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La Chasse aux Papillons – Still a best-seller - June 26, 2015


“Imagine a summer garden flooded with sunshine, full of delicate white flowers, jasmine, orange blossom, tuberose and lime blossom; scents mingling to intoxicate the senses…. this is La Chasse aux Papillons (Chasing Butterflies), the scent of sun-kissed skin, luminous and transparent…” L’Artisan Parfumeur website

I didn’t have to imagine this scene this morning. I experienced it in my own garden as I drank my coffee, the sun warming the honeysuckle vine climbing the fence, my next-door neighbour’s fragrant linden tree wafting its sweet limey-floral scent on the breeze, our balcony pots waving with lemon-scented white spider lily blooms. The scent of these late-June white florals swirling together on the warm breeze came and went, and then changed as the sun went higher in the sky, but it led me to my perfume shelf a couple of hours later. My memory told me that there was a close match in one of my bottles so I picked up La Chasse aux Papillons and spritzed my wrist, sniffed several times, then waited and sniffed again.

It smelled close, very close. The listed notes for Anne Flipo’s 1999 fragrance are linden blossom, lemon tree blossom, orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose. The beginning is fresh and softly citrus, led by the distinctive limey top note of the linden blossom, and the lemon blossom, then followed a minute or so later by the sweet undernote of the linden. The citrusy sweetness develops more with honeyed orange blossom, becomes momentarily spicy with the addition of jasmine, and finally the floral accord segues into the heart and base as a splendid velvety-soft tuberose. This is a young green tuberose note highlighted with hints of vegetal green leaves and grasses and bits of citrus blossoms, with none of the heavy indolic maturity found in the iconic Fracas or Carnal Flower.

La Chasse aux Papillons is an extremely pretty, ultra-soft white floral perfume that can be worn anywhere by anyone. The scent has a medium duration on my skin, which gives me the pleasure of spritzing it again later in the day, and enjoying the fresh opening accord and the dry-down all over again. It’s no surprise that the original La Chasse aux Papillons is still the top-seller of all the L’Artisan Parfumer fragrances in many parts of the world.

La Chasse aux Papillons feels light and airy, and floats on my skin with an ethereal gentle beauty like the touch of a butterfly. I resisted loving this fragrance for several years because it seemed too light, too gentle. But I’ve come to realize that truly beautiful and real floral scents, like the smell of my garden this June morning, ARE very light and gentle, and also short-lived. Not many perfumes authentically replicate the subtlety of real floral accords, so that’s why I’ll reach for La Chasse aux Papillons through the summer months. It will make me very happy to re-live a moment in time and smell my June garden in July and August.

La Chasse aux Papillons is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.