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Anubis – Dark, leathery and deadly… - October 19, 2015

Image - Wikepedia - Anubis, jackal-headed God of  Funerals in Ancient Egypt - by Jeff Dahl

One of the pleasures of being a fragrance fanatic is learning about new lines, new perfumers and new fragrances. And in the past year or so there have been plenty of them to learn about, especially from the States. American niche lines seem to have exploded on the scene in the last couple of years, which is a good thing for people like us – more great frags to love, buy and wear. But it’s Papillon Artisan Perfumer, a niche line from the UK that has my full attention these days.

Started in 2014 by Liz Moores, with the quiet launch of three outstanding fragrances: Anubis, Angélique and Tobacco Rose, Papillon Artisan Perfumer has quickly become a niche fave. As people began to discover the line, chatter began to build, the line got more attention and praise and kudos for Ms. Moores creations followed. I was an early convert to the line and I can tell you that all the acclaim for Ms. Moores work is real and well-deserved

Liz Moores was a massage therapist who began mixing essential oils for her clients before turning her hand to creating fragrances. A few successes, a few failures, a lot of hard work, study and courses at the Fragrance Foundation in London, is the short story behind the creation of Papillon Artisan Perfumer. The stories I’m most interested though, in are the ones in the bottles. And right now, I can’t put Anubis down!

On the Papillon Artisan Perfumer website, Liz Moores says "Anubis began life as a signature scent for myself. I have always been drawn to dark, leathery scents and the metamorphosis of Anubis from personal sketch to final product has been considerable. It was nameless until it was completed and it was then that I realised my obsession with ancient Egypt had subconsciously manifested itself; the initial materials used, synonymous with mummification, have now been sweetened into a dark but delicious fragrance. After many reincarnations, Anubis was born."

Oh, Liz, drawn to dark, leathery scents are you? We have so much in common…..

Anubis opens with potent notes of smoke and leather that pull me right in as it gets thick and tarry and mouthwateringly bitter – I smell myrrh. A few delicious seconds later, and a note of indolic jasmine blooms and weaves through the smoke adding an animalic depth to Anubis, but giving it a sweetness too making it sexy, carnal and wanton. A floral note of lotus gives it an ethereal quality that counteracts the darkness, and stops it from going over the edge (yes, that would be a bad thing). Then, immortelle appears and adds a spicy warmth to it while musk smooths it so becomes warm suede. It sits like gently glowing embers on a base of deep resinous, leathery, woody labdanum, frankincense and sandalwood – my holy trinity – tempered with a note of leathery, earthy saffron.

This is one of the most realistic leather scents I have ever smelled  - definitely a neighbour of Knize Ten – and while Anubis has swagger, it also has a lot of charm which makes it more open to being worn by a woman.

I’ve read that quote from Moores, above, a few times and keep coming back to “the initial materials used, synonymous with mummification”. Anubis, just so you know, is the Greek name of a god associated with mummification and the afterlife in ancient Egyptian religion.

Well, I sure wouldn’t mind being swathed in this EdP for eternity in the afterlife, but until then, I’ll be wearing Anubis A LOT, especially in the cool/cold weather of fall and winter, just to keep things lively.

Anubis is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.