I can’t remember a time when I’ve been this impressed by the launch of a new fragrance line. British perfumer Liz Moores is the creator of Papillon Artisan Perfumes and this is her first collection of three eau de parfums.
All three are of extremely high quality and incredibly long-lasting. The compositions are original twists on classic themes and wonderfully wearable (plus the bottles are gorgeous too). They are truly artisan, made by hand using a high percentage of raw materials.
Here are my thoughts on each perfume in more detail:
Includes notes of suede, jasmine, pink lotus, immortelle, frankincense, myrrh and saffron.
Anubis was the Egyptian god of death and embalming and at first it does indeed smell like an ancient balm used to anoint the body in some kind of sacred ritual. It has the quality of a precious oil more than a perfume. The opening is bold and masculine leaning and deeply resinous.
As it settles it becomes a lot less primal and far more refined. The immortelle blends in perfectly, adding body and a touch of sweetness to alleviate the intense dryness of the resins. I notice a sweetly floral undercurrent and an almost buttery note which reminds me of the saffron in Cuir de Lancome. It’s as if flower petals and saffron fronds have been infused in oil and massaged into a soft piece of suede.
Several hours in and it changes again, turning dark and smoky as birch tar leather spiked with incense takes over. Amazingly, the embers smoulder on the skin in this manner for the rest of the day and long into the night.
Anubis is very striking and extremely sophisticated. It’s a statement perfume which would wear particularly well in cool weather. Transporting, sensual and mysterious, you can’t encounter it without being utterly compelled. I can imagine some finding it more than a little addictive.
Includes notes of Bulgarian rose, rose centifolia, oakmoss, beeswax, hay and ambergris.
Tobacco Rose starts off rosy green like a bud encased in leaves. Within half an hour it opens up to reveal a vivid red rose in full bloom. I haven’t come across a rose that is so close to the scent of the real thing. It feels like I’ve rubbed rose petals onto my skin and am left with a strong impression of their scent. Plush and intoxicating, this rose may be at the point of tipping over into decay but right now it is living and breathing at its absolute peak.
The distinctive honeyed sweetness aided by the beeswax is perfectly counterbalanced by hay and vetiver, creating a background of dark earthiness. This intensifies towards the end as the rose returns to the soil from which it came.
Although the composition also features rose centfolia, I happily find it dominated by the deeper Bulgarian rose Otto. I’ve loved this essential oil for a number of years but never really found it in perfume form to my liking. Tobacco Rose has now fulfilled that desire perfectly with its rich, seductive beauty.
It has turned out to be my unexpected favourite of the three. I can’t get enough and find myself craving its aroma. Liz has far surpassed her goal of combating the common perception that rose fragrances are old-fashioned.
Includes notes of mimosa, orris, white champaca, frankincense, osmanthus and cedarwood.
Angélique immediately makes me think of classic French perfumery. It is decidedly Guerlain-esque in feel at first with its combination of high quality iris and almond-like mimosa. It has a gentle character but doesn’t lack presence. The fuzzy apricot tone of osmanthus adds a subtle fruity accent. There’s a gorgeous spring-like, dewy freshness at this opening stage that is no doubt due to the champaca.
Further down the line, it takes on marshmallow style sweetness and becomes pillowy, soft and a tad powdery in texture. The overall effect is delectable but not quite edible, like a pâtissier’s grand confection that looks too fabulous to eat. It’s super pretty and brings to mind pastel shades of pink, lemon and baby blue. Effortlessly elegant, you could wear it with jeans and a T-shirt and instantly feel pulled together. It’s a “go anywhere, do anything” type of perfume that still has heaps of style.
Angélique is soothing and comforting but there’s a feeling of melancholia about it too. It’s bittersweet, like a smile tinged with sadness.
Hopefully these mini reviews have piqued your interest. The perfumes are available exclusively at Les Senteurs in London for the next six months and you can find a sample service at papillonperfumery.co.uk. Liz is in talks with retailers abroad, so fingers crossed fragrance fans overseas will get to experience this quality collection soon.
Do any of these three new perfumes appeal to you?
That’s settled then. Meet you there. xxx
Definitely. Les Senteurs watch out!
