Let's imagine I gather up fabric scraps and make a fantastic quilt (in the geometric style of Sonia Delaunay's paintings of course). I could say to those raving about my quilt: "Oh. THAT piece of trash?!" Or I might venture to a lumber yard and, like Louise Nevelson long ago, gather bits and pieces of wood to make a sculpture. "The title of this piece is 'Garbage.'" In a food waste context, huge amounts of spent grains remain after beer production; those can be used to feed animals or people. Coffee grounds make a great growing medium for mushrooms and are an excellent soil amendment. Similarly, Etat Libre d’Orange has used "upcycled" materials (reused waste from perfume-making) to supplement the creation of Les Fleurs du Déchet, more dramatically titled "I Am Trash."
Les Fleurs du Déchet is a great name. It translates clumsily on Google as "Flowers of the Waste." But (I think) the phrase can be translated in many ways*: Flowers of Loss/Lost Flowers; Worthless Flowers (think wilted bouquets); Flimsy Flowers (upcycled perfume materials are less "weighty," and some are scentless).
Les Fleurs du Déchet was developed by Givaudan's research and development group working with perfumer Daniela Andrier and lists of notes vary; some of the most mentioned fragrance ingredients are upcycled apple, Gariguette strawberry, bitter orange, green tangerine, lemongrass, upcycled rose, peony, upcycled Atlas cedar, Sandalore, Akigalawood and Iso E Super.
I Am Trash (sigh...though I prefer the French name, we're in the US) starts off with intense citrus and apple peel aromas mixing with zingy, tingly and fizzy strawberry (sweet, but not smelling like candy...or cheap candies anyway). There's a pleasant strawberry-meets-rose scent in the segue to the heart of I Am Trash. In mid development the fragrance starts to smell creamy, not only the strawberry and floral notes, but the woody notes, too. On me, the one changeable element in I Am Trash is a floral note; on some wearings it's pronounced, on others it's more faded, but it smells of rose-scented peony (with a hint of peony's brash nature). Iso E Super, like white musk, can be overpowering and exhausting to smell over the course of a day. Thankfully, Iso E Super is used with a light hand in I Am Trash and the perfume's musk note is beige, not white (if you know what I mean).
Irony Achieved: I Am Trash smells clean.
I'd love to smell upcycled perfume materials individually and compare them to their "parents." I Am Trash is a pretty scent that would be perfect for a child; why didn't Etat Libre d'Orange get the memo? Annick Goutal (Chat Perché) and Frédéric Malle (Sale Gosse) are making a bundle with their perfumes aimed at parents and children. Baby Dumpling would have been a great name (I've been binge watching Blondie and Dagwood films), but, no doubt, Etat Libre d'Orange would have called the fragrance something like Couches Sales (Dirty Diapers).
Etat Libre d’Orange Les Fleurs du Déchet / I Am Trash Eau de Parfum is available in 30 ml ($52), 50 ml ($90) and 100 ml ($149).
If you missed it, watch the I Am Trash video.
*Native French speakers please feel free to set me straight.