It is very interesting that when it comes to successful scents, one sooner or later has to stumble on the perfume house Guerlain.
This is such case too. The Papillon Rouge brand was founded in 2007 by a former Marketing Director of Guerlain Virginia Choné. During operation Guerlain she marketed such classics as the Champs-Elysées (my spring perennial, if something can be called a perennial for me…), Coriolan, Mahora, Guet-Apens …
And she is doing well on her own. Her perfumes are successful, made mostly from natural ingredients and I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised by the price-quality ratio.
Moreover, in addition to larger bottles, she also offers 30ml packagings, which I think is the ideal size. Enough for you not to be too frugal with it and not so much to wonder how to use the rest when bored with the smell and looking for a change.
In Slovakia, this brand is available at the perfumery Le Parfum Le Chic, who also kindly provided samples for our testing.
The names of scents are picked simply and very romantically. In accordance with the brand name each scent carries a name of different species of butterflies.
The scents from this line are in the Eau de Parfum concentration in simple packages originally with a silver color label, recently updated to red color label.
In 2019 a set of six perfume extracts was added to the Haute Parfumerie Konection, packed in beautiful leather case, all of them various etudes on the patchouli topic.
Let me start with one of the biggest magnificient butterfly representing the most magnificient scent.
The Monarque/Monarch butterfly is beautiful, huge (it’s wingspan is 10 cm, so a butterfly the size of a larger coffee saucer…) a migratory butterfly of bright orange color, interspersed with black veins. It migrates every year from the USA and Canada to Mexico, where it overwinters and then flies back again. The place where it overwinters in Mexico, “Reserva de la Biosfera de la Mariposa Monarca” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it must be wonderful.
And how does it smell? The same as it looks… orange immortelle with amber labdanum, interspersed with slightly smoky patchouli… .beautiful, sunny, warm, spectacular-radiant scent. Suitable in my opinion completely universally, to warm you up in the winter while in the summer heat it will evolve into a wonderful bright-amber-like luxurious tones, like the burning sun on a cloudless sky.
Night carnation. Extravagant dark red carnation with old whiskey, which he definitely does not plan to dilute with ice, spiked instead with a couple of cloves. And if on his nightly round sometimes from the dark alleys comes a little cigarette smoke, so it is just a part of the mood.
Manteau Royal / Royal Coat
One of the novelties is the fragrance Manteau Royal, meaning royal coat, named according to the butterfly which has a much less magnificent name in Slovak (Aspen Grandma – no, I don’t know why…), but the look is definitely reminiscent of a royal cloak.
And the scent is royal without any debate.
Beautiful light tuberose with alternating green tones, light spring tones flowers and sometimes I feel something like freshwater tones. Non-violent, clean flowery perfume, calm and clear as a garden fishpond. Right, that’s the one from the fairy tale book where the fairies dance around.
The beginning is truly adorable, pink, the scent of bright pink rose from Grasse, then slightly ticklish spicy tones with a little bit of sweet myrrh. At the end smell more subtle spicy tones of ginger. Beautiful scent. On a wet day bitterish tones of blackcurrant and cardamom stand out more.
Great staying power is a bonus.
Ok, so they really can handle tuberoses!!! Amazing and unconventional scent – unisex tuberose. Tuberose without any compromises, but beautifully coordinated with leather tones that make it much more versatile. It’s green framed on one side by fresh fig trees and on the other by patchouli, but this heart is long, clear and pronounced… .In complete drydown I have a gentle smell of white tic-tac mints.
A very sharp beginning, reminiscent of a rusty old knife blade… with which we peacefully cut mandarin fruits, those with a thin skin, which peel so poorly and have a pound of tiny seeds, but inside have a juicy sweet flesh, so at the end it is worth all the trouble anyway. Then add a little cypress green. It does end there, all the development, but it’s nice and surprisingly it holds very well.
So this is a completely different mandarin fruit. Rather tangerine. Beautiful sweet, fragrant, with a little saffron. It might be a bit like a luxury canned mandarins, but this way it sounds a bit too culinary and the smell is defilitely not kitchen-related… so O.K., it is a little, and there might be something slightly burning there. Probably this was supposed to be an incense. But fairly quickly stopped, we went back to luxury canned fruit and it stayed that way. Perhaps it doesn’t look like that according to my description, but it’s a nice, friendly scent.
