Today Liz Moores of Papillon Perfumes released her latest creation, Dryad. She says that she’s been working on the formula for several years, including the when she shoved it in a drawer in frustration and left it there for a year or five.
I’ve known this green chypre was coming for about a year, as I follow Liz on Facebook and Instagram. Given my love for this genre and her other fragrances, particularly the voluptuous oriental Salome, I leapt at the chance to try it.
I am an unapologetic fan of what I call ‘proper’ chypres – ones that rely on oakmoss not patchouli married with bergamot to give them a brisk smack to start and a warm, skin-melding base. While fruits such as peaches (Mitsouko) or plums (Femme de Rochas) give a stained-glass warmth to some classic chypres, my preference is for the green or leathery variety. But these ladies are not what they once were; Cabochard with her purse-lipped leather smack is grumpier and more of a caricature now, my precious Miss Balmain with her ‘good leather handbag for church’ aura has been discontinued, and my Miss Dior (l’Originale) is now a shadow of her former eyebrow-arching, pearl-clutching self. While I can still enjoy my vintage bottles, before they give up the ghost and go off, there have been no genuine mossy green chypres to replace them. Until now.