New Perfume Review: Anatole Lebreton Grimoire (2017) + I Put a Spell on You Draw

Grimoire by Autumn Frost Angel, DeviantArt©

A grimoire is a manual of magick, a primer in potions, a textbook of talismans. Stored in the pages of ancient vellum are spells, divinations, incantations and lists of the substances used to invoke the spirit world.

Homage to Leonardo da Vinci, Odilon Redon, 1908

 I would not be surprised to find in a dusty grimoire the recipe for Anatole Lebreton’s strangely splendid fragrance of the same name. His Grimoire is an herbal, animalic incense fragrance, imbued with the skewed, chimerical beauty of an Odilon Redon painting.


Anatole Lebreton, photo taken by Michelyn at Esxence, Milan

Although his line launched in 2014, Anatole Lebreton was new to me and one of the most exciting discoveries at Esxence last month. His line contains 5 fragrances, of which Grimoire is the newest, each made unique by his individual, off-kilter artistry. Lebreton’s perfumes display an audacious originality, and once smelled, once addictive. You have been warned.

Photo manipulation by Diana Dihaze©

Grimoire has an anachronistic quality that makes it seem as though it originated in a steampunk lab or time warp. It perfectly balances traditional aromas straight from the pages of Culpeper’s Herbal with an obliquely modern sensibility. 

Photo saved from P‫interest, MyphotoHub

Its opening feels like a slowly moving kaleidoscope in which green notes blend into and then separate from incense, smoke and woods. With its puff of sweet, fumy elemi and olibanum and the bittersweet bite of dried herbs, Grimoire’s first moments smell like a hookah smoking in a medicinal garden. I half expect to look up and find the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland asking me who I am.

A Natural Disaster, photo taken from ©

A vivid, biting bergamot cuts through the seep of smoky incense in Grimoire’s opening moments. This incense is not remotely churchlike, but damp and mossy like olfactory verdigris. As the bergamot loses its sharp edges, dried lavender and basil tumble forward, and Grimoire becomes less citric, more herbal. A fresh smelling cedar comes through followed closely by a horsey tang of cumin.

The Cyclops, Odilon Redon, 1914

In the dry-down, Grimoire’s incense, while still very much at the center, becomes dreamy and musky. Moss comes through more assertively than it often does as a base note, chorusing with a very herbal lavender and emphasizing the fragrance’s turned- earth-in-the-garden aspect.

Photo by Steven Meisel, Vogue Italia, Aug 2004 ©

In an enclosure of a garden maze, you doze, a book of ancient herbology half open on your lap. Mossy beds from which great puffs of lavender spill messily onto pebbled paths are guarded by topiary that seem to watch. The air is thick with the centuries-old smells of trees and herbs.  Soon, moist incense curls around your chair, like a fallen tree trunk set alight to smolder. An incantation repeats in the wind. The spell is cast.

Notes: Bergamot, basil, lavender, elemi, frankincense, Seville lavender, Atlas cedarwood, cumin, patchouly, moss, musk. Sillage is moderate and longevity is excellent, lasting all day.

Disclaimer: Sample provided by Anatole Lebreton – many thanks. My opinions are my own.

Lauryn Beer, Editor

Editor’s Note: Grimoire was a favorite of the ÇaFleureBon team who traveled to Esxence 2017 (Lauryn, Ermano, Sebastian and me). Anatole Lebreton won Our 2016 Rising Star Award and Incarnata received A 2016 Top 25 Best of Scent.


Grimoire, photo Anatole Lebreton

Thanks to the generosity of Anatole Lebreton, we have a reader's choice for one registered reader in the U.S., Europe or Canada

Choose a 50 ml bottle of Grimoire


a travel set with three x10ml different perfumes of your choice: Incarnata, L’Eau de Merzhin, Bois Lumiere, L’Eau Scandaleuse and Grimoire. Don’t know how to register? Just click here so your comment will count.

Please leave a comment with what appeals to you about Grimoire based on Lauryn’s review, where you live and if you could cast a spell, what would it be? Please leave your choice in your comment and if you choose the travel set which fragrances you would like to win. Draw closes 5/6/2017.

We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSSFeed …or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume


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New Perfume Review: Monsillage Pays Dogon (Isabelle Michaud) 2017 + Out of Africa Draw

Isabelle Michaud accepting her 2015 Award: Photo by Stevie Wilson of LA Story

In 2015, perfumer Isabelle Michaud of Montreal’s Monsillage Perfumes, won the prestigious Art & Olfaction Award in the Artisan category for her now-iconic Eau De Celéri. This spring, she debuts Pays Dogon which transports us to West Africa; to an inland area of Mali known as.Pays Dogon (Dogon country).

Dogon Masks Mali 1934 photo by Michel Leiris©

I suspect you’ve noticed that certain geographic regions and cities have a certain “signature” scent. I always think of London as being redolent with the smell of cold winter, petrichor, leather taxi seats, overheated rooms, and Indian take-away. San Francisco is all eucalyptus, fog, Chinese markets, and the Bay. Paris is just “Paris” (how does one even describe the smell of Paris)? For Pays Dagon, Mme. Michaud has created a scent which transports her (and us) to a magical time spent in an other-worldly place.

