Papillon Perfumery Hera

If you’re looking for a typical bridal scent, Hera from Papillon Perfumery is unlikely to be your girl. It is far from the sort of bouquet that is commonly sought for weddings in the modern era, and it is most certainly not a delicate, demure, almost virginal, fresh floral veil suited to a young blushing bride. However, if you’re looking for a sensuous, lush fusion of a semi-vintage-skewing chypre with a modern floral oriental, then you’ve come to the right place.

Lawrence Alma-Tadma, “The Roses of Heliogabalus,” 1888. Source:

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Papillon Perfumery Angélique: Chameleon In the Woods

Catherine Jeltes Painting, "Modern Brown Abstract Painting WinterScape." Etsy Store, GalleryZooArt, linked within. (Click on photo.)

Catherine Jeltes Painting, “Modern Brown Abstract Painting WinterScape.” Etsy Store, GalleryZooArt, linked within. (Click on photo.)

An ethereal spring bouquet of silvery iris and white flowers dusted with mimosa’s golden sweetness. Then, a lush, orchid-like, champaca vanilla infused with boozy, fruited liqueur and smoky guaiac. Finally, an extremely woody fragrance with masculine elements of burnt leaves, smokiness, and musk. That was the very surprising progression of Angélique, a chameleon scent that first filled me with visions of bridal white (and thoughts of how well it was named) before it astounded me by rapidly morphing into a completely different fragrance, one that was quite a pleasant surprise. In fact, at times, I was sniffing my wrist with much appreciation. Although the drydown changed things for me, there are parts of Angélique that can well be called “exquisite” or “beautifully lush.”This is a fragrance that is so evocative at times that I’ve just barely managed to stop myself from explaining its development solely in terms of a series of images. That said, please pay close attention to the photos in this review, particularly to the sharp changes in colour, style, mood, and background, as they reflect changes within the perfume itself.

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Papillon Perfumery Tobacco Rose

"Romeo and Juliet," by Sir Frank Dicksee. Source:

“Romeo and Juliet,” by Sir Frank Dicksee. Source:

Tobacco Rose is a rich, saturated, luxurious rose fragrance from Papillon Perfumery that would probably have inspired Shakespeare to write another dozen sonnets or plays. In Romeo and Juliet, he said “a rose by any other name smells as sweet,” arguing that names do not matter, only the essential nature of a thing. He’s right, but I don’t think that his philosophy always holds true for perfumes. Names do matter in the expectations that they create, and “Tobacco Rose” is no different. Yet, in this case, I find none of darkness that is suggested, and I think that the scent would appeal far more to a “Juliet” than to a “Romeo.” That said, if a particular Juliet were a really passionate rose fanatic, I suspect she might swoon far more over Tobacco Rose than any words spouted by a pimply Romeo.

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