In this edition of Fragrant Femmes I’m absolutely delighted to introduce Liz Moores from Papillon Artisan Perfumes who is about to release her fifth perfume, the woodland beauty otherwise known as Dryad. Liz has a small but wonderfully formed collection of fragrances and I know that many perfume lovers are anticipating this new creation with fervour. Salome, her prior release found a number of fans with its rip-roaring naughtiness and sensual delight and many of us wonder what she has up her sleeves for the next Papillon incarnation.
Liz’s Instagram description of herself is revealing and a wonderful mix of her life in the New Forest :
Priestess of Fragrance at Papillon Artisan Perfumes : Animal Lover : Nature Worshipper : Mother : Champagne and cocktails : I hide in the forest
So with that very brief introduction let’s learn a little more about Liz Moores, a fabulous Fragrant Femme who kindly agreed to answer these questions.
What was the trigger that made you start your own perfume line?
I began creating perfumes for friends and family members and saw the potential for a business. It was something I loved to do and, fearing regret more than failure, I decided to take a chance and go for it.
You’re launching your fifth perfume and it’s called Dryad. Can you tell us where your inspiration came from for this new creation?
It is really a combination of location and imagination. I am fortunate enough to live in the heart of the New Forest and am surrounded by gorgeous woodland. My interest in both mythology and pagan history came together in the creation of this fragrance. To put it simply, it was inspired by the earth. When walking through the forest it is impossible not to breathe in the incredible and entirely natural scents in the air; this really is the greatest inspiration I could ask for.
What three words would you use to describe Dryad?
Emerald, Citrine, Gold.
When you create a new perfume, what is the process that you go through? Is it always the same or does it vary?
While the inspiration can vary the actual process of creating the perfume is always the same. After I have conceived an initial sketch in my head, usually with a working name to accompany it, I begin experimenting in the studio with materials, working layer by layer until I am happy with the results. The fragrance will go through countless changes during this process. It is as demanding as it is rewarding and when the perfume is complete it’s always interesting to go back and look at the barely recognizable roots where the journey began.
Where do you look for inspiration for your creations, in general?
First and foremost, my inspiration comes from nature. Whether it is the roses in my garden, or the leather of the saddle when I ride my horse, I am most inspired by natural elements and the beauty they present. It is a source of inspiration that can never run dry. When I have taken these initial ideas, they begin to naturally weave with other influences such as the literature I am reading or various forms of artwork.
Which materials do you prefer to work with? Not like to work with?
I have always loved working with animalics for the sheer complexity they bring to a fragrance. Although some materials can be challenging, I am yet to find one that I don’t like working with.
For those of us who follow you on social media you have a full house and not only humans make their home there. You’re obviously someone who loves animals. In what way do you think this aspect of your life influences your perfume making?
Having a house full of animals, I suppose you could say I have become desensitized to the materials that may invoke a little repulsion in others! A huge part of my day is spent clearing up after them, so I certainly have a strong stomach when it comes to working with the, shall we say, less delicate materials in the studio. More than this though, the animals also allow me to explore texture in correlation with scent, be that snake scales, white owl feathers or the leopard fur of my Bengal’s, animals are a perfectly rounded sensory experience.
You’ve created a fantastic range of perfumes – Tobacco Rose, Angelique, Anubis, Salome and Dryad. All have very different personalities. Which do you think is most suited to you and why?
I have been asked this before and it is so incredibly difficult to answer. My children have their favourites, as do my friends and of course my customers, but I feel I have placed a flicker of myself into each of the fragrances making it so difficult to bind myself to just one. When I smell them, I think of the initial jolts of inspiration, the hours spent working on various mods, and excitement of the bottles arriving and all the other waves of experience that goes alongside each of the fragrances. It’s almost impossible for me to wear them without them conjuring earlier days or memories of their conception and therefore each one is special to me in a unique way. Like so many of us, my choice of perfume for the day is dictated by my mood, and each personality in my collection gets their time to shine.
What sort of feeling and experience do you want to create with your perfumes for your customers?
Perfume is so incredibly personal; although I, of course, have my own ideas and inspirations behind the fragrances that I am happy to share, the moment it rests on someone else’s skin it is entirely theirs. For me, the greatest experience for my customers would be a fragrance they can wear with confidence that will encapsulate the unique and powerful capacity that fragrance has in both defining and invoking memories. I do not have a demographic for my perfumes, and I never will. I create perfumes that I believe are beautiful, and are certainly made with attention and passion; I release them into the world in the hope that people will feel the same. I do not think about creating a fragrance for a particular type of person. In the same breath, I do not consider gender. For those who fall for a Papillon fragrance, I can only hope their experience is as romantic as my own when I have found a scent that I adore.
How do you balance the creativity along with the business side?
I focus heavily on the creative side. It takes a long time to create a perfume and without them there is no business side! I have a business partner who takes care of some of the other aspects, as well as occasional outside help. Posting orders, replying to emails, social media and bottling all have to be worked into my daily life. You learn to prioritize over time, and my priority has always been and will always be the creation of the fragrances themselves.
Which three perfumes (already created and not by your hands) do you wish you’d created and why?
There is only one perfume that I wish I had created and that is Shalimar. It is a fragrance that has truly stood the test of time. From the stunning bottle to the delicate silk tie, it is a perfume I wore in my teens and still do now.
What do you see in the future for Papillon?
I am always coming up with new ideas for perfumes and plan to continue working on beautiful fragrances. I do not have a specific plan, but I will allow Papillon to grow organically as I always have.
Photo : Bulgarian Rose Otto and Rose Centifolia Absolute
If you were going to offer a few pointers to those who would like to follow in your footsteps, what key pieces of advice would you pass onto them?
Know your materials! Especially when it comes to naturals. They are complex but fundamental in creating any perfume.
A huge thank you to Liz for answering these questions and hopefully you will have a small glimpse into her creative world and inspiration for Papillon.
Next up we have a review of Dryad, the new perfume from Liz and Papillon + a cocktail dreamed up by Liz that is a perfect match for this wonderful new fragrance. So come back and visit tomorrow.
Notes : All photos from Liz Moores Instagram – a very small selection of her animals and the nature that surrounds and influences the Papillon creations. The featured image is of Liz pictured with Ghost, her owl.