Mali le Pays Dogon via Landraud © and apped by MC

The Dogon people have been living in this sub-Sahara African area for more than a thousand years following their refusal to convert to Islam.This diaspora allowed them to keep their own religion, culture, and language which according to historians, bear similarity to ancient Egypt and Judaism. Dogon culture, the people, the stark landscape and the village markets are the inspiration for Pays Dogon.

Dogon painting via Dogon Tmblr

“In Mali, amidst the vast Sahelian plains, lies an impressive escarpment called the Cliff of Bandiagara which extends for almost 100 miles. This geological formation creates a micro-climate, humid and arid, allowing for lush vegetation amidst a quasi-desert setting. It is the area surrounding the cliff that is the Dogon country, inhabited by the Dogon people many centuries ago who took refuge there from persecution for their animist-centered beliefs.”-Isabelle Michaud


A Dogon Man imitates white tourists in a masked dance. He carved the camera from wood. Photo Rosemary Sheel 2000©

Monsillage Pays Dogon is a sun-seared and dazzling study in classical contrasts acting as a sort of olfactive map of Malta’s sui generis Dogon region. At times dry and parched as a desert landscape, then suddenly cool and verdant green, a calm oasis of crystalline water and electric jade or leek-green date palms whispering overhead. The pepper notes along with the ginger, date, and hibiscus bring in the feeling of a small village market that could just as well be on the African continent as on an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Underneath it all that same desert dry and sand-scoured wood scent combined with the bite of the vetiver and the beautiful mellow sandalwood give depth, roundness, and a true sense of place. A place far removed from our winter-weary lives in the west.

Notes: Green oasis, black pepper, pink pepper, ginger, hibiscus flower, guaiac wood, cypriol, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver oil, and date.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Isabelle Michaud and Monsillage  for supplying the sample. The opinions are my own

Robert Herrmann, Sr. Contributor

Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief

Editor’s Note: Monsillage is another brand that we believe deserves wider distribution. Our first review was in 2011 for Aviation Club, homage to the 60’s when flying was fun and glamorous and when Isabelle spent all night playing poker. You can find Isabelle’s beautiful fragrances in the USA at Twisted Lily in Brooklyn and Indigo Perfumery in Lakewood, Ohio

Thanks to Isabelle and Monsillage we have a 50 ml bottle of Pays Dogon for a registered reader in the USA and Canada. Please be sure to register if you have not done so. To be eligible please let us know what appeals to you about Robert’s review of Pays Dogon, what scent or fragrance you asscoiate with your town, (Michelyn says NYC smells like Le Labo Santal 33 and Paris smells like EDLO Rien) and where you live. Draw closes 5/3/2017.

We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so like  Cafleurebon and use our RSS feed…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.


Fragrance Review: MEMO Paris Shams Oud (Alienor Massenet) 2011 + Lawrence of Arabia Draw

Clara Molloy photographed by Sofia Dadourian  

In our Creative Directors in Perfumery Series, Clara Molloy who founded Memo Paris wrote “The name of the brand, Memo, comes from Memory. Olfaction is our most archaic sense. A fragrance can reveal you, transform you”. Mme. Molloy works in collaboration with perfumer Alienor Massenet since the brands inception in 2006. 

Lawrence of Arabia, 1962, directed by David Lean

The word Shams is Arabic for Sun. Released in 2011, Shams Oud is one of the ‘oudiest’ ouds I have smelled, yet there is a sense of glowing brightness permeating the fragrance brought in by  ginger at the top and cypriol (similar to papyrus) lending an earthy,leathery qualitynot unlike vetiver. I Inhale this fragrance and imagine Peter O’Toole’s as T.E. Lawrence in the movie Lawrence of Arabia as dawn breaks in the desolate desert. This fragrance is dry, almost desiccated, but rich spices and with a sense of another time, culture and place and at the drydown, comforting.

Peter O'Toole and the 'match' scene

There is a pivotal scene in the David Lean classic film when Lawrence lights a match, his face enigmatic as he lets the flame burn and then extinguishes it with his other finger. He blows out the match and smiles, “It only hurts if you let it”. Shams Oud is exotic, difficult and for those who are looking for a run-of-the mill commercial fragrance, painful.  For the rest of us, there is pleasure, as Shams Oud is of one of the best fragrances in their  Les Echappees collection.

Contributor Sebastian Jara of the YouTube Channel Looking Feeling Smelling Great, and founder of a popular Facebook Group, reviews Shams Oud.  

Michelyn Camen, Editor in Chief

Disclosure: Shams Oud from my collection and Sebastian was given a bottle of Shams Oud; opinions are our own.

Photo by Sebastian ©

Thanks to Europerfumes the US distributor of Memo Paris for a registered  CafleureBon reader and Looking Feeling Smelling Great subscriber in the USA (if you are not sure if you are registered click here (you must register on our site or your entry will be invalid) for a 75 ml bottle of Memo Paris Shams Oud. To be eligible please leave a comment ON THIS SITE with what you enjoyed about Sebastian’s YouTube review, if you have a favorite Memo Paris fragrance and why you would like to win. Have you been in a desert or seen the movie Lawrence of Arabia? Draw closes 5/1/ 2017. You can follow us @cafleurebon @lookfeelsmellgreat on Instagram. Check out on @Offical_ europerfumes and

We announce the winners on our site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS feed…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume