One of the great advantages of hanging out with people who REALLY know what they are talking about is that you get to learn about good stuff. At our Scent Salon, Odette Toilette introduced us to Papillon Perfumery, a brand new fragrance company, launched by the properly grown up mother of five, Liz Moores.
Starting with just three fragrances, Liz has caused something of a stir in the perfume world for the outstanding quality of her range. Reviews from people who really understand about fragrance have been glowing (this rarely happens as perfume people are wary of ‘upstart’ newcomers) and now I’ve tried them i can confirm they are gorgeous (my reviews are at the bottom of this post). I asked Liz a couple of questions about how the heck she turned from a stay at home mum into a perfumer.
So Liz, what’s all this about creating three beautiful fragrances then? Have you always wanted to be a perfumer? People seem surprised that you’re so good at it considering you’ve only just started
I could never have predicted that I would ever be in a position where I was making my own perfumes. I have always loved fragrance, but it wasn’t until around five years ago that I decided to create a perfume for myself. The initial curiosity and the process of making my own creation only further ignited my passion, and my interest continued to grow. The first steps of my experience with perfume, before Papillon had even been conceived, were focused upon making fragrances that I believe worked through trial and error, and I like to think I have stayed true to an honest and classical approach with the collection.
We recently had a scent salon where our readers were saying it’s nice to re-boot your fragrance selection once you’ve got a bit of perfume experience, would your fragrances be suitable for a mid-life image revamp? They certainly smell very sophisticated.
I think they are perfect for a mid-life revamp! I wholeheartedly believe that perfume taste changes and develops as much as we do; I like to believe that these fragrances are different from those that we may choose to wear in our teen years. I hope that people will wear them with a confidence that blossoms as we grow older. That said, I do not like to limit the collection by suggesting they cannot be worn by young girls, rather that they are perfect for someone looking for something different.
I love Anubis, which reminds me of old churches, what’s been your inspiration for creating the ranges? And why start with three?
I think it’s fantastic you have picked out this element of Anubis as I wanted the perfume to feel sacred. I had around four years to make the perfumes, and for me it isn’t feasible to create a finished scent in less than a year. I have a book of initial sketches, and I’m constantly playing with new ideas. Of all the sketches I had constructed, it was the collection that has been launched that I felt the most connected to; that is not to say any one of them came easily and they have each been altered and modified more times than I could mention!
I created each perfume using the classical composition methods that deploy a roughly 50% synthetic to 50% natural ratio and it is this formula that gives each perfume their own unique depth and richness. I used it not only for the finished effect, but because my love of perfume began with classic perfumery and I knew I wanted to weave the traditional techniques into my own fragrances. While they are each so different, I think it is this consistency in their composition that makes them work together as a collection.
Any advice to our readers on how to wear fragrance?
Wear lots of it! People tend to have a fear of “overdoing it”, and as a result beautiful perfumes are not having their moment to seduce and shine! Step out of your comfort zone; regardless of how well you make think you know your own tastes, you will ALWAYS surprise yourself in a positive way when you take the plunge and sample something new.
The three eau de parfum fragrances, which retail for £94, are;
Anubis. My favourite, is a heady mix of frankincense and saffron with vague hints of tropical florals courtesy of Egyptian jasmine, with a soft suede-y finish. Think lux-church incense mashed up with the way grand house interiors sometimes smell. There’s pink lotus involved too, but I’m guessing you don’t know what that smells like, neither do I.
Tobacco Rose. My bet is that this will be the best seller, it’s a delicious rich rose anchored by lingering woody overtones thanks to oakmoss and summery hits of beeswax. Long lasting, head to this one if you are a rose fan looking for a new grown up version to wear, you wont be disappointed.
Angélique. Very different from anything I’ve tried recently, this is a soft peachy-mimosa-floral which is actually made up of lots of osmanthus but again, you may not know what this smells like. It has a a slightly nostalgic feel to it, like something your mum might have worn but with a modern bent.