Papyrus Moleculaire is a perfume by the French young niche brand Maison Crivelli, founded only a few years ago. For now, their portfolio consists of seven fragrances created in collaboration with some of today’s biggest most prominent in the field of perfume-making, such as Bertrand Duchaufour, Stephanie Bakouche and Richard Ibanez. However, not everything that shines is gold, just as not every niche perfume is necessarily better than most designer ones (they are not worse, either). But it’s not wrong to remind yourself from time to time that, just because something is a niche, unavailable, elusive, that it isn’t essential and fantastic. This perfume served that purpose…

Papyrus Moleculaire

The founder and owner of the brand – Thibaud Crivelli, found inspiration for Papyrus Moleculaire during one of his travels worldwide, which generated ideas that he would later turn into creations by Maison Crivelli in his work with perfumers. An unexpected encounter with a group of women who smoked cigarillos introduced Thibaud to something called papyrus powder. Its masculine identity, combined with the imagery in which it was found, made him think about this ingredient’s essentially asexual identity, which is scarce in today’s high perfumery. The papyrus, which has a woody, warm, slightly spicy, and smoky subtone, served as the basis for this airy composition.
Papyrus Moleculaire gives us what the name promises, a clear vision of this ingredient. However, in no segment, from the very opening of the perfume to the last note played on the skin, this perfume does not have an exciting twist, a strange and unique combination of accords. Not that there was no base for it. Papyrus, as well as sandalwood, woody notes generally provide plenty of opportunities for creative mixing of notes and accords. Just look at the Gorilla Breath of God.

Most of all, Papyrus Moleculaire is reminiscent of a well-done homework assignment. Its creator, Leslie Girard, gave a clear and precise answer to the creative brief, but nothing more than that. In addition to sandalwood (imitation), there is also a small amount of iris, because what else one can combine with sandalwood? Like the carrot, although a bit redundant after the masterpiece perfume made for the Tom Ford brand by the genius Yann Vasnier some ten years ago (Santal Blush). On top of all that, the expected note of pepper for a spicy kick. We have already seen it so many times, in various shapes and many price ranges.

Far from Papyrus Moleculaire being a lousy perfume, no. If I got it as a gift, I would wear it when necessary to smell neutral, like in some business occasions. Especially during the summer, when we want to avoid the ubiquitous citrus perfumes, the woody composition can have that factor x effect. However, I always resort to the absolute favorite – Terre d’Hermes. I haven’t had a chance to try other perfumes from this house, so I can’t say if it justified or betrayed expectations. Still, given that people looking for the holy grail have very high expectations of art perfumes, I can tell you for sure that you will not find your holy grail in the Papyrus Moleculaire unless you are average, of course.

[Fragrance notes] papyrus, black pepper, coriander, elemi, tonka, carrot, tobacco.

[Fragrance group] woody floral musk.

The creator of the perfume is Leslie Girard.