believe that a tiny portion of the negative reviews might be very different if the fragrance were smelled blindly. If people did not know they were testing Secretions Magnifiques — with all the visuals and legendary horrors surrounding that name — I think they’d find the fragrance to be merely an extremely unpleasant scent. They wouldn’t be driven to vomit, or to perceive semen.

Our brain filters aromas through a host of different factors, including imagery and pre-set knowledge. If you’re absolutely convinced that you’re going to smell urine and semen because that’s what you’ve been told again and again, then you may well end up doing so. However, if you go in with a blank slate, I suspect that some would get primarily a metallic, slightly salty, synthetic, fresh, abstractly floral fragrance that was extremely weird, unappealing, and mismatched, but nothing to actually gag over. In short, for some, the aroma may be a snowball that turned into an avalanche because of Etat Libre’s presentation and because of the subsequent social conditioning. It’s partially Pavlovian conditioning due to (not so) subliminal messaging, and partially an issue of the Collective Consciousness Theory. Again, I stress, this does not apply to everyone because skin chemistry does play a role, but I think social conditioning may apply to some of the people who have issues with the scent. They smelled what they expected to smell, and what they were told they would smell. A self-fulfilling prophesy turning into perceived reality.”

[Kafkaesque steps down, and Saul Goodman turns to the jury.] “Ladies and Gentlemen, I ask you to put aside your preconceived notions, and to really think about what you smelled in this courtroom today. Think about prophesy, social conditioning and mass hysteria as an explanation for some of the testimony you heard from the Plaintiffs, and discount their claims. Yes, my client is an ass, and a cheap, vulgar, synthetic lout. Yes, he sucks, and I wouldn’t want to smell like him. But, really, Whoop Di Do! There are a lot of unpleasant fragrances out there on the market. Don’t believe the hype, and let your verdict be a clear message to others that a perfume company’s marketing is not the same as reality. By all means, have them stay far, far away from Secretions Magnifiques. I certainly would! But objectivity and fairness require that you find him innocent of these extreme charges. Thank you.”

[The Defense sits down, the Judge gives his instructions, and the Jury leaves for its deliberations. They return six hours later, and a tired Jury Foreman (who has drenched himself in an entirely different fragrance, perhaps as a shield against the smell of Secretions Magnifiques) hands the bailiff a slip of paper.]

THE VERDICT:

Judgment for the Plaintiff.

Compensatory Award: $4.75, or the starting price of a sample test vial of Secretions Magnifiques from Surrender to Chance.

[The decision was 5 to 4: five jurors voted to convict the very second they set foot in the jury room. They refused to even try on the perfume for additional tests, and couldn’t get past the witness accounts. The legend was just too great. However, four jurors agreed with the “Whoop di Do” theory, and found the evidence against Secretions Magnifiques to be largely self-fulfilling prophesy. They didn’t like the fragrance and certainly would never wear it, but they simply didn’t think it amounted to the level of a vomitous, social nightmare. They won out in the discussions of the jury award, refusing to award serious damages, let alone half a billion dollars worth.]

*   *   *

Disclosure: This is not intended to be a proper depiction of a trial, Legal Procedures, or the law. It is a parody that is meant only in fun, though the essence of the perfume is accurate.

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40 thoughts on “Secretions Magnifiques – A Satirical Courtroom Review

  1. Love the courtroom parodies Kafka, thank you! I was indeed firmly in the plaintiff’s camp. I got no lactones, musk or flowers. I got a LOT of sweat blood and secretions. Maybe if I could have hung in for the dry down I would have gotten milky floral but I couldn’t stomach the secretions. FTR I just gagged but scrubbed right after.

  2. Bravo!!! What an entertaining review!

    And somehow, I suspect that “whoop ti doo” is a far more damning verdict to the sensationalist publicity hounds at Etat Libre than the overwrought complaints from detractors.

    • Thank you, LairdAngus. I’m glad I could give you a laugh. And I agree on how “Whoop di doo” is probably more of an insult to them than anything, but dammit, I’ve smelled much worse! Fragrances that made me want to poke my eye out with a hot knitting needle or gnaw off my arm. This was not it!

      Have you tried Secretions Magnifiques? If so, how was it on you?

