You or Someone Like You by Etat Libre d’Orange – Portia

Hey Crew, You or Someone Like You is a fragrance but it’s also the title of a 2009 semi-autobiographical novel by Chandler Burr. The fragrance was created as a matching couplet and released 2017. As so many of the Etat Libre d’Orange oeuvre does, they take an old trope and freshen it up with a new twist, ingredient, direction or emphasis. As you all up there in the Northern Hemisphere are sweltering in the summer heat, I thought you might like refreshing spritz that is a bit more interesting and longer lived than a cologne. This fragrance has a wonderful lifespan story of phases.

You or Someone Like You by Etat Libre d’Orange



Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Mint, anise, bergamot, grapefruit
Heart: Cassis, green notes, hedione, rose
Base: White musk

Summer in Australia, especially as we were growing up, involved visits to the local National Parklands. Our local one was nearly 400 hectares of bushland with a river running through the middle. It had loads of grassy playing areas with little wood fired BarBQs and cement picnic tables & chairs around the outsides. We would go as a family, often with other families, and while most of the Dads would get the BarBQ going and most of the Mums would organise the tables, bread rolls, salads and condiments, the kids would be taken off for a bushwalk. It was hilly and rocky, and the cooling eucalyptus would shade and scent our walks. We would be shown native flora and fauna, given little info bites about everything and surviving in the bush. We would invariably end up at the weir where there was a large colony of ducks and geese. Everyone would get a couple of pieces of stale bread, and we’d feed them. Then we’d all head back and the meats would be sizzling on the BarBQ, all the adults would have had a couple of boozy bevies, and we kids would run off adventuring or playing cricket till it was time to eat.

You or Someone Like You is a perfect summer spritz with the cool green wash of eucalyptus from my childhood memory. Not noted but definitely smells like it should be. It smells like finding the shade after walking through the hot sunshine. Something else not noted in the list is salt water. I get loads of it as well. Not in a very aquatic style but hinting towards some of the L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme line.

On opening, a sharply sweet citrus is enlivened by mint. It’s a beautifully mentholated coolness. The heart remains quite sharp green notes but feels like it’s been scoured clean by a cool sea breeze. There’s no hint of noxious seaweed under the pier. I also get no notion of the rose, and the white musk dry down still has green hints of mint and what I read as eucalyptus. So it never veers into that safe, bland, white musk laziness we smell so often after the initial fragrance fireworks have collapsed.

Totally unisex but veering towards mid 20th century traditional masculine, longevity is excellent, and projection is moderate.

Not the strangest of the Etat Libre d’Orange’s but also not a usual or expected scent.

Have you tried You or Someone Like You? Does it sound like you’d like it?
Portia xx


Image: my own


24 thoughts on “You or Someone Like You by Etat Libre d’Orange – Portia

  1. You describe it perfectly, Portia! I also get eucalyptus from this. For me it’s a perfect spring and summer perfume. It’s evocative of the outdoors and very uplifting. Bonus points: ELDO sells this in 30 ml bottles!


    • Hiya Nose Prose,
      Yes, the novel is set between SoCal USA and Israel. So the summer, heat, eucalyptus and the bright airiness of hedione definitely feel attached to the novel.
      The heart could have been darker but the dry down feels exactly like the contemplative resolution of the novel.
      Portia x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your summer memories sound so happy! I haven’t tried this perfume, but like several from ELdO. Would be very interested in perfumes with eucalyptus, not always keen on mint, at least not in perfume.


    • Hey Ingeborg,
      So many of my memories of childhood are happy and sunlit. BarBQs and family play heavily.
      I think you might be in the majority that are a bit mint averse in fragrance. I’m completely the other end of the spectrum. It always feels so modern and revitalising in fragrance for me.
      Portia xx


    • Hey OH!
      Lovely to see you.
      I just received a Noel Au Balcon bought from a Sales Doc on FB from a mate. It still hasn’t had its first full wearing yet.
      Maybe the fragrance is made more memorable and special because of my particular scent associations? That is often a big trigger for my enjoyment of a perfume.
      ELdO swing wildly between safe go-to frags and weirdly outlandish artworks. I love that they often take old tropes and twist them just enough to stand out but manage to keep them safe and enjoyable. There seems to be something for everyone in the house, even though most won’t hit the spot.
      Portia xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Portia, good to see you here. Nose Prose, almost no one asks your question about the connection between the novel and the scent, so thank you for asking, and, Portia, your reply shows that you really registered the novel, which makes every author very happy of course. “The heart could have been darker but the dry down feels exactly like the contemplative resolution of the novel.” It’s true that the scent doesn’t reflect the arc of the narrator, Anne, through the dark parts of the story. Caroline Sabas, my terrific perfumer at Givaudan, Etienne, founder of Etat, and I decided early on that it is, quite straightforwardly, the fragrance Anne would wear were she a real person. It didn’t occur to me to make the scent representative of the novel rather than the person. But it’s an interesting thought.


    • AHA! So interesting Chandler. Now I’m going back to reread the novel so I can wear it and read Anne specifically. You’re such a cool guy dropping in and commenting. Thank you.
      Stay well and safe in these crazy times.
      Portia xx


  4. It’s a fab scent, and anyone wistfully wishing for mint in fragrance should try it! There was a note in it I didn’t care for, probably grapefruit, but that was a personal thing. I remember urging a stranger to test it in Myer once (when they carried the line) and their absolute DELIGHT in the scent. I think it’s fairly unique too, not what you’d call groundbreaking but one of those perfumes where you think wow, this should be a common theme in scent and so far that hasn’t been the case. EDLO is more affordable than some other mint scents I’ve enjoyed too.


  5. You or Someone Like You may be my favourite ELDO fragrance. I bought a FB immediately after trying a sample and wore it in the summer of 2017 till I emptied the bottle. It’s a lovely minty rose to my nose. Pretty linear, which I love in this case because the fresh feeling lingers for a long time.


  6. I tried this one and definitely did not like it at all. At first it smelled like nothing on my skin and then the eucalyptus note and that big salty note came through heavily on my skin and I said, no thanks.


What's on your mind? (I encourage posting relating links to your posts)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.