When asked the question, “who are you?”, individuals often respond by defining stories, and most especially, physical features.
These range with endless possibilities, from varying hair color, complexion, height, weight, birthmarks, and etc. These beautiful complexities all humans contain are in some respects undermined to fulfill an exclusive beauty standard, reinforced in media. Frequently, the models themselves within media outlets fail to embody these standards, perfected through Photoshop and other applications.
Currently, the superficial industries of fashion and beauty are experiencing a rebirth, where inclusivity and diversity are a must. One of the first brands to spearhead movement toward diversity was pop icon, Rihanna’s cosmetic line FENTY. The brand featured a 50 shade range of foundations, allowing all users regardless of complexion to find their ideal color. Other brands welcome diversity through their philosophy such as Glossier. The CEO of Glossier, Emily Weiss, found the beauty paradigm flawed, where brands prescribe to their consumers what they should wear to fit a standard. Rather than instructing their consumers and masking features that stray away from beauty ideals, the brand creates products that enhance the diversity of their clientele. Glossier contains an array of products that are identified as “inspired by real life”. The brand fully embraces all of their consumers by selling products that complement their stunning complexities.
Etat Libre D’Orange also strays away from the superficiality of the beauty and fashion industries, creating fragrance that speak to misfits and welcomes all. One fragrance in particular shares the story of a character, the Fat Electrician. It is a fragrance that once thrived off of hyper-masculinity, to soon find himself in the overweight state of his less-than-desired occupation. A story that echoes the lesson, “This is the curse of beauty it doesn't last.” The fragrance captures that duality of youth optimism, coupled with humor in his sexual decline. A woody scent that reflects a youthful masculinity that was once unconceived of fading, with the pleasant notes of chestnut and vanilla as sweet nostalgia of the past.
One customer truly resonated with this narrative, sharing how he has embraced his inner Fat Electrician. Troy Wilkins shares his story in a campaign for the fragrance, where he indicates that he was once an NCAA football player of grand stature. He indicates that he once contained a bright future in the field, soon to be tarnished by a career ending knee injury. As a result, Wilkins returned home to work, inevitably gaining weight and feeling unsatisfied personally and professionally. Wilkins then reveals he was given the fragrance and felt a true connection. He resonated with the “glory gone, now the daily grind” story it embodies.
Consumers, and plainly humans, cannot relate to perfection. Conversely, consumers gravitate toward products that suit them for who they are, rather than enforce who they are not. The Fat Electrician accomplishes this, finding glamor in the user’s quirks and their less desired aspects. There may never be a simple answer to the question, “who are you?”, yet Etat Libre D’Orange is for your most perfectly imperfect self.
from The Modern Renaissance
Arts and pop culture blogger exploring the world of niche fragrances and their relevant impact.