Papillon Artisan Perfumes has had an amazing run with the launch of three incredible perfumes to critical acclaim last year – Anubis, Tobacco Rose and Angelique. Liz Moores is the brains and creative force and is obviously tremendously talented. Somehow she’s arrived with fully formed creations, without mucking around with half baked formulations. She lives in the English countryside, has a home filled with children and animals and amongst all of this somehow manages to create the most beautiful perfumes.
My favourite perfumers are artisans like Moores, Vero Kern and Andy Tauer. They are creating beautiful scents, landscapes I love to walk through and breathe in. This is the space where there is an overflow of creative energy and exciting work.
Like other perfume junkies around the world I was pretty excited to hear that Liz was releasing a perfume called Salome. I love the name of the perfume that hints at a carnal allure. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Liz but have communicated with her on social media where she is active. You can get a real glimpse into her life and creations through Instagram in particular. Now getting hold of samples was quite a story and I have a tale to tell. All I will say is that they participated in a great travel adventure between England and France and back again and that they were keenly anticipated.
“My inspiration for Salome was taken from an original 1920’s photograph of a beautiful erotic dancer It’s a photograph that I pass in my hallway every day and each time I look at it I can’t help but wonder about this daring and mysterious beauty and what her life was like. I felt that her dark and evocative portrait naturally lent itself to the story of Salome, who’s intriguing and colourful representations have embellished fine literature for centuries. My aim was to create a perfume as enigmatic and alluring as the siren in the photograph whilst drawing from a wealth of enchanting literature about the spellbinding Salome.” (Liz Moores)
Salome EDP : Nose : Liz Moores : Year : 2015 : Notes : Top : Bitter orange, Bergamot : Middle : Jasmine, Turkish rose, Africa stone (hyraceum), Carnation, Musks : Base : Styrax, Vanilla, Hay, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Cumin, Birch and Castoreum.
Let’s start by saying that Salome is strikingly beautiful, in a fiercely womanly way. Life, birth and desire are wrapped in the folds of this fecund perfume. It has vintage leanings and doesn’t feel like a modern perfume with an abundance of clean notes. It has a similar feel while not actually smelling that similar to Francis Kurkdjian‘s Absolue Pour Le Soir, in that it unlocks similar laviscious yearnings.
Salome is potent from the get go. It’s warm and texturally rich like a high quality velvet cape shrugging off winter’s chill. This is a night time perfume when you’re ready to go out on the prowl or stay in and disrobe. It evokes the aftermath of a marathon love- making session. For this reason I wouldn’t advise Salome in the workplace. But you never know – my mother rocks Lust from Lush in the library where she works, which is a jasmine of stiletto proportions.
There’s an air of my beloved Anubis from the jasmine common to both scents and the rose is deep, not fickle. There are drops of honey flecked in the perfume and perhaps this is what sent me thinking of Absolue Pour Le Soir. The darker animalic notes are everpresent and there is a hard hitting roll call here – castoreum, civet and African Stone (hyrax) give Salome quite a kick. I smelt African Stone at Pitti Fragranze. It is very fecal and in perfumery provides a rich, leathery and indolic flavour. Salome also has a smoky aspect that flickers. There is some commonality with Musc Koublai Khan from Serge Lutens in the way the floralcy works with the musks. The slightly scarier parts remind me of Musc Tonkin from Parfum d’Empire which I admire, however will not make it into my boudoir. There’s also a salty aspect to the scent that brings to mind sweat and exhaustion – either after a big night out or a big night in.
As the perfume wears on it starts to develop a softer, cosier aspect. There’s a spiciness from the cumin as well, a much milder form of what has gone before yet retaining a plush feel. This is my favourite part of the scent. The jasmine and rose play well on my skin, and perhaps I play up the less wild facets of this perfume as it’s not a total filth bomb on me and this seems to be how it wears on other skin. I tried it on two friends and their reactions were quite revealing. While I wouldn’t call them perfume virgins, they haven’t sampled as many wildcat scents as I have. One described Salome as the smell of unwashed knickers at a nursing home. The other said something to the effect of ‘I need to get this off me now’. So while most reviews will deservedly praise Salome I think you need to understand that this perfume may be for hardcore lovers of scents that really like to take a walk on the wild side with their fragrances.
Salome is a perfume for explorers who prefer bold, striking, lusty, animalic perfumes. Dilettantes need not apply. It’s definitely Papillon’s most daring work in the collection to date and just reinforces what a talented perfumer Liz Moores is.
The Low Down : A voluptuous velvet textured vintage styled perfume that will wrap around your skin and lead to thoughts involving sexual healing, preferably on a sheepskin rug.
For where to purchase : Please see the Papillon Artisan Perfumes website for further details. A 50ml bottle is available for £98 and 2ml samples are £4.10. A set of each Papillon perfume in sample size is available for £15. Note that these are only available to be shipped to the UK. There is a list of international stockists on the site as well.
Notes : Images : Featured by Craig McDean from British Vogue, September 2015 Issue : Liz Moores from her website : Amorous couple by Mario Testino in Vogue Paris, April 2015 Issue.
Disclosure : Samples gratefully received from Papillon Artisan Perfumes. Opinions my own.