The full title of this fragrance is Fils de Dieu, du Riz et des Agrumes which translates as “Son of God, rice and citrus”. It was created by Ralf Schwieger and launched in 2012. The note list appears to contain – among other things – the ingredients for a Thai green curry:
Ginger, coriander leaves, lime, shiso, bergamot, coconut, rice note, cardamom, jasmine, cinnamon, French May rose, tonka bean, vetiver, musk, amber, leather and castoreum.
I generally find the idea of smelling like food quite a turn-off. Maybe a dessert at a push, but a curry?
As it turns out, it’s not a literal interpretation. While it does have foody connotations, it comes across as a perfume rather than just an aroma.
Fils de Dieu opens with a fantastic hit of tangy lime, freshly peeled ginger (which smells more green than spicy) and a scattering of just picked coriander leaves. It’s both citrusy and aromatic.
The floral notes are low-key. Along with a nice scoop of cosmetic powder, they create an overall effect that is sweet and pretty, in contrast to the herbs and spices. Like a lot of South East Asian cuisine Fils de Dieu is an interesting mix of sweet and savoury elements.
The rice note is what pulls it all together. It’s fluffy basmati rice with coconut cream swirled into it which adds a carefree “on vacation” vibe. It’s the perfect steamy base for the flower petals, fruit and spice to rest upon.
Interestingly a number of commentators liken Fils de Dieu to Shalimar. Although it’s not listed as a note, there is a sheer waft of vanilla throughout. Combined with the citrus in the top and amber/musk in the base, it could be reminiscent of the classic Guerlain, however the fruit, herbs and spice make all the difference.
Things get darker and more intimate in the far dry down. There’s sexy musk and warm amber but the faint scent of aromatic herbs lingers on. The blazing sun has set but the air still feels close. The windows are flung wide but no one is in the mood for sleep…
Fils de Dieu is the smell of exotic climes, heat and happiness. It is part of that joyful collective of fragrances which instantly spirit you away somewhere your worries can’t find you.
It’s distinctive like most of Etat Libre d’Orange’s perfumes, but unlike a lot of them I find it wearable, particularly in hot weather. It really comes into its own in the heat. The steam of the rice melds perfectly with the humidity while the citrus slices through it like a cold knife.
It has presence, but the whole thing feels balmy and lightweight. Sillage is moderate and lasting power on me is extremely good.
While wearing Fils de Dieu I’m reminded of the little offerings (known as “canang sari”) I saw on the streets outside homes while on holiday in Bali. Everyday there would be a new, artfully woven palm or banana leaf bearing fruit, flowers and a small amount of rice.
How wearable do you find the fragrances by Etat Libre d’Orange? Have you tried this one?