  3. Hysterical! And, while I know it’s just for fun, I’m glad the jury agreed with me (or that I agreed with the jury!)! Secretions Magnifiques is not your usual perfume, and I don’t think it was ever intended to be something someone would buy to wear regularly. Some claim they do, sure, but I have a feeling those people have the tendency to be a bit avant garde, etc. It’s been so long since I’ve tried it and what I remember most – and in actuality, it’s all I remember – is the metallic note that was very prominent for me. I associate blood with a metallic smell (iron, I suppose?), so I can smell the blood accord in SM, but not the semen, saliva, sweat, etc. I also don’t recall the white musk. For me, the metallic note was a bit hard to swallow (no pun intended), and I think the second time I tried it I did end up showering now because I wanted to wretch but simply because I couldn’t commit to smelling like that for any real length of time. I think the comment of people being driven to vomit and wretch is based on the combo of the smell + the name, rather than the scent alone. I totally agree that if they blind tested this, most would likely find it remarkably unpleasant, but hardly vomit-worthy. I think the power of suggestion is strong when it comes to perfume, for better and for worse.

    I really enjoyed reading this – just the laugh I needed to make it through the second half of the work day! 🙂

    • Yeah, the blood note is definitely there, but it sounds like you got much more than I did. (For once, my skin is lucky??) As for the scent, you’re right in that it’s meant to be quite avant-garde but, like Luca Turin, I expected so, so, SOOOOOOOOO much more edge! I guess I expected the scent of Grenouille from Patrick Suskind’s Perfume.

    • Oh, it’s definitely original and clearly meant to be avant-garde. In it’s own way, and by virtue of its notes, it absolutely is both! But I doubt even you — fan as you are — would say it’s a truly beautiful, exquisite scent. (Would you???!) It’s also much, much less than its description, I think. In a prior comment on another thread, you mentioned the bilge water, then florals. Did you get actual semen and bodily excretions?

      Perhaps my problem is that my experience didn’t measure up with the copy and the legend, but, even more so, that it didn’t fit my perceptions that this would be the scent of Grenouille from Patrick Suskind’s Perfume. I have the vague memory that someone, in a newspaper article somewhere, argued that Secretions Magnifiques was inspired (in part or in whole) by the Suskind anti-hero. That may or may not be true, but it is the sort of scent that I was expecting, especially given people’s reports. And that’s a far cry from what I experienced. From what many experience, it seems.

      • Lol! Beautiful it is not, but a eye raising original it most certainly is. It definitely is not an attractive fragrance but after the initial olfactive torture ala mercury vapour its quite nice and wearable. To me the concept was interesting and quite dramatic. To me it does not overly smell of body Secretions apart from blood and warm milk when on a small area, however if you were to be brave enough to do a full body wearing than it does get vrry interesting when mixed properly with your own body odours….this is what I wrote in Katie Puckriks blog about SM:
        To me Secretions Magnifique reminds me of the smell you would get when you wake up from the worst hangover. You just realised you have woken up next to a naked ugly bird from a one night stand and you think WTF! Then you go over to the mirror only to realise that your face is bloodied and your front teeth are knocked out. Everything than ever so slowly comes back to you……….. you were involved in a massive bar fight prior to the onenight stand with this woman who stank of cheap perfume and milk as she was lactating…..thus the stench…………overall, after the initial shock I actually liked the musky drydown.

        • OMG, the visuals, the visuals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jesus, I don’t know whether to laugh at your nightmarish story and the scents in question, or to gag. Actually, I did a little of both. lol. The lactacting part…. dude, you’re going to kill me! 😀

    • That makes me so glad, Scentatorium. There aren’t a lot of scents that are notorious or controversial enough to warrant one of these courtroom dramas, but I almost wish there were as the parodies are always so much fun to do. I’m glad I could make you laugh on this Friday the 13th! 😉 😀

  4. Great trial! I love when you do these. I have some of this stuff and I didn’t find it to be all that horrific. Maybe because I’ve smelled worse working at an animal shelter and as an EMT. Granted, it’s not something I’d want to wear on a daily basis but I’ve smelled worse. Oud 27 I’m looking at you. Actually, I was looking through a magazine a few months back and there was a feature on perfumes and this was actually one of them that was mentioned. It was a favorable mention too. I was stunned.

