Anubis (2014)
by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

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Anubis information

Year of Launch2014
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 74 votes)

People and companies

HousePapillon Artisan Perfumes
PerfumerElizabeth Moores

About Anubis

Anubis was launched in the Summer of 2014 as part of the initial trio of fragrances from Papillon (the other two being Tobacco Rose and Angélique)

The company say:

With a name inspired by the Egyptian God of the afterlife, Anubis embodies the sacred mysteries of Ancient Egypt.  Heady blooms of jasmine, amid rich suede, smoulder over an incense laden base of frankincense, sandalwood and labdanum.
 
Vivid slashes of immortelle, pink lotus and saffron create a perfume shrouded in darkness and veiled in mystery.
 

Reviews of Anubis

Massive suede & frankincense shows up first. Big sandalwood and labdanum follows. Primarily, I get leather. I smell a tiny bit of flower; not much. Lots of saffron appears. This sweetens up a bit later on, on the skin, with jasmine and immortelle. Anubis is a dark, brooding, masculine, furry animal.
29th December, 2018
Anubis is the second perfume I'm trying from Papillon, after Tobacco Rose, and like Tobacco Rose, Anubis is very provocative and strong.

Certainly the main players here are the olibanum and myrrh, as the incense aspect is perhaps the most dominant, but the olibanum is subdued in part by being combined with the animalic suede, lovely floral immortelle, and mysterious saffron. I'm not intimately familiar with pink lotus.

This certainly strikes me as a fragrance that could work well for both men and women in the cold weather. Incense, myrrh, suede, and the slightly sweet immortelle.

At 50ml for $160, the price tag matches the quality, so this largely comes down to whether you love it or not, and I'm not quite sure if I do. I much prefer the myrrh combined with vanilla in, say, Imaginary Authors Memoirs of a Trespasser than this, though the immortelle has the added effect of keeping Anubis rather unisex. Certainly one to be worn in the cold weather, as well.

7 out of 10
28th December, 2016
The genre of woody/smoky perfumes is having a moment these days. Unfortunately, many of these perfumes start with a disadvantage. A glut of aromachemicals hastily produced to fill the oud-gap that manufacturers are trying to convince us exists has lead to perfumes overdosed with ear-splitting synth-oud bases. Characteristics of these perfumes include density, a lack of topnotes, longevity and minimal evolution. Their motto is a variation on the advice, “walk softly and carry a big stick.” They urge you to carry a big stick and bludgeon everyone in your wake. It’s a genre that conceptually and olfactorily turns me off.

My mistake was to lump too many perfumes into this category, the case in point being Anubis. I bundled the fumes made principally of synth-oud base and the ones smartly calibrated to achieve a smoky darkness into the same category. Based on my dislike for many of the perfumes that comprise the genre I neglected to distinguish good from bad. I threw the baby out with the bathwater.

This all happened in own head, of course. I have written about the traps of mistaking opinion for consideration and I should take my own advice. Fortunately, with the exception of Hard Leather, I kept my thoughts to myself. I lumped Anubis in with Orto Parisi Stercus, Naomi Goodsir Bois d’Ascèse, Masque Milano Montecristo and LM Parfums Hard Leather, four perfumes, two of which are dense but balanced, two of which I find grossly out of whack and make my ears ring. I will leave it for you to decide which is which.

It’s Salome that made me see Anubis in a different light. That and a long hike on a warm day.

If you heat up the bad examples of the Grim Genre (or The Heavy Smokers, my two nicknames for the genre) you’ll burn off the lighter materials and be left with the synth-oud skeleton in short order. I’ve tried them on some hot, sweaty days and in the end I was left smelling like shit. Literally. I recently basted myself in Anubis and went for a hike in the desert. The gasoline-jasmine bloomed, the incense was shot through with a smoky breeze and the drydown made me want to lick myself. While dense and smoky, Anubis is also ambery, leathery and nuanced. Quite the opposite of the grim synth-ouds, Anubis is built for skin. The floral connection to Salome helped me see Anubis in a different light and I did another Anubis-hike the next day. A little Anubis goes a long way and a less concentrated dose (ie. sprayed from a distance) helps the layers unfold more evenly. It’s less smoky but more resinous this way. The gasoline-floral quality, my favorite aspect of Anubis, rises more clearly to the surface.

Whether I was right or wrong in my initial take on Anubis is something for me to keep in mind, but the bigger point is that a well considered perfume can make you work for your pleasure. Taking a risk, targeting a small audience, polarizing your audience. Ambiguity. Marketing theory might tell you that these are guidelines for failure. I disagree entirely and apparently, thank god, so does Liz Moores.

Moores took the risk of making a perfume that polarizes her potential buyers. But she also created a perfume that I came back to over the period of a year or so. In the end, she won me over.
20th June, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The opening blast introduces the core of this creation in the first moments: leather and incense.
The leather is that if a freshly polished shoe - I sampled is after applying Saphir to my shoes and the scent was a seamless continuation of my morning activity. The incense is darkish but not brooding or somber. I can see the similarity with Cuir Ottoman; Knize 10 has much more gasoline, TF's Tuscan Leather is heavier and a bit sweeter and Anubis has a dark lavender undertones that singles it out amongst the leather crowd.

The other component that develops in the drydown is a fairly well done saffron - unusually dark with a touch of rooty earthiness - just a touch; this is not a brighter saffron à la Sultan Safran. Flowery hints - immortelle mainly - come and go, but the leather remains until the end.

And this end does not come soon: moderate sillage, very good projection and the longevity - sixteen long hours - this is truly tremendous staying power!

Indeed a nice and powerful olfactory winter warmer, well executed albeit not a beacon of creativity. Still - a good scent. 3.25/5.
22nd April, 2016
I give Anubis a thumbs-up because it smells so wonderful to me, but wow, does it fade fast on my skin. I only get 2 hours of glorious leather, smoke and incense before it turns into a faint hand lotion-y nothing. Anubis is not known for its longevity, especially compared to Papillon's most recent release (the powerhouse Salome), but even so, most reviewers seem to get several hours from it - which is another reason for my positive rating: I think my experience is unusual. If Anubis lasted as long as Salome does for me, it would be one of my favorite fragrances - it's rich, mysterious and dense while it lasts. Sigh.
03rd April, 2016 (last edited: 10th April, 2016)
For me this is an almost completely linear smoky leather, similar to Mona di Orio's Cuir, but without the barbecued meat vibe. It slowly fades until, six hours in, the base is a pleasantly soft, fuzzy suede, not at all sweet but salty, with a faint touch of incense. It's still going softly ten hours in.
In common with Salome, I find this to have a kind of dense linearity that I find frustrating. I don't get any of the floral notes in either, & I am left wanting more texture, more complexity, more...
28th January, 2016

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