Exit the King fragrance notes

    • soap foam, pink pepper, timur, jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, patchouli, moss, sandalwood

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Latest Reviews of Exit the King

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This fragrance offers a simplistic composition that evokes the clean and fresh scent of a plain bar of soap. It carries a subtle muskiness that adds a touch of depth. While it may not be the most exciting or innovative fragrance, it maintains a pleasant and inoffensive character. The resemblance to Dove soap further emphasizes its clean and familiar quality. If you're seeking a straightforward and uncomplicated scent reminiscent of freshly washed skin, this fragrance might suit your preferences. However, if you're looking for something more unique or captivating, it may fall short.
26th June 2023
Exit the King by Etat Libre d'Orange (2020) has a narrative that may not sit well with people who see systems of power as a necessary part of an orderly world, including the most obvious one this scent seeks to decry by it's marketing; but on the same taken, I don't think this marketing really has much to do with what perfumers Ralph Schwieger and Cecile Matton has presented us. Whether you support or are against concepts of monarchy, autocratic rule, social class structures, male supremacy, and so forth, what you have here with Exit the King is a classic rose chypre done with modern material replacements as needed by standards of availability and regulation of the current day; so in the end, there really isn't true freedom at all with this fragrance, like advertised. Once you move past this irony, what's here is pretty good, assuming you're in the game for classic styles done with modern approaches. If you pull a Larry David and curb your enthusiasm, you might be rewarded here in Exit the King. I'd have liked it better if it was inspired more after the 1962 UK stage drama of the same name, as that Exit the King was an absurdist piece that feels more in line with what Etat Libre d'Orange usually does with their fragrance naming or market copy, plus would have sent people unaware of the "Berenger Cycle" down a nice rabbit hole.

The opening is very clearly a soapy rose and jasmine with pink pepper and a touch of aldehydes, not unlike many classic femme-market rose chypres released in the 1980's, things that today are also sometimes worn by adventurous men. If you're not one of them, you may want to avoid this scent as things don't necessarily get more masculine from here, and the unisex designation of the scent by ELDO isn't by way of the fragrance composition itself a la Calvin Klein cK One (1994), so this might just read to you as a niche version of something you'd rather smell on a woman if that's how you feel. For those game to try something like this, you'll be rewarded with a bit more familiarity into the base, as a slightly more-masculine (but not quite) patchouli and musk accord shows up, reminding me a lot of Lapidus pour Homme (1987), something that was always a gay club favorite anyway; make of that what you will. Sandalwood and oakmoss are represented chemically, so don't get too excited there either. Still, the fragrance on its own is nice if you like slightly soapy and musky rose chypres, although merging a period-correct men's clubber with the classic chypre structure in place of the usual animalic leather notes found in examples from the period is a curious decision for a scent that seeks to show what life could be like without chauvinism, if I'm being honest.

I guess that's the real danger when you politicize something superfluous like scent: You either hit it directly on the head with something like the cult This Smells Like My Vagina by Goop (2020) and make all your sales from people trying to use their fragrance to make a political statement, or you deliver an apolitical-smelling conventional scent like Exit the King that says absolutely nothing but "I smell nice" when it's caught in the air, making everyone feel awkward when you volunteer what the fragrance represents after they compliment you on it, not knowing there was a deeper meaning to your musky roses in the first place. At least wearing something like the fragrance by Goop will let people know you're making a statement however performative) and not trying to smell nice, although that 's not a reason why I wear perfume, personally. Ultimately, I find Exit the King to be a perfectly good if the dirty birdy is what kept you away from classic big-boned femme-market rose chypres in the first place, although many old-timers will smell this and immediately find the laundry musk profile off-putting, unless they fancy a bottle of The Baron by Evyan/LTL (1961/1965) where that sort of thing was still novel. My best hope is this stirs up interest in classic styles from younger people who smell it, since modern niche is feeling a bit too much like designer these days, especially with all the cloning. Neutral
14th May 2023

I should hate this - I *despise* soapy musk. But this is different - I'd there such thing as a Dry Cleaner Chypre?

Caustic smells that I'd expect in a CDG fragrance overlays a pretty, modern rose chypre (and is that tea I smell in the drydown with all the musks...with a twist of citrus?)

Impossible to wear. So weird that no other brand could make this.

I'm buying a bottle and never wearing it.

Update - I wear it. It's like reloading an oldie from Estee Lauder or Ivoire when it smelled good. Highly recommended.
9th November 2022
At first I was hesitant about Exit the King, after reading some reviews ranging from ambivalent to repulsed. I went for a sample anyhow, remembering to take all matters with a hunk of salt and I was pleased with what my nose encountered: a floral soap fragrance for the books. Holy Toledo, is this a statement. It does harken back to chypres of yore, aldehydic, rosy hued and jasmine diffusive, with a modern mossy accord and ambroxan at just the right volume that it makes sense for once.

I do think that some of the negative reactions come from those who may not have warmed up to classics and expect perhaps certain contemporary elements that are thankfully (for my sake) absent here. It's just my guess. However, this could be the gateway for others to seek out classic fragrances, as it bridges the current with the past, it's a crossover hit, as it were. Also, sillage is tremendous. This is one that should not be applied heavy-handedly, else it will be a Windstorm in Bubbleland.

Lastly, per usual, I couldn't care less about the "fall of the patriarchy" concept. I enjoy ELDO fragrances, but could do without the moulded narratives.
3rd June 2022
The pepper/jasmine/muguet/"soap foam accord" combo smells vaguely vegetal and aquatic: seaweed? Not exactly, but borderline. So, the king of a sand castle, as befits a perfume "inspired by the fall of patriarchal power."

The PR hyperbole says it's "resolutely chypre," but since there's no bergamot, labdanum, or oakmoss, "I do not think that means what you think it means." (The same comment applies to "the fall of patriarchal power," unless this is perfume that hasn't happened yet.) Buried beneath is a base of post-IFRA tree moss alongside fairly indistinct patchouli, an unconvincing sandalwood accord, and Orcanox brand ambroxide.

Mild, and mildly pleasant, but not something I'd really rock as, per the title, Elvis has left the building.
12th June 2021
Imagine any stereotypical modern mass-market masculine scent - the topnotes that inevitably smell like artificial grape drink, the jumbled mess of flowers and herbs in the heart, and the base that claims to be a modern chypre or complex mix of woods, but somehow always smells like chlorine.

Now, imagine taking the time and skill to actually craft the quality perfume that these monstrosities pretend to be, where the flowers and herbs are noticeable and smell good, and the base is actually what's advertised. That's what Exit The King smells like to me.

As a perfume nerd, I quite love this as an idea. This is what every unremarkable Hugo Boss and Kenneth Cole discounter masculine claims to be but isn't, like an Axe body spray carefully recreated with care and precision.

But then, stepping back from the grand and playful idea, I'm just walking around smelling like every men's "bleu" cologne and I'm the only one who's in on the joke. It's like hiring a haute chef to recreate a McDonalds chicken McNugget. He'd probably use real chicken instead of McDonalds' infamous pink slime, and use better breading and more complex spices, but you'd still end up with a chicken nugget.

So I'm torn. I think this is really witty and clever - if I were a perfumer, I'm sure I'd try to make something like this, just for fun and as a thought experiment. But I wouldn't want to buy this or wear it regularly, so I just can't bring myself to rate this higher than a neutral.
9th June 2021