    • jade by olivier durbano is far worse than SM. it truly smells like a urinal brick soaked in scope and fermented in smoky peat & swamp trimmings
      oud 27 has some redeeming qualities, no? 😉 and i have a friend who adores SM – go figure

      • Lol. I have been quoted as saying that if you’ve ever had a mouse die within the walls of your house, you have smelled Oud 27. I know there are people who do not find it to smell like that but to me and on me, it’s dead mouse. It does not play nicely with me at all.

    • A mainstream magazine mentions SM as a positive recommendation??????!!! What magazine was this?! My word, that’s…. gutsy and unexpected. I can’t imagine mainstream perfume lovers who opt for some Natalie Portman-like Dior scent going for something like this. Good heavens, what a shock that would be for them.

      I’m starting to think I need to get Oud 27 just to see what dead mouse is like, encapsulated in perfume form and emanating from my skin…. 😉

  5. User reviews have made Secretions Magnifiques the olfactory equivalent of the Aristocrats joke, and everyone seemingly tries to out-do one another. I agree with you that an overdone banality suits this spirit, and it’s as if the perfumers, much like the people who have smelled it, took perfume industry cliches and just piled them up — white musk cocktail, cashmeran, saline and ozonic “fresh” notes, lactonic florals… just everything you smell all the time in mainstream and niche fragrances which increasingly blur together with everyone and their mother putting out a new fragrance yet with all of them copying one another. If you bottled Dunning-Kruger effect, it would be this, the smell of shame, of trying too hard, the sweat of desperation, the nausea of fear. It turns conformity on its head. How many people wear stuff worse than this that is supposed to smell like “those first post-coital moments with a dangerous stranger” or “summer air off the Mediterranean” or “just opened can of tennis balls”? Yes, it smells awful, and much of the animosity it engenders likely stems from people’s suspicion that they are being made fools of. But SM, to me, is a biting critique, not of customers, but of consumerism.

    • Well, I don’t think that metallic iode or blood is something common in mainstream perfumery, but I do agree with parts of your comment in that they’ve taken a lot of common accords, but then turned them upside down on their head with a very edgy twist.

      I strongly agree with you on some of those reviews, too. One reason why I incorporated the one going so far as to talk about calling Child Protective Services was that it just seemed SOOOO over the top, it felt (to me) as though it were driven by a sort of mad, collective, feeding frenzy type mentality. It proved my point about the snowballing effect of the hype and about how certain perceptions almost seem like a self-fulfilling prophesy.

      The thing that I found most fascinating was your theory of the scent as being a biting critique of consumerism. Brilliantly thought provoking, Pearl Fingering! Utterly intriguing and really deserving of more thought. It’s something to consider because there’s certainly evidence to support that Etat Libre likes to turn things on their head to make symbolic statements (like, for example, Tom of Finland which I found to be a very intellectually symbolic statement on sexuality). Secretions Magnifique might well be an attempt to mock the mainstream by taking many of their favorite notes, and turning them on their head. So, I’m quite awed by your theory and argument, and think it’s something that definitely warrants more thought! It’s something that show Etat Libre in a slightly better light than some other interpretations of their marketing tactics….

      BTW, is the tennis balls comment a reference to that Soft Lawn perfume? lol

  6. LOL funny, dear Kafka. I tried Secretions Magnifiques and eeeek, I almost threw up. When Bendel’s used to carry the ELDO line, it had to keep the bottle inside a drawer…I guess they had one too many accidents. I think even if I had no preconceived notions of this…smell (I can’t quite get myself to call it a perfume), I would still have recoiled in horror.

    As to your description of the defendant, I would have added…”and then because he couldn’t resist acknowledging the legions of perfume bloggers covering this case, he stood up, turned around and bowed, simultaneously releasing a noxious odor AND subjecting judge and jury to a view of his butt crack”

    • No, I can’t see you liking the notes, regardless of whether you knew about the scent or not. But I think pre-conceived notions and hype definitely plays into some of the more extreme reactions, like the person I quoted who was saying that she almost wanted to call Child Protective Services about the exploitative nature of the scent. Um…. okay. It seems to go a little too far, all in all, but there are quite a few similarly extreme stories (many of which reference knowing the marketing tale for Secretions Magnifiques) that tell me people went into this expecting to smell something, and they got exactly what they expected. (Am I making sense?)

