Friday, October 9, 2015

Review: Papillon Artisan Perfumes Salome

She is an aloof and heartless, maneating mistress, with no regard for the opinion of others. Scorned by her past with cheating lovers, she's a self-proclaimed vigilante for the used and brokenhearted. She'll show up at your hotel room door, wreaking of the smells of her last sexual dalliance. When she's through with you, she'll light up a cigarette and dash out the door. You'll catch only a flick of her hair as she rounds the corner, never to be seen again...

Louise Brooks | Image from:


bitter orange, bergamot; turkish rose, orange blossom, tobacco, carnation, jasmine, hyraceum; styrax, vanilla, hay, patchouli, oakmoss, cumin, birch, castoreum

Every so often I run across a fragrance that makes my stomach feel like it's actually trying to escape the confines of my body. Upon first sniff of Salome, my brain screamed "ABORT!ABORT!ABORT!", signaling to my stomach that it was time for a jail break. Now, many a 'fume lover fancy the oddities of a dirty, skanktastic fragrance. I happen to not be one of them. I can appreciate a little essence of filth, but I require that it dissipates if it wants to receive my love and adoration. I am, however, interested in perfumes that illicit a polarizing response. And Salome will evoke just that. Although, nearly every review I've seen of Salome to date is in favor of it, which leaves me wondering if my nose just isn't privy and practiced to these filthy kinds of juices.

Before I began writing the section of this post which would detail how Salome smells, I gave it time to develop and dry down. By the end, I started to detect a familiarity. Mitsouko! Guerlain's Mitsouko has much love and respect, but I didn't care for that one either. There is a musty dirtiness to both of these fragrances which frightens my nose to the point of nearly recoiling into my face. Perhaps it's the shared oakmoss note in these perfumes that I can't seem to wrap my nose around. In Salome, the cumin is prevalent and certainly the main cause of my stomach-fleeing, nose-recoiling issues. Cumin (the body odor-replicating kind) in perfumery stands as one of my most unfavored notes. Amongst all the notes listed for Salome, my skin drags out primarily cumin and oakmoss, leaving me with an olfactory portrait of post-coital sweatiness.

In writing about this, I began to wonder if many people enjoy these kinds of fragrances because of their unconscious correlation with naked dilly-dallying between the sheets. It would certainly make sense, since (as mentioned in my last article) our brains can associate even unpleasant aromas with something we enjoy, in turn giving us a positive view on said aroma. Ehh, maybe a stretch, but certainly plausible! I just can't consciously walk around radiating an odor which is reminiscent of a humid brothel house room. I wish there were more development on my skin, but it really does pull almost entirely cumin with a weaving of oakmoss. For the same reasons that I don't dig Salome, others will love it. That's the beauty of perfumery. I had fun sniffing and writing about Salome, and look forward to smelling more from Papillon.

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Salome retails at $160 for a 50ml bottle, it was created by Liz Moores

Longevity: 2/5
Projection: 3/5

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