I put a lot of hope into this scent when reading the composition, a habit that bites me back frequently. Well, but this time!!! This time it was a really big bite…
A fabric-softener mandarin, into which slipps a little the Mandarin Carnival from The Merchant of Venice, which however is kept within tolerable limits somehow reminiscent of a soft light sweater, here it’s just a big splash of fabric softener straight from the bottle. Cheap fabric softener of a pastel-apricot color, sold in large containers.
The name may mean a butterfly, but this one admiral, it is an old-world gentleman (well, so not so old-worlded to smell by fish and had to fight pirates) in a white ceremonial
navy uniform, with all those linings and gold cords and all the parade that belongs to it, that also includes quality cologne with bergamot and lavender. He dessed-up perhaps for an important visitor, with whom he sits now on the captain ‘s bridge, and they enjoy a sunny summer day and the sea breeze. I’ve tried this fragrance in a quite hot summer day and I think it’s absolutely marvelous. Let me add, that it is a cologne by the style, it’s endurance and projection definitely match the concentration of Eau de Parfum.
Very bituminous scent, lightened by a drop of citrus. However, resins are intended for burning, a lemon drop evaporates quickly, and then resin nuggets begin slowly to heat up and gradually the ribbon of light fragrant smoke begins to rise….
Very interesting combination of resins and (not too sweet) sweet liquorice. As if those resins kept liquorice away from candy tones and it in turn slightly softened and
dissolved them so they aren’t so solid and, um, bituminous, well. And then adds a little powdery musk, which blends into a very pleasant, warm, even “cuddly” fragrance. During drydown, the also get a light tic-tac mints tone.
According to the composition, I expected many things, but definitely not an acacia honey. Later, sometimes, a hay-dry tone of the tobacco slowly grows in intensity, in the heart it is quite pronounced, although it is still secondary to the honey, and then both merge. Beautiful.
HPK – Haute Parfumerie Konection
So first of all I would like to emphasize that patchouli is a perfume ingredient that I struggled with for a while until we closed relatively successful truce (successful to the extent that a reminder has to be sent each time after the airspace is disturbed…). So not a matter of the heart, but rather a tolerable thing on my part. Out of this point of view, I have to state that the collection is an unexpected success, because out of the three scents I had the opportunity to try I immediately liked two of them.
Patchouli is a fragrant shrub, an essential oil is obtained from its leaves. While it has been used in perfumery for a very long time, for some reason in sixties hippies liked the scent, so it is often associated with this period. That might be why the collection has the subtitle “Woodstock Konection”.
I tried the following scents from it:
Patchouli sur Rendez-vous
It’s pretty weird, but the patchouli along with the fig and leather tones creates the illusion of fine, well-aged malt whiskey. Perhaps with a touch of wood and a little bit of honey. But it is beautiful. And distinctive. I would say it is more for men, although I can imagine the ladies who would carry it. Well, I wouldn’t see it as the safest choice for a date, though it has definitely some sexappeal. But rather a choice for a more mature man, since there is too few 18-year-olds bachelors who would carry this well. The risk is, the smell would carry them…
Ok, amber, patchouli, musk. Can anything still be interesting about it? Actually, it can and it is! For example, amber tones in the scent head… and they are actually there. And they cause that when the patchouli enters, it no longer enters to the empty space where it could do what it likes but it pours into a pleasant warm-sweet-golden-honey potion, which it just guides and anchors towards the woody, so it is not oversweetened and suitable for unisex use… ..and out of nowhere in drydown a little musk appears and as a bonus also beautiful fragrant dry cinnamon…
Patchouli Secret Fever
If you want to take Patchouli for a beer, here you go. Best to go to the Old Malt-house (I meaqn a particular an old now defunct beer pub in my city), honor it’s immemorial memory, even with the lacquered wooden benches. As Patchouli is here in full parade, reinforced by two or three mugs of beer, strongly encouraged by the malt. It is a “must” for patchouli lovers – at least to try – and I’m saying goodbye and quietly leaving….