      As for your addition to the Defendant’s description…. hahahaha! Contempt of Court time! *grin*

  7. oh dear, invoking saul, and utterly true to type: this was a HOOT! (been re-watching the whole series, as the mrs wanted to see what all the fuss was. imo the best thing ever on tv in spite of all the hyperbole…last week saw the episode ‘kafkaesque’, natch a certain blogger came to mind 😉 & i wondered if you watched. voila! )
    anyway, i believe SM was created on the ‘lets have some fun/no such thing as bad publicity’ concept axis. it certainly helped create the eldo rep as a sort of ‘bad boy’ outfit. it didn’t stay on my arm very long each time i tried it, as assaulted my sense with utter dissonance – the organic elements really clashed with the metalic note. and then there’s that bloody blood thing. when i eat dutch ‘drop’ licorice, it is so intense it tasted like blood; this is the olfactory counterpart. life’s too short for secretions magnifiques!
    no proof was needed but today’s confirms you as the most dynamic, well-informed and entertaining perfume critic out there – congrats & keep on truckin’! x

    • Hahahaha, another Saul fan! And, yes, “Kafkaesque” rocked as a (justifiably famous) episode, for reasons wholly unrelated to the name! 😉 😀 I fully agree with you that Breaking Bad is the best thing ever done in television, and I’m going to be so sad when it’s over in a few weeks.

      As for S/M, Pearl Fingering has a really interesting hypothesis (see up above) on what the company was really trying to say in creating the perfume: namely, that it was a biting criticism of consumerism, more than just an attempt to drive publicity and establish their edgy/tough reputation. It’s an extremely thought-provoking theory, and I think it’s worth thinking about in light of some of their other perfumes, how they’re done and the contrast to the image/marketing for those scents. I don’t know if it’s too positive an interpretation given just how intentional some of the marketing may be, but I think it’s a theory that’s definitely worth contemplating when it comes to Secretions Magnifiques. 🙂

      BTW, thank you for the huge, huge compliment. It means a lot to me.

  8. You’ve convinced me there’s no pressing need to smell SM, but I’ll take Saul Goodman where I can find him. Great review. Whoop-di-do! (No, I guess there’s no way to use the phrase without sounding sarcastic. My apologies.)

  9. Finally a review on this scent that I can fully agree with. This wretched thing smells exactly like Dryer Sheets to me, specifically after they’ve been burnt out from use in a dryer. Truly a gross smell, but not the sort of monster all those fragrantica reviews make it out to be.

    I will say that this fragrance firmly sealed my hatred for Dryer Sheets, and after having smelt it have sworn against them and fabric softener (scented at least) for the rest of my life.

    • Hey, Hunter, always great to see you! So, you got the dreaded dryer sheets, too? Well, I’m glad it’s not just me. Terrible, but as you noted, it’s not the monster that some of those reviews make it out to be. At least not on some skins.

      BTW, another perfume that smelled of Dryer Sheets on me was Heeley’s Cardinal. Gah!

  10. oh, this is hilarious! my lawyer best friend would probably appreciate this… if she appreciated perfume more. sigh. context is key. and some of those pictures you used are quite stomach-churning…!! i’m sorry to hear it was disappointing for you in terms of shock factor. 😉

    i have not tried this, although i would like to. (my curiosity is not strong enough to buy a sample, however.) the only shop i have found that sells ELdO doesn’t have this one in stock… nor does it have Like This, Fils de Dieu or Afternoon of a Faun, which are the only ELdOs i am really interested in trying.

    • Julia, hahaha about the photos! Intentionally meant to convey some people’s reaction to the perfume, but, also, to convey the depth of the collective conscious/unconscious. I truly think that, if people smelled this blindly, they’d hate it or have issues with it, but not all of them would react QUITE so extremely, let alone vomit.

      As for the ones you mentioned, I liked Fils de Dieu, so I hope you get to try that one sometime. Like This is interesting, though not ultimately me. I think one has to really enjoy immortelle. 🙂 Nombril Immense is one that really intrigues me and that I’ll be testing soon.

  11. Are you an attorney in your day job? I think you HAVE GOT TO GET OUT OF THAT LAW OFFICE.

  12. Very amusing review Kafka! 😀 you even made a courtroom scene and everything, that was very entertaining to read. However this perfume sounds truly awful smelling like blood and urine, who would want to smell like that, like if they were truly unwashed and in a pitiful state. Still very funny review to read 🙂 .

  13. Pingback: JAR: The Experience, The Perfumes & The Philosophy | Kafkaesque

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