14 Jul 2012
( 5/5 )
Niche French perfume company Artisan Parfumeur has brought out a range of body products to accompany its La Chasse aux Papillons (Butterfly Hunt) fragrance.
The original fragrance was designed by perfumeur Anne Flipo in 1999 and is a light floral based on orange blossom, lemon blossom, limeflower, tuberose and jasmine. I have to confess that I haven't smelled the actual perfume, so I am reviewing the body products on their own merits.
The range consists of five items: Crème Fouetée pour le corps (whipped body cream, 70 euros for 200ml); Poudre de Parfum (powder perfume applied with a brush, 40 euros for 9 grams); Gel Parfumé pour la Douche (perfumed shower gel, 30 euros for 200ml); La Concrète de Parfum (solid perfume, 45 euros for 2.5g); L’Huile Sèche pour le Corps (dry body oil, 45 euros for 100ml; and Le Lait Parfumé pour le Corps (perfumed body lotion, 40 euros for 200ml).
The products Artisan sent me to try were the perfumed shower gel, perfumed body lotion and the solid perfume, all of which are ideal for layering.
The first thing to be said about them is that they are absolutely beautifully packaged, which is an important feature in a luxury product - accounting for about 50 per cent of the decision to buy, according to analysts: if you're going to shell out 40 euros for something, you want it to look the part, and it makes these items well worth purchasing as gifts.
The outer packaging is densely matt black card with pink accents, quite Japanese in tone. Inside, the bottles for the gel and body lotion continue the Japanese theme, being tall, square and with black tops. The tops are non-spill, while the solid perfume is housed in a small black velvet bag and then a heavy and beautifully engineered metal compact with a top that hinges sideways rather than upwards. The latter would make a great present for a loved one, as it has an inherent yumminess to it and is the item I'd most like to receive, although if buying for myself, the body lotion is the item I'd choose.
These products were joint-tested by me and my friend E, with whom I swim several times a week, and by numerous other women at the pool. E remarked that the fragrance was very womanly rather than girly, as although light, it has none of the fruitiness that scuppers so many modern formulations. She was also pleased that the bottles were filled all the way to the top, rather than wasting half of the design space on a large cap.
Both of us found the shower gel very light and pleasant to use - fresher than we'd expected - and I have also used it as a shampoo. Even the following day, my DH noticed that my hair smelled good. Meanwhile, the body lotion is very good indeed - light, non-greasy and leaves your skin delicately perfumed, but for a long time. The solid perfume is equally delicate, and nicely portable, given that the original fragrance comes in either 50ml or 100ml bottles. The fragrance itself is lovely - the only other I can think of that is similar is Nuits de Cellophane by Serge Lutens - and is a white floral bouquet with notes of jasmine and orange blossom, very delicate and pretty.
Both the gel and lotion are difficult to get out of the bottle, especially as the plastic is hard, without much give. It took me some time to work out the best technique, which is to turn the black top to open, turn the bottle upside down and give it a good hard shake, then squeeze. However, the non-spill top is well designed and the narrow profile is both attractive and ideal for my swimming bag, which has narrow slots for toiletry bottles. They would also not take up much space on a bathroom cabinet.
Mûre et Musc and Premier Figuier were the first Artisan perfumes to be given body ranges, and I expect we can expect more to be added in the future, given the cost of developing entirely new fragrances. All are available from www.artisan-parfumeur.com.