Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Salome by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

Total Reviews: 6
Salome.
Damn IFRA to hell. I love this idea behind Salome and its well done considering the restraints of the regulations and aroma chemicals of today that make it impossible to put out a great animalic fragrance, forcing perfumers to rely on a heavy dose of cumin to make anything smell like something naughty. It was first done in re-formulated Rochas Femme, and done well but paled to the first formula, and even Lutens MKK and his love of cumin in his cannon of fragrances. So what we are left with is a holographic idea of sexy rather than the real deal. God bless the creator of Salome that came up and executed this idea with her hands handcuffed by these agencies. This was magic to pull off what she did.

The opening is rather intriguing with a blast of jasmine and cumin, and once it settles down into the heart she is very wearable but there is always a certain level of irritation with the animalics chosen but its no where near the level of Bogue Maai. Its easily forgiven here with a creative licence of the perfumer. I feel this would be devastating on a man rather than a woman, but feel both sexes can wear this well as a modern animalic. The best part is the drydown. Worth a sample and try.
14th February, 2017
Ah Salome, you could have danced with a severed head on a platter for as long as you wished, I couldn’t have cared, but did you have to do it wearing such rank underwear?
By now it is firmly established that Salome is riding high in the perfume blogosphere for its animalic daring – and, hey, I like some of that – but I can’t shake off the impression that it’s trying too hard.
It is a perfume with numerous antecedents, not just the pheromonal airs of long lost vintages, but perfumes that are of more recent creation. Beginning with a blast of warm and furry civet it eventually settles into quite an accomplished beasty musk, guaranteed to get my interest, not just for its carnal aspect but because good musks have an endearing warmth and sweetness to them which is supremely comforting, like laying down in a corner with a family pet that loves cuddles. But Salome is overloaded with cumin, particularly in the early phases, and this comes across more as a perfumer’s tantrum rather than the confident statement being aimed for. Successful musks often rely on a white floral element (for example Kiehl’s) and here the support comes from jasmin and possibly orange blossom, but it’s the pairing of these elements with the cumin that is more suspect. A dab of cumin on white florals is a classical idea, but it can go hideously wrong as in Al-Haramain’s Atifa Blanche, the memory of which is enough to make me wince. Here the cumin is like a lover leaving skid marks on your sheets – some folks go for that kind of thing, but me, I’m thinking, ‘Will it come out in the wash?’ and making a mental note of never sharing my bed with the individual in question again.
Now to come to the perfumes Salome reminded me of. In the opening, where the civet is most evident, I got a flash of Laura Tonatto’s beguiling Oropuro, which takes civety-musky notes and works civilized magic on them, giving full play to their sensuality without drowning them in dirt. Then, as the quality of the musk recreation unfolded (and it is a genuinely striking musk), I was reminded of Bruno Acampora’s Musc which takes cheapo bazaar musk oils and magically elevates them to their zenith. And when the cumin hit in Salome, Theo Fennel’s Scent came to mind with its rich mix of florals, musks and cumin. But Scent is a polyphonic creation with dark velvety depths – it took me a while to adjust to the cumin there, I will admit, but it always made sense in the composition and was not deposited like an undesirable on the floor as it is in Salome.
So, in terms of perfume pedigrees, I think Salome has had a good start in life, but it’s her brattish behaviour that lets her down. It could be my antipathy to the cumin overdose that is clouding my judgment, but I feel that all that dancing with a platter has left Salome seriously unbalanced.

