New Perfume Review Papillon Artisan Perfumes Anubis- Smoke Gets in the Way

There is a new artisanal line of perfume out of England called Papillon Artisan Perfume. The creator and perfumer behind the line is Liz Moores. In June of 2014 she released her debut fragrances, Tobacco Rose, Angelique, and Anubis. These fragrances have only recently become widely available outside of the UK. As it is with many independent perfumers the first offerings can be a bit uneven but I often see the foundation of someone who has the potential to grow into a creative force. This is the case with the first three release for Ms. Moores. Each of them have moments when I start to see a complete idea form only to have a couple of notes throw it off kilter and make it feel like there was never an idea there in the first place. This is a common issue with first-time perfumers they need someone who is not friend or family to let them know more is not necessarily better. Of the three inaugural releases Anubis feels the most finished to me.

liz mooresLiz Moores (Via Papiilon Perfumery website)

Anubis is the Egyptian god of the afterlife and he is a man with the head of a jackal. Anubis the fragrance feels a bit like that depiction as it has elements in it which feel as if they shouldn’t go together and are sort of shoehorned in. Ms. Moores seems to envision the Egyptian afterlife as a smoky place as the early going of Anubis is all about smoke and how much you can add. For the first hour or so it is almost all smoke and then Ms. Moores attempts a transition but she uses immortelle and this is where Anubis figuratively clunks for me. The immortelle feels out of place like after I’ve waved the smoke away the maple syrup aspect of immortelle is just lying there. Through the early part of Anubis’ development this was disappointing but then Ms. Moores turns the back half of Anubis into something quite wonderful. Once the fans have cleared all the smoke and maple syrup away what is left is a supple suede leather accord that she ingeniously uses jasmine to complement. This part of Anubis is as good as it gets. It has the richness of jasmine over the softness of leather. This time Ms. Moores’ transition is perfectly executed as she uses benzoin and myrrh to lead to a frankincense dominated base. All of this together is really quite wonderful and I particularly enjoy the latter half of the ride.

Anubis has 14-16 hour longevity and above average sillage.

I am looking forward to seeing Ms. Moores further develop her line as the latter half of Anubis definitely convinces me there is talent there. Now if she’ll just find someone who can serve as editor I think the future can be bright.

Disclosure: This review is based on samples I purchased.

Mark Behnke

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