Dangerous Complicity 
Etat Libre d'Orange (2012)

Average Rating:  17 User Reviews

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Reviews of Dangerous Complicity by Etat Libre d'Orange

There are 17 reviews of Dangerous Complicity by Etat Libre d'Orange.


I like the mish-mash in the opening of Dangerous Complicty, like an appetizer of later notes. But then I like fragrances like that. It’s a sensuous dry leather, rum, patchouli, spicy floral melange of notes, a little intoxicating.
The main body of the perfume is a sensual dark floral with shade, nuance and suggestion. Nice little coconut and rum touches give it kind of a voluptuous, davanna-like quality without a tropical presence. Rose isn’t listed, but I register damascone-type aromas that keeps telling me it’s in the mix. Whatever it’s mixed with, the jasminey osmanthus floral is nice.
It isn’t long-lasting, though on the edge of acceptable - 3 or 4 hours, 5 as a close to the skin scent. The last hour is a fuzz harsh, and not like the beginning or heart.
But it’s still mostly a nice fragrance, and more classic than ELDO’s usual ethos. I hesitate to buy any, as at this niche price, there’s not a lot bang for the buck. But I still like it.
Nov 7, 2021


Dangerous Complicity by Etat Libre d'Orange (2012) was composed by Violaine Collas and inspired by the said complicity of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. This I guess translates to a rose and leather fragrance with a modern lorenox (a Mane captive) base coupled with cashmeran. A sort of nü-chypre is this, because the lorenox (ambery, leathery, mossy, and woody) replaces many natural materials including oakmoss that comprise a chypre, and the rest of the fragrance is built up more conventionally from there. The Etat Libre d'Orange quirkiness is only dialed maybe halfway here, and if you excuse the premise, you are presented with an otherwise pretty standard-order niche rose experience, made duly unisex as the brand does. I like it, but I'm not completely in love with it either. Something being just "nice" at these niche price points is deceptively dangerous territory, because just nice at this price is often forgettable. Still, Dangerous Complicity is unerringly pleasant and delightful, so it is spared my ambivalence for the most part.

The opening is a bit conflicting, and I almost recoiled a bit, but things brightened up considerably in a few minutes. Sharp bay and calamus smash against rum and coconut notes in a weird bar fight between pirates and beach bums slathered in sunblock, but then a nice rose and osmanthus note appears, fruity and floral but not overdone in that regard thanks to a very green patchouli and something leathery emerging. There is precious little muskiness from the ylang-ylang and jasmine, probably leaning more on the hedione side of things than the indolic side, but we have the lorenox and cashmeran to put it back late in the wear. I get something that for the life of me resembles synth oud compounds, but I know is not, before the final woody approach. Wear time is middling at just about 7 hours, but I'll round off to eight if you spray extra. SIllage is also light, and this wears best in spring or fall to me, as something casual. Is it truly unisex? Well, yeah I suppose. Dangerous Complicity is a mash up of he and she on purpose, and unlike unisex fragrances of old, doesn't eventually side with one or the other in the base.

The end product is something that feels like it wants to be a fruity floral, but also wants to rock the 80's big-boned rose/leather/patchouli style, without actually committing to the audacity of sillage and depth that being such would require. One foot in the Ulta, one foot in the Bergdorf's is the vibe I get from Dangerous Complicity, which is somehow not the kind of compromise I think Etat Libre d'Orange was after. Nonetheless, you really won't find much fault in execution once you get past that slurry of an opening, and soon all tresspasses will be forgotten as you sit in a glow of fruity floral ambery woody green goodness. This stuff is no forbidden fruit though, and there are so many better examples of what this perfume is trying to do, that I can only recommend it to longtime fans of the house or absolute unit collectors that need everything of a particular style. Just barely squeaking out an approval here, and would have been more enthused if more commitment to either the amber or the leather facets of the base were made. Thumbs up
Jun 11, 2021


After an initial bit of nonsense, with boozy citrus notes this turns into a not bad copy of Ombre Rose. I like Ombre Rose.

Like most ELDO fragrances it doesn't last too long, certainly Ombre Rose lasts longer. I guess this is because Ombre Rose is a better constructed fragrance with more and better quality ingredients.

This is the last of the 20 samples that I bought from ELDO that I have smelled, and the first one that I liked. Such a relief.

I do wish ELDO would spend less time trying to be provocative with their silly names and odd-ball marketing, and spend more time in trying to get some half decent fragrances.
Apr 14, 2021


This is a quiet-ish, sweet-ish, lovely and powdery scent with an undertone of tires. That undertone reminds me of Bvlgari Black a bit, but this scent is much sweeter and more feminine, and it doesn't have that beautiful wet asphalt aroma that I adore in Black, just powder and sweetened plastic and tires. Fun!
Mar 17, 2021


Words! Yummy!! I'm eating some more, as I sit here this evening, the proud owner of a full
bottle of Dangerous Complicity, after I wrote a review a few days ago, and said that I couldn't find much in it, whether to love or hate. It grew on me so much over the next few hours. after I wrote that review, that I went over to eBay, and found terrific bargain (40 dollars!!), for a full 50ml bottle. Hooray!