They all appeal to me! 🙂
Especially since they got such high praise from you. Plus, I like the names and the notes (even frankincense doesn’t scare me combined with the rest).
Ah, thanks Ines. I’m sure you’d be impressed with all three. They’re so well done and I agree the names are great.
I got to try all three. Liz promised to send me samples as soon as she deals with the shipping company
I understand shipping negotiations are well underway so hopefully you’ll get your samples soon.
Liz explained that she had almost everything done and then she learned the company can’t ship to one of the countries. She had to look for a new delivering agent.
Oh what a pain. Shipping perfume from the UK is such a nightmare.
till today there seems to be no solution. in 2014 no way to ship some samples from uk to germany, for me somehow unbelievable….
at les senteurs i also cant find their products 😦
It is a ridiculous situation. It feels like we’re going backwards.
I think the perfumes will be available at Les Senteurs from July.
Oh Tara,I have always enjoyed your reviews,but lately it’s gone to another level,so expressive and vivid!Desperate to try these perfumes,Tobacco Rose sounds amazing,but I am intrigued by Angelique as well,on some days,baby blue is just the thing!
Ariane, thank you so much for that lovely compliment. It means a lot. I think regular practice is helping!
I really hope you manage to try these three. They are well worth it.
You are so right, Ariane! Tara has really hit her stride – she writes fantastic reviews.
I will try them the coming days and I have to say: they all appeal to me. I also think it’s good that the line starts out with 3, not 6 or even more…this way we can concentrate on the scents without getting lost in making choices. Lovely reviews and looking forward to seeing you tonight, Tara.
Yes, I totally agree. A new launch with a big collection just overwhelms me and it ends up putting me off (it doesn’t take much I’m afraid).
Looking forward to seeing you tonight too!
All three sound lovely. I hope I get to try them someday. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them.
Hi poodle, I understand Liz is in talks with US stockists so fingers crossed you will have access to them before too long.
Hi Tara. All three perfumes sound very good indeed. Especially Anubis and Angelique interest me. I hope they will have a sample pack soon. xo
I can imagine you wearing both Anubis and Angelique. Hopefully the sample service will be available to those outside the UK very soon.
Wow – there really has been a buzz around these three perfumes, but it was your wonderful reveiws that finally pushed me over the edge (especially Tobacco Rose, but then Anubis sounds fascinating and what a great name) – just pressed the button on the sample pack! x
Ooh exciting Alex! Let me know how you get on. I think Tobacco Rose would be great on you and I’m sure you’ll like the other two as well. Anubis is such a great name.
Hope you’re coming to Roullier White tonight x
Sadly I can’t make this evening – but have a wonderful time, I’m looking forward to reading all about it! x
It’s a cocktail party in the store so not sure they’ll be much to share but I’ll take pics and see if I can make a post out it. Very sorry not to see you there.
Nail on head – you’ve captured these three wonderfully, Tara. Like you, I can’t remember when I’ve been so impressed by a new line. Oh and Tobacco Rose is my favourite too! Great minds, eh? 😉
Ha ha Great minds indeed 🙂
Love Tobacco Rose and if it was good enough for Nigel to wear on your wedding day, then it’s certainly good enough for me.
Les Senteurs, there are more of us to come !
Tara, you made them sound so nice – how did you find it ?
I really liked the sound of them when Thomas did a review for The Candy Perfume Boy and Liz then kindly offered to send me samples.
Next time you come to London you must try them – and then have dinner with me 🙂
Yesss!!! That’s exactly how we are going to do it ! As soon as possible 🙂
Good, good, good!
Beautiful reviews – you have totally nailed these three, and as ever your finely attuned nose picks up on far more facets of each perfume than I could. My runaway favourite is also Tobacco Rose – the hay and rose notes are great in that – and while the opening of Anubis was too manly for me as leather perfumes go, I do agree about the later stages being reminiscent of Cuir de Lancome now you mention it. Angelique I must retry, also in the light of Nick’s review. On first trial it was overshadowed by my instant attraction to Tobacco Rose, but it may well have a different role as more of a casual everyday scent. Everything about this launch has been beautifully executed, with great attention to detail, and I hope it is a runaway success!
Make that ‘elegantly executed’ – can’t have too ‘beautiful’s in one para?!
You can have several beauitfuls in one para only if it’s about Tara 🙂
You are TOO sweet M.
You are quite right, M!
Aaah, V! 🙂
Thanks, V. Although my nose honestly isn’t that great!
I was wondering what your favourite would be. Now I know. You, Thomas and I are on the same wave-length.
You should try Angelique again. I think it would make a wonderfully elegantly casual (or casually elegant) everyday scent for you. I love the drydown of Anubis.
I totally agree that Liz has really gone about it the right way. It was definitely worth those (3 I think) years in the making. I’m sure the collection will be a soaring success.
Aren’t they all divine?
I tried them some time ago and my tiny vials have been among my most treasured possessions since.
So pleased to hear there’s at last somewhere to go to buy them in full size!
Liz deserves all the praise that will be rightfully heaped on her for these brilliant creations.
The Perfumed Dandy
Nice to hear that you’ve been impressed too Dandy. We are lucky to be living in the UK for once 🙂
I agree Liz deserves the praise. She’s worked so hard and the result is this great collection.
I can see you in Angelique.
Such high praise from everybody and especially you, and these beautiful reviews, makes me incredibly curious.
I had to laugh at my own predictability; when I started reading the notes for Angelique I thought that one appealed to me, only to find your first sentence being me in a nutshell “Angélique immediately makes me think of classic French perfumery. It is decidedly Guerlain-esque…” and I love your description “It’s bittersweet, like a smile tinged with sadness”.
I KNEW Angelique had your name on it. Too funny.
You’re not predictable in a bad way at all. We each have our own style and yours is a very classy Guerlain-esque one. Nothing wrong with that!
hehe, sometimes I *do* surprise myself too though, good that’s it’s not all predictable.
I am so looking forward to trying these. I contacted Papillon on FB and they said they still have not found a place in the US to sell them. Thank you for the wonderful review!
Thanks for reading, Tora.
I hope Liz gets a US stockist very soon. I think you’ll enjoy sampling these three.
I tried Angelique again last night – I don’t know if it was just the suggestion of its name or what – but I got a very flinty, watery, almost metallic opening which made me think it was angelica, though I seen none listed in the notes. That is probably the champaca as you say – perhaps with a hint of iris already? In the later stages it was more rooty, and I get the comparison to Hiris Nick made, and the pillowy powdery vibe you evoke. I sense this might be an interesting chameleon of a scent!
I enjoyed your new take on Angelique, V. Wish I had some to re-test and compare.
I’m sure it is an interesting chameleon of a scent.
I love the composition of raw materials of Anubis. I am very interested in this fragrance.
The notes sound fascinating don’t they? Very intense to start with and then dries down beautifully.
Anubis is brilliant.I tried it last week in les senteurs. Unfortunately it is very similar to Guerlain’s songe which I have. So I’ll have to give it a pass. Tobacco rose is good but tobacco disappeared after a while and I was left with a faint rose. Angelique didn’t impress me but I didn’t give it much chance to be fair.
Nice to hear you’ve already tried these.
Angelique is the most subtle of the three so I think it can take more than one wearing to appreciate full (as Vanessa found above).
Anubis is such a striking perfume. i’m sorry to hear Tobacco Rose didn’t work for you, it’s my favourite of the three. It actually uses hay rather than tobacco so is not as potent as you might expect.
These are very persuasive reviews. I am going to have to try Tobacco Rose. I’m ashamed to confess I have ignored this line, because I really don’t like the word “papillon.” (I realize this is bizarre. Just to solidify that I’m a weirdo, I will add that I don’t like the words papasan or papadam either.)
Too funny. We’ll file that under your heading of “Irrational Perfume Prejudices”. We all them and it makes cutting down new releases easier at least.
I’m glad you’re going to try Tobacco Rose though. I’ll get it to you one way or another and I won’t mention the p-word 🙂
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I am so eager to try these. I have been reading so much about them and they sound amazing! I also like that she has launched just three!
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Thanks for the review! I have ordered bottles of Anubis and Tobacco Rose and a sample of Angélique. Can’t wait to receive them!
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