Empyreal Iris: Angélique – Papillon Perfumery

I wrote briefly yesterday about the launch of Papillon Perfumery, the brand created by perfumer Liz Moores. What I didn’t mention is that at one of Odette Toilette‘s events, I smelled a scent created by Liz that captured the smell of her grandmother.  It captured the scent of most grandmothers, as far as I could tell, and I was sent back in time to the late 80s and the overgrown garden at Nanny Rudge’s house (my Nan’s Mum).


Back in January, Liz sent me samples of her collection. Whilst all 3 of them are incredibly well crafted fragrances, Angélique is the fragrance that spoke to me most – which means its probably the most divisive to the marketplace (sorry, Liz!).

Angélique opens with the doughy scent of watercolour peaches pressed against skin: an effect caused by the interaction of osmanthus, beautiful yellow flowers that connect apricot jam and drying tea-leaf facets, cedarwood, like warm skin and sawdust, and orris -itself fluttering between violet, carrots, skin, leather, bread, powder, earth, and gunmetal. A suggestion of feet pressed into fresh earth in early May, of suede fringing strung with translucent white petals and yellow blossoms, blowing in a gentle breeze, and barely perceptible silvery wafts of frankincense smoke from a pomander hanging around the neck. A muted, honeyed mimosa note provides a sunny yellow warmth and dusting of pollen to an otherwise silver and earth toned fragrance, which remains plush and otherworldly throughout.

This is a scent of quiet contemplation and inner peace, of the kind of cheer that comes from understanding who you are. Iris is one of my favourite notes in perfumery – and the way that its facets have been respected and buffed into vision in this fragrance is very satisfying. I really am very excited to see what comes next from Papillon Perfumery, given the strength of the launching trio.

Comparative fragrances: Hiris by Hermes, Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens, Iris Pallida by L’Artisan Parfumeur, Iridium by Tom Daxon, Gold Man by Amouage, Reverie au Jardin by Tauer Perfumes.

[Disclaimer: As mentioned yesterday, I’m lucky enough to have become friends with Liz through social media. We’ve met once and chatted lots. I received samples of the fragrances with no obligation to review them – I have done so as I do with all of my reviews – because I feel that this fragrance is particularly beautiful and deserving of attention.]

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  1. Sorry I’m late. Just noticed your stunning review of one of my favourites. Your review sums up Angelique so much better than I could. It took me a long time to come round to the joy of iris, but in Liz’s hands I am putty. I always wear Angelique to christenings. For some reason it seems utterly right for that occasion. And for any occasion actually..

    Superb review.

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