So, you may ask, what made me change my mind? The end of my initial review, which I leave, unedited. below, offers an explanation–Bay Rum, a scent that I fell in love with during my quasi hippie raver chick college years, when I found Burt's Bees Bay Rum at the funky little member-owned granola-and-Dr Bronner's Soap grocery Co-Op, and adopted it as my personal scent, because, as a former Opium-and-Coco girl, I loved its spicy profile, it cost less than a pizza, and I didn't have to go to the mall to get it.

Dangerous Complicity's bay accord is one of its most noticeable features. I have been cooking a navy bean soup this evening, using the bone from our glazed holiday ham, and I am holding a fresh bag of bay leaves, which I use in all my soups. I love their sweet, spicy, aromatic, fresh-tea scent, and its combination of great outdoors and cozy indoors. I don't run across it very often in modern perfumery, or at least not niche perfumery that isn't aimed exclusively at men, and it brings back happy memories, not only of dancing up a storm to Freaky Chakra, Plastikman, and the late great Frankie Knuckles, when I was a young and wild aspiring DJ, but also of the scent of comforting pots of soup, and cups of spice tea (I suspect it is in the blend of Constant Comment).

Dangerous Complicity captures the qualities of its main Bay Rum accord, the scent of indoors and outdoors. in a single accord. I love perfumes that embrace indoor-outdoor accords, they do what the best perfumes are capable of, making impossible things possible, at least in the magical space of olfactory art. It is both cozy and spacious. Its beachy coconut-rum cocktail is matched up with a comforting blanket of aromatic spice, and I think that makes if appropriate for both winter and summer.

Its only weakness is the opening. ELDO's perfumes often come out swinging, but this one takes fime to reveal its best features. I'm revising my initial evaluation, and giving it a positive review. I'll be enjoying it on cold nights like tonight,'and wearing ir on summer days, when I will want its smooth rum-cocktail personality, to contrast with my usual citrus and florals. Thumbs up.

**Written on January 2, 2021, and revised since:**
When Etat Libre d'Orange first appeared in the perfume world, these guys were swinging for the fences. Every scent was so distinctive, that I honestly felt like I would never smell something they did and think, I have something in my collection similar to this. But, as I've started smelling some of their more relatively recent releases (Dangerous Complicity was launched in 2012), I am finding less and less of their old wild originality, and more scents that feel both safe and same-ish.

I think ELDO's marketing blurb for this scent says something about both the Garden of Eden, and something about a beachy accord of life-coconut-rum cocktails and bay leaves (I suppose that makes it a twist on Bay Rum, a fragrance I was obsessed with and wore throughout my college years), plus Osmanthus, leather and patchouli. I cannot find much connection between these, but I also recognize that this house writes some of the silliest promotional materials in the perfume business. More importantly, I would not have picked any of these “notes” out, if I had not looked them up.

Instead, I got a smooth but bland floral accord with some jasmine and violet, with a nutty quality, and a lotiony-smelling musk that I have found in varying proportions across several fragrances from this house, especially Noël au Balcon and Like This. This ELDOade typically appears in their feminines, and it is weird to smell it blended with this Bay Rum accord. It doesn't smell bad, just mildly confusing, as it distracts from the perfume's more interesting elements. As a whole, it smells kind of like someone wearing a high-quality moisturizer with a weak, inexpensive coconut cocktail body spray and some weak, fleeting Bay Rum cologne, things that smell good, but do not constitute a fully fledged, compelling scent, especially one worthy of a house that is so patently capable of brilliant work, like Rien, Eau de Protection, Like This, Noël au Balcon, Fat Electrician, Archives 69, Putain de Palaces, I Am Trash, and You or Someone Like You, perfumes I love and either already own, or plan on purchasing either for myself or my boyfriend. Every one of these perfumes is excellent, either a great execution of an idea that no other house has done as well (You or Someone Like You is the best mint scent I have ever smelled, it is like freshly crushed mint, not toothpaste, with a gorgeous florist greenery accord, and I Am Trash has a long-lasting candied strawberry that I adore wearing in our scorching summers), or are so original (Like This and its unprecedented and brilliant pumpkin accord), that I think my high expectations from this house are justified.

I am willing to reconsider my thoughts about Dangerous Complicity, as I am smelling it for the first time on a sub-freezing winter night, when I suspect that its beachy personality might be more appropriate for warm weather. I'll hang on to my sample, and give it another turn when the weather changes. I have much general good will toward this house, I find its prices very attractive, and I would also love to find an updated and interesting take on my old love Bay Rum, and perhaps Dangerous Complicity could turn out to be that perfume. We'll see ...

For now, it's a mildly disappointing two and a half stars. It's obviously decent quality, it's an easy wear, and I smell some things in it that I like, but not enough to push me to a thumbs up. Maybe I'll find something more interesting in it, if I keep smelling it. Thumbs sideways, until then.
Jan 2, 2021


Subtle coconut and rum with a sandalwood touch makes this a nice one in my book. Not a screaming smell me, I'm here fragrance, but will surely be noticed at close proximity. A future 30 ml purchase will be done. 7.5/10
Jan 27, 2020

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