Blog post by Gwen
When 24 Papyrus de Ciane by Pierre Guillaume Paris first came out, I had gotten a sample of it and really loved it. But as often happens, life got in the way, and it got back-burnered. It was brought back to mind during a recent phone conversation with a good friend who had just returned from Paris. When I asked her if she had bought any perfumes while she was away, without missing a beat, she said, “Papyrus de Ciane.” “What do you like about it?” I asked. That was all she needed to launch into a glowing monologue about the fragrance. It was clear that I had to give Papyrus de Ciane some attention. I fished out my sample, tried it out over a few days and soon had my own bottle.
Indie perfumer Pierre Guillaume is one of the most talented perfumers working today. He has created some of my favourite fragrances, but they are hard to get a hold of mainly because M. Guillaume maintains strict control over the brand and positions the way he positions his scents in the marketplace. For Pierre Guillaume, his creations are all about the experience. For example, while each scent is named, it is known by the number on the bottle. Papyrus de Ciane, therefore, is, technically, PG24. In this way, the wearer is not influenced by preconceived notions of gender or olfactory type when trying the scent. I like it. Keep an open nostril; you never know what goodness might waft in. But enough of this; let’s get to the inspiration for the scent.
Located on the west side of the Porto Grande harbour in Sicily, Fonte Ciane is a pool of clear, blue water that feeds the Ciane River and is the only place in Europe where papyrus still grows wild. At one time, it was the centre of a paper-making industry. Today it is a protected nature preserve and one of Sicily’s top tourist spots.
An ancient, sacred site, it gets its name from the naiad Ciane. According to one version of the Greek myth, Ciane saw Hades abducting her BFF Persephone in order to make her his wife. Ciane tried to stop him, and he turned her into a pool of deep blue water in his anger.
So, what does 24 Papyrus de Ciane smell like? It opens with bergamot and galbanum - citrusy and green but soon sweetened by neroli. In the middle, it gets all more aromatic with lavender. Leathery labdanum and incense appear; clove warms it up and adds a hint of spice. At the base, Mousse de Saxe gives it a mossiness along with a gorgeous licorice/leather accord that is just heart-stoppingly beautiful. Vetiver heightens the greenness, and musk provides woodiness and smoothes the composition.
24 Papyrus de Ciane is a complex scent with no sharpness, angles, or harshness. It’s green, powdery, licorice/leathery, woody, soft and creamy and such a pleasure to wear.
Check out 24 Papyrus de Ciane in our Shop.