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Tobacco Rose - First stop in the Rose Garden – January 8, 2016

Image - Liz Moores of Papillon Artisan Parfumes -

Liz Moores created a trio of outstanding fragrances to launch her niche brand, Papillon Artisan Perfumes in late 2014: divinely dark leather Anubis, ethereal iris Angélique, and wickedly addictive Tobacco Rose. These three scents displayed a new artisanal talent that got niche noses twitching immediately, and generated a lot of well-earned buzz through 2015 as word spread, and when Liz added a fourth scent in the fall - the unashamedly carnal floral, Salome - the praise soared to the scented heavens. Her fragrances are classic notes interpreted with a very modern twist, unique blends of vintage and 21st century sensibilities that have the power to stir the perfume soul, especially mine.

In Tobacco Rose, Liz takes the rose note and gives it an inspired make-over. On her website, she says: "Anthropomorphised throughout literature and poetry the illustrious rose is immortally bound to its sweet, old fashioned and pretty stereotype…”  so her main creative focus was on changing the perception of the rose note, to transform it from dated to divine.

How does she do it? She starts with pure rose, distillations of Rose Centifolia and Rose Damascena (Bulgarian Rose), the sweet and the dark versions of velvety full-blown blooms, fusing them together in a perfect blend that conjures a summer rose garden at the peak of perfection. Vegetal, sweetly aromatic, peppery, earthy.

And then Liz layers in bits of metallic green geranium leaves and amber honeyed beeswax which add a sweaty animalic waft, plus real warmth in the floral heart. As it dries down, a damp mossy hay accord slides in under the jammy rose creating a dark underside, with hints of smoky tobacco and leather, which thrusts Tobacco Rose right into seduction territory. Cigarette, mon cher?

Most definitely not old-fashioned and pretty, moving from feminine to masculine and everything in between, Liz Moores’ majestic rose note in Tobacco Rose ends up exactly where I think she intended, rich, earthy, heady, erotic… in the land of the divine.

Liz makes all her perfumes in the artisanal style, in small hand-made batches, and in a recent interview, she says she always adds 3 drops of ambergris tincture to Tobacco Rose before she seals each bottle, which adds an distinct richness and depth as the perfume ages. It’s this attention to creative detail that sets her apart in todays perfume universe. She loves the art of making perfume, she loves her perfumes. I love her perfumes, too.

In this world that definitely demands we stop and smell the roses in order to stay sane and grounded, I recommend that you make Tobacco Rose your first stop in the rose garden.

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