If you are looking for a light spring / summer floral and you love a tuberose that is not going to leave you begging for mercy look no further than this French classic – La Chasse Aux Papillons. And such a charming name to boot that roughly translates to ‘hunting butterflies’. The perfume is definitely on the whimsical side and I actually wasn’t that fussed the first few times I tried it. However I have blown through 2 x 7ml sprays of this pretty in pink number fairly quickly and it has slowly grown on me to the point where I am considering purchasing a bottle. There are also tempting prices at the moment in the sales. We shall see.
This perfume is from L’Artisan Parfumeur, one of the first niche perfume houses. They have a selection of now classic perfumes with a slight twist, including their beloved Mûre et Musc, Premier Figuier, Timbuktu and La Chasse Aux Papillons. This brand does have the unfortunate tendency to retire many of their perfumes, much to the chagrin of fragrance lovers everywhere, however recently they have been bringing back some of their old favourites. Tea for Two, a fantastic smoky brew of a perfume has recently returned to the fold. This was a Christmas present to myself so I’ll write about it when I’ve worn it a few more times. They have also aided perfume lovers by releasing a variety of sampler sets which are an excellent way to test perfumes as you can take time to get to know them before buying a bottle.
Nose: Ann Flipo : Year: 1999 : Notes : Tuberose, Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Lime Blossom (Linden), White Flowers (from Fragrantica)
Up front there is a real burst of tuberose and it’s sweet and simple in nature. It’s miles away from the fortissimo Carnal Flower or Fracas style. I happen to fancy those perfumes as well, but this is something at the other end of the tuberose scale – it’s not pianissimo but it’s definitely not loud. Not too softly mind. It’s a tad bubble gum as well, but there’s a grassy greenness that clips through the sweetness. The bloom is amplified with hints of orange blossom and jasmine, and a occasionally I detect a trace of hyacinth in there too. But for me tuberose is the star of the show.
There’s not a lot of development in this one, above all it is a straightforward, uncomplicated scent. It dries down to a fuzzy haze of a spring bouquet. Overall it’s very light and sheer, although for at least a couple of hours it does have some presence. It becomes very gauzy after this however so if you like to get huge longevity from your perfumes, this may not be the choice for you. I don’t actually find this a problem, I just spray a bit more when I want another tuberose shot or change perfumes when it wears off. This dress that Sienna Miller wore to the Golden Globes on Sunday night hints at the nature of this perfume for me – it’s not too serious, is lightly hued, has a little something extra and looks great.
What La Chasse Aux Papillons does have in spades is a real spring in its step. It feels very light and romantically pretty. It’s very easy to wear, and I’m finding that it’s often these types of scents that I reach for when I can’t make up my mind and need to leave the house quickly. La Chasse isn’t entirely without guile, the green tinge does make it more interesting than some others in this genre. It is not an edgy scent though, so if you’re looking for twists and turns you could try Nuits de Tubereuse by nose Bertrand Duchaufour, L’Artisan Parfumeur‘s other tuberose in its range – one with more potency. It’s a more complex tuberose with a lot of pepper up front and a woody base. Unfortunately for me there’s a spiky woody note in there that makes it a difficult wear for me, but I know it has its fans. There is also a La Chasse Aux Papillons Extreme which bizarrely on me comes across as more sheer and fleeting than the original.
The perfume is widely available in France, at the large department stores and an edited range can be found at Sephora and on Amazon as part of their Beauté Prestige collection. It is also available in L’Artisan stores and on their website. Also keep an eye on their regular sales where bargains can be picked up. It comes in a 50ml and 100ml size as well as being a component of their sampler packs.
The Lowdown : A light, straightforward tuberose dominant bouquet that will add a little spring to your step but won’t weigh you down. 3.5 étoiles
Ratings Guide : 5 étoiles: Masterpiece and a must buy : 4 étoiles: Seriously fabulous and a must try : 3 étoiles: Solid work but lacking that something extra : 2 étoiles: Just not my cup of tea : 1 étoile: Back to the drawing board
(NB: étoiles is French for stars)
Re the butterfly photos : The Laduree shop windows often feature butterflies and the pastel shaded macarons are perfect for this perfume.
Notes : Butterfly pictures : Taken By Me : Sienna Miller : Daily Mail UK : Bottle of perfume : Fragrantica