Launched in 2017 by Canadian niche brand Monsillage, Pays Dogon was inspired by Monsillage founder and nose Isabelle Michaud’s trip to Dogon Country in West Africa:
"In Mali, amidst the vast Sahelian plains, lies an impressive escarpment named the Cliff of Bandiagara which extends for 90 miles. This surprising geological formation creates a microclimate where humidity and aridity coexist, allowing lush vegetation spurts in a quasi desert setting. The area surrounding the Cliff is called Dogon Country and is inhabited by the Dogon people who took refuge there many centuries ago. They built their traditional dwellings directly onto the rocky slope, making it an architectural gem and an unforgettable sight. The isolation and rough terrain of the area allowed the Dogons to keep their independence and preserve their unique ancestral traditions based on animist beliefs, which celebrate the sacredness of the soul".
Pays Dogon opens with a note of green, something Ms. Michaud calls 'green oasis.' It's the lush vegetation mentioned above. A bracing note of black pepper adds a gentle warmth and earthiness to the oasis. Ginger adds a freshness and spiciness. As the top notes fade, I smell the soft floral note of hibiscus. So soft, it feels like it is being carried along on a breeze blowing over a woody, earthy base of Guaiac wood, earthy, woody, cypriol; aromatic, balsamy sandalwood, rich, dark patchouli and green, earthy Javanese vetiver. That's a lot of woodiness and earthiness, and a note of sweet date balances it beautifully.
Pays Dogon dries down to a soft, woody skin scent that smells like you've been to a place far away and exotic, off the beaten track yet familiar. I'm going to be buying and wearing a lot of Pays Dogon.
Notes: green oasis, black pepper, pink peppercorn, ginger, hibiscus flower, Guaiac wood, cypriol, sandalwood, patchouli, Javanese vetiver, date.