L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse Aux Papillons and Extreme Version: Perfume Review

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Renoir garden at fontenay L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons is a mist of bright floral notes, underpinned by the coconut sweetness of tuberose.  Created by perfumer Anne Flipo in 1999, it is still the company’s top seller. The citrus notes set the stage for the floral adagio dominated by orange blossom. It is an uplifting, cheerful fragrance, and although I have been wearing on and off for several years, it still thrills me whenever I smell it. I cannot sulk wearing La Chasse Aux Papillons, just like I cannot feel blue looking at Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s works. Both are full of light and serenity. La Chasse aux Papillons is far from a fragrance masterpiece and it does not last long enough on skin to score full five points, but it is such an effervescent, happy scent that I forgive it its poor tenacity.

In 2005, L’Artisan introduced the eau de parfum version of the original fragrance. The notes La Chasse Aux Papillons Extrême are pink berries, jasmine sambac, tuberose, ylang-ylang, saffron, honey. It is a nice fragrance, but the amplified heft of tuberose makes it far less interesting. While the regular version has a tantalizing balance between opulence and delicacy, La Chasse Aux Papillons Extrême is too heavy to let the original’s soft jasmine and orange blossom pas de deux shine. As such, it is not that different from many other tuberose dominated florals on the market.

Painting: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Garden at Fontenay, 1874. Oil on canvas. Sammlung Oskar Reinhart, Winterthur, Switzerland.

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14 Comments

  • Robin: I like the Extreme better than you do, V, but completely agree that the original is better. Would have rather seen them just make it stronger & longer lasting rather than tweaking the notes quite so much. June 15, 2005 at 12:23pm Reply

  • Victoria: I absolutely agree! They are nothing alike. I prefer reapplying the original La Chasse (or wearing another fragrance after it fades–as they say, variety…) June 15, 2005 at 12:42pm Reply

  • mreenymo: I respectfully dissent! :):)

    The original La Chasse smells like dirty laundry on me. Really! I think it is the ever-present linden note that does that.

    However, the Extreme version smells lovely. (Love to R!)No overbearing linden in this one. :):) And, it layers beautifully with Acca Kappa Calycanthus.

    Hugs! June 15, 2005 at 1:01pm Reply

  • Victoria: I welcome a dissenter anytime, dear R! 🙂 I had rather high hopes for Extreme, however I suppose I will continue enjoying the original. I actually did not care for any of the Extreme versions in L’Artisan line.

    Acca Kappa Calycanthus sounds like it would wonderfully with either. Will have to try it.
    xoxo June 15, 2005 at 1:06pm Reply

  • parislondres: Darling V! I love La Chasse original as you know (esp layered with Chanel Gardenia parfum).

    Hope all is well. Will catch up soon!
    xoxo June 15, 2005 at 5:13pm Reply

  • Victoria: Dear N! Enjoy your trip. Write when you return. Of course, I was thinking about you and your great layering combination! xoxo June 16, 2005 at 2:41am Reply

  • Liz smellslikeleaves: I must agree with mreenymo. There is something in the original La Chasse which I find off-putting; I believe it’s the linden. I just could not find its much-touted appeal on my skin. The Extreme version, however, works much better on me, although it’s quite a different animal–spicier, lusher, more sensual, without the delicate, floaty charm of the original. It must be a chemistry thing!

    I spoke at length with Emmanuelle, the manager of the L’artisan boutique in SoHo, about the Extreme versions. She said that people who like the originals often dislike the Extremes, whereas those who like the Extremes often dislike the originals. This was certainly the case with Mure et Musc for me; I am devoted to the original, but dislike the Extreme version. It’s curious that instead of creating a more concentrated version of the original composition (which usually already has a strong following), L’artisan instead reinterprets it to create the Extreme. June 16, 2005 at 10:23am Reply

  • Atreau: The first time I tried La Chasse Aux Papillons I was underwhelmed. As it was autumn when I tested it, I may have been biased. I received a sample of the extreme version that I’ve yet to test. June 16, 2005 at 1:50pm Reply

  • Victoria: That makes perfect sense, Liz! I am also rather puzzled by the complete reworking of the fragrances, when EDP come out from L’Artisan. I think that I liked the original Premier Figuier, because it was a unique tree sap fragrance. The EDP was just too floral.

    Plus, I adore linden, especially when it is well done. It has the lightest honey scent, not unlike greener honeysuckle. June 16, 2005 at 5:08pm Reply

  • Victoria: S, give both of them a try and please report back. I think that you might prefer the EDP, because you do not seem to like orange blossom. The original is very heavy on orange blossom. June 16, 2005 at 5:09pm Reply

  • Katherine: I just sampled this fragrance today, and it reminds me of White Shoulders! I spent most of the 1980s drenched in this scent. Thank you very much for this review. October 30, 2014 at 5:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: All of that white floral goodness! 🙂 October 31, 2014 at 11:28am Reply

  • Julie: Hello Perfume Friends,
    Just curious if anyone has tried the dry oil version of this scent? I have not sampled this.
    But it sounds so lovely & likely a perfect alternative to lotion, cream or body butters after a bath or shower…I am looking forward to SPRING! 🙂 Thank you, lovely review as always Victoria. March 19, 2015 at 10:02am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s very nice, less fresh and sparkling than the EDT, but it’s a pretty alternative. March 19, 2015 at 11:19am Reply

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