Some perfumes are slow burners. Some I dislike but respect. Some I fall for after one sniff. Angelique comes into the latter category. Papillon Perfume is a new kid on the block. Launching in June 2014, there are only three scents so far. However, I see a big future for this small artisan outfit led by nose Liz Moores. When I tried Angelique I adored it instantly and even more so as it bloomed and grew into its middle and latter phases. However, and I think I am not alone here, it is very hard to describe. I was thinking of violets and dried leaves and patchouli, when in fact, this is all about the Orris root, mimosa and the Iris. Here’s what the website says:
Cascades of French mimosa, osmanthus and white champac are woven between the powdered, violet facets of precious orris. Virginian cedarwood and subtle notes of frankincense bring an ethereal light and delicate freshness to this tender composition.
In fact I wasn’t wrong about the violets because some aspects of Iris can smell violet-y in a rooty, grown up non frivolous sort of way. Couple this with osmanthus (think apricot blossom) and yellow, summery mimosa and you might be starting to get the picture. What I will say is that just like a new song on the radio can sound like an instant classic to the point where you think you’ve heard it before but you haven’t: thus I felt that Angelique had always been there, so perfect and classic was it to my nose.
The notes are hard to imagine on paper, but when they’re all singing together in one voice like a choir, you get something quite beautiful that is a combination of violets, the lightness of a petal, a sandy base, some green notes, an blast of Iris and the kind of longevity you usually only get from Andy Tauer.
It’s an unusual combination of a bouquet on the turn: all yellowing and dried up, coupled with the youngest violets and the greenest of leaves. Because of its original and unexpected combination of notes, it is both one of the most perfect new perfumes I have ever smelled and the hardest to write about.
Samples are available from the Papillon Perfume website and from our friends Les Senteurs. One tiny grumble: the website’s white text on a black background made my migraine prone eyes feel very weird afterwards. Apart that, I joyously welcome Papillon Perfumes with open arms. I shall be reviewing the other two in good time: Anubis and Tobacco Rose.