Monday 17 June 2019

BENGALE ROUGE by Papillon Perfumery

A new fragrance launch from a beloved company is always a source of excitement, but when the frenzy is generated by a niche perfume house’s pre-launch press samples then you know that something truly extraordinary is happening. The industry call it “pre-seeding” and it’s a way of drumming up interest, but it rarely results in the sheer number of advance reviews that Liz Moores is receiving for Bengale Rouge, the latest release from Papillon Perfumery. Luca Turin described her previous creations as having “confidence, balance, and polish,” and this newest addition to the collection echoes that observation.

The majority of artisan perfumers have one thing in common, they share a lack of long-term professional training. For some this can prove to be a hindrance later down the line but, for others, it can also be the nonconforming, create from the heart attitude that spells success. In Perfumes: The Guide 2018, Luca Turin wrote, “If there is an artisan perfumer out there who embodies the fact that native talent and application are sufficient to artistic achievement, it is Liz Moores.” However, how does Bengale Rouge fit into her current collection of five sensational fragrances?

If you follow Liz on social media then you can’t have missed seeing the insanity that usually descends in her house thanks to a collection of comedic Bengal cats. From fighting over the prime position in her daughter’s Peppa Pig pram to turning on the water taps and flooding the kitchen, these cats are the family’s constant companions and, in the case of Bengale Rouge, her inspiration. She said back in June 2018, “A sumptuous warm snuggle. A slick, slink streaks elegance; the padding of paws. Gilt dusted fur gleams in silken sunlight. A spellbinding purr bewitches, rolling beneath the suede of a soft, polished pelt. My muse.”

When I first interviewed Liz Moores for “Stephan’s Six” in 2016 she said of her childhood memories, “One of my favourite smells would have to be the remnants of perfume on a fur coat.” Now, I would describe Bengale Rouge as having a softness of touch that mixes with the richness of classical perfumery, so perhaps the fragrance’s inspiration actually stretches much further back than originally thought. This sixth release in the Papillon collection is as wonderfully exciting as the first and, in my opinion, shows once again that Liz Moores is a world class perfumer.

Bengale Rouge is every vintage perfume lover’s dream in that it plunges headlong into the drydown of a classic oriental without dallying on transient top notes. A glorious effect of cinnamon greets you instead and is accompanied by an exquisite Shalimar-esque blend of vanilla, benzoin, labdanum, and rose. The soft fur-like pairing of orris and sandalwood provides a comforting quality to the scent but a sweet myrhh touched with oakmoss gives the perfect conclusion, and a mysticism, to this feline inspired journey. Liz includes her animalic calling card with a touch of civet because, after all, who doesn’t like a hint of devious sensuality.

Bengale Rouge will be released in August and can be reserved by contacting Liz Moores through the website at [Sample provided by Papillon Perfumery]

[Photograph of Liz Moores and the Bengal © Papillon Perfumery]


  1. Very interesting interview. I tested both Anubis and Salome then I purchased Salome (marvelous creation) and now waiting for the upcoming Bengale Rouge by a classy perfumer Liz Moores.


    1. Hello Harith, thank you for your message and please let me know what you think of Bengale Rouge when you try it. Best, Stephan