"Papier d'Arménie®" values

 

Environment

Environmentally friendly, Papier d’Arménie® does not use any propellants and causes no harm to the ozone layer.

The sheets are soaked in an alcohol-based solution then passed through a natural saline solution so that they burn more slowly.

The absorbent paper used to manufacture Papier d’Arménie® is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, an independent international organisation to promote the responsible management of the world's forests.

Respect

Papier d’Arménie® represents a certain lifestyle, a sure sign of good taste and underpinned by strong values as regards health and the environment.

For 130 years, those who have appreciated, generation after generation, the traditional manufacturing behind a high-quality product know that Papier d’Arménie® exudes respect for tradition.

Originality

Unique since the day it was first sold, Papier d’Arménie® is instantly recognisable.

It is the only indoor fragrance that comes in the form of paper for burning.

Well-being

Renowned since ancient times for its anti-sceptic, healing and expectorant properties, benzoin resin used to be applied externally to treat asthma, coughs and hoarseness. Its positive effect on the psyche and emotions makes it popular with those feeling stressed. In Malaysia, it is used in ceremonies to ward off evil spirits during the rice harvest. In India, meanwhile, this sacred scent is dedicated to Shiva.

Modernity

Papier d’Arménie® was invented to give Europeans an opportunity to discover the benefits of benzoin. While there was no ready-made solution, experimentation and method brought about success.

Always seeking improvements and enhancements, the Papier d’Arménie® firm continues to innovate. Recent years have consequently seen the emergence of new fragrances and a range of candles, the burner range has been extended, and the cut and presentation of the strips redesigned.

 

 

The venture

 

Birth

The history of Papier d’Arménie® (like many older French firms, the name of the company is essentially the name of the product, Papier d’Arménie®) starts in the 19th century when, on a trip to Armenia, Auguste Ponsot noticed the local people scented and disinfected their homes by burning benzoin. This traditional and ecologically-sound practice appealed, and he decided to import the product to France.

His business partner, pharmacist Henri Rivier, then discovered that dissolving the benzoin in 90° alcohol delivered a lasting fragrance. Adding scent gives a pleasant, lingering aromatic blend. Only a supporting medium remained to be found, which was to be blotting paper, which absorbs the mixture while retaining the original fragrance of the benzoin resin, and burns slowly with no flame.

 

Outstanding development

After some trial and error, the desired end-product was finally ready. Papier d’Arménie® proved a great success, especially at the health exhibition of 1888 and the Universal Exhibition of 1889, during which, convinced of the effectiveness of the paper's anti-sceptic properties, the two inventors placed two pieces of meat under two bell jars, one of which had some of the paper burning inside. After a week, the meat that had absorbed the fragrance from the paper was still fit to eat, the other piece was off. A memorable experiment!

Cultural influence

Elle sortit de sa poche un carnet vert qu’elle ouvrit sur des pages de papier couleur tabac traversées par des pointillés de perforation. Elle détacha une bande et l’alluma à la bougie, soufflant vite sur la flamme pour que le papier se consume sans flamber.

“Respire ! dit-elle. C’est du Papier d’Arménie®, ça sent très bon !  ”

Les allumettes suédoises, Robert Sabatier, Le Livre de Poche / Albin Michel, 1992

Laisser brûler

Les p'tits papiers

Papier de riz

Ou d'Arménie

Qu'un soir ils puissent

Papier maĂŻs

Vous réchauffer

Les petits papiers Paroles et Musique: Serge Gainsbourg   1965 © Sidonie 1965

 

Papier d’Arménie® is an integral part of French culture, and has been mentioned in works by greats such as singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg (in the lyrics to "Les Petits Papiers"), and the writers Georges Perec and Robert Sabatier (in his novel "Les allumettes suédoises" published in English as "The Safety Matches").

 

Manufacture

 

Laotian benzoin

Held in high esteem for its sweet, vanilla and balsamic notes, benzoin is used as a fixative in the perfume industry, an example being by Guerlain for Shalimar. Without benzoin, Papier d’Arménie® would not have become what it is. This resin comes from styrax, a tree that grows in the forests of the Far East, especially in Laos. When the trees reach a diameter of around 15 cm (6 in.), notches are made in the bark so that the resin can trickle out. Six months later, the raw benzoin resin can be harvested in the form of "tears". One tree produces from 1 to 3 kilograms of benzoin each year.

This resin has a content of around 25% benzoic acid, which gives it its anti-sceptic properties.

 

Natural ingredients

The absorbent paper used to make our Armenia paper is a fibre of natural origin. Its mahogany colour comes from the bath where the sheets soak up Papier d’Arménie®'s complex scent. Some of its aromatic ingredients are trade secrets.

Luxury products need the luxury of time – 6 months in the making

The workshop where Papier d’Arménie® has always made its Armenian paper following the craft tradition is in Montrouge in the Paris suburbs. There are several stages in the manufacturing process, which involves 12 people, eight at the workshop, lovingly producing the little booklets, under the painstaking eye of the head of the lab. It all starts with the health-giving styrax, the best benzoin resin, delivered in the form of tears, two tonnes of which is imported by the workshop every year.

Following an unchanging ritual, the resin is dissolved in alcohol for two months. The fragrance extracts are then added. A special absorbent paper is then soaked in the resulting mixture, an entirely manual job, carried out sheet by individual sheet. Once the soaking and drying and other steps are complete, the sheets are pressed for a month.

It is only after this 6-month process that they can be perforated, cut and assembled into covered booklets.

 

 

An evolving range

 

Papers

The "traditionnel" booklet, first produced in 1885, with its sweet, vanilla and balsamic notes evocative of the Far East.

The "Arménie" booklet. The aromas of incense and myrrh fit well with the woody and vanilla notes. The booklet is the outcome of Mireille Schvartz's meeting Francis Kurkdjian, the famous perfumer.

The "la Rose" booklet, redesigned by Francis Kurkdjian. With roses imported from Iran and Turkey, it builds a dual fragrance conveyed by a full-bodied rose, fruity as petal jam with a mellow touch.

The 1900 box reproduced, showing a visual history of the medals and other awards won by the firm. An original package containing 12 Triple booklets.

 

Candles

The Papier d’Arménie® candles were designed by Francis Kurkdjian. Environmentally sound, they are made from 100% vegetable wax and beeswax, with a cotton wick. They burn for some 40 hours.

La bougie is evocative of the fragrances of Papier d’Arménie®'s legendary Triple booklet.

The Rose candle produces the fragrances of the Rose booklet.

Armenie blends the fragrances of cedar, cinnamon leaves, sage and lavender.

Burners

The "Étoile d'Arménie", a decorative burner enabling the strips' fragrance to fill a room.

The kit, the result of a design competition, packages Papier d’Arménie™ in an original, slim and bold box.

 

Out of concern for the health and well-being of its consumers, Papier d’Arménie® appointed two recognised, accredited testing laboratories plus scientists with expertise in toxicology and internal air quality.

They provided the best possible assessment of the products and made it possible to work on improvements if needed.

The tests conducted gave satisfactory results as regards consumer health when the instructions for use printed on the products are followed.