05th March, 2016
For the first hour or so, this is an almost suffocating rush of civet, castoreum & cumin. I've tried quite a few of the famously animalic fragrances, & I love a little dirt, but this is too much, even for me. Wearing this, I wondered why I bothered taking a shower, & was glad I had no plans to leave the house. Eventually it settles a little, becoming friendlier & more akin to the animal fur scent of L'Ombre Fauve, but for me the filth remains prominent right to the end. Where are the florals that others speak of? The only one I detect is a hint of carnation, along with a little patchouli & a chypre base. I also get the "metallic goat" that deadidol mentioned. Thirteen hours in it's still going as a skin scent.
As I said, I love a little dirt, but for me it has to be balanced with sexy florals or a powdery sweetness to make it wearable. Here it dominates the entire composition, & feels like a base accord, with no top or middle notes to relieve the sense of feeling like I haven't washed in weeks. I admire the audacity of releasing a scent like this in this day & age, but it is not something I can wear.
27th January, 2016
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drseid Show all reviews
United States
Salome opens with a honeyed musky orange before quickly moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the initial musky orange turns into indolic orange blossom, as an absolutely huge amount of starring dirty cumin spice enters, joined by co-starring animalic hyrax, with dirty jasmine and slightly powdery carnation in support. During the late dry-down the dirty florals and the cumin recede and finally vacate, leaving the remnants of the animalic hyrax and now moderately powdery carnation to join hay-like coumarin through the finish. Projection is average, but longevity outstanding at well over 15 hours on skin.

Salome has been making quite the splash on the perfume scene since its release last year in 2015. One of the frequently mentioned standout attributes claimed is its heavy use of animalics, and this reviewer definitely concurs, for better or for worse. The key animalic attribute used in the composition's heart is hyrax. The best way to describe hyrax is an animalic hybrid with characteristics of musk, civet and castoreum. In the case of Salome, the musk aspect comes out early, and as time passes the smooth castoreum facet takes control in the late dry-down with the civet relatively subdued throughout. If the liberal use of hyrax isn't animalic enough for you, the perfumer adds indolic jasmine and orange blossom to the mix for an increased dirty nature to the composition. While one might think all these indoles and musky animalics would be too much to handle, surprisingly they work to a relatively large degree, especially late when the castoreum-like facet of the hyrax controls. Unfortunately, there is a big show-stopper here, and it is in the form of an extremely large amount of dirty cumin spice that shows up seconds after initial application and dominates through the early heart, not completely vacating until the late-dry-down. This dirty spice is wholly unnecessary and overpowering to the extreme. It is as if the perfumer wants to dare the wearer to see just how far over the line they can go before crying "Uncle". For this writer, the animalics, while not really to my taste were tolerable, the indolic florals while additionally not to my taste were surprisingly interesting, and the powdery carnation never got too powdery to call it a day. Unfortunately, that dirty cumin used was just too darn much, particularly when added to the already overly dirty animalic mix. At the end of the day, Salome is the kind of composition one can appreciate as a work of art, but wearing it is quite another thing and this writer *wears* perfumes. The bottom line is the $160 per 50ml bottle Salome is definitely a departure from the common, bland "fresh" compositions of today, but while its heavy indolic florals and deep musky animalics are tough to wear but never overly-so, its dirty cumin absolutely is, earning it an "average" 2.5 stars out of 5 rating and a neutral recommendation. Setting aside the rating, if deep musky animalics with dirty cumin spice work for you, absolutely give Salome a try as it is bound to impress (though I would argue many vintage spicy animalic perfumes smell better, are much more wearable and can be had for considerably less money with some effort), but if heavy animalics, indoles and dirty spice are not your thing, this one will scare the heck out of you!
03rd January, 2016 (last edited: 05th January, 2016)
kitsch Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Thanks to the kindness of La Flaneuse I got to try this, from a dabbing sample vial.

For me, Salome recalls the drydown of vintage Opium, fading on your clothes from the glory that was Opium freshly applied a day or two earlier. Accordingly, I miss the spiciness and thus find Salome lacking.

I have vintage Opium galore, and even have Nohiba to enjoy, and they more than suffice so I shan't seek Salome to bring either to mind as a partial re-creation.
27th December, 2015
This is a powerful animalic fragrance that is rich in civet, castoreum and similar carnal smells. Animalic fragrances are always polarising - either you love it or hate it. But also - they do smell differently on people's skin, and this needs to be taken into consideration.

I find animalic fragrances interesting...challenging sometimes. If I find one I really like, I would have no problem buying a full bottle. My current favourite is Montecristo by Masque. Salome is quite similar, though somewhat more powdery, dusty and more stale.

I do catch references to older people who have not showered and I would not like to be associated with smelling like an old, dusty man who has not washed. Thus, this is not a perfume for me to enjoy.
22nd November, 2015