Papillon Artisan Perfumes (2017)

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Dryad by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

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About Dryad by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

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Dryad is a shared scent launched in 2017 by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

Fragrance notes.

Reviews of Dryad by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

There are 21 reviews of Dryad by Papillon Artisan Perfumes.

A really lovely and quite natural smelling green Chypre with hints of fougere and animalics peeking out here and there. This is foresty. Extremely foresty without being coniferous or overly dark. This is all about balance: the moss and galbanum against sparkly citrus with a juicy apricot-like narcissus in the heart. The narcissus is framed with orange blossom and Iris, holding it down on either side and a benzoin/amber base. The real surprise here is the costus against the herbs which brings out a lightly musky/unwashed tinge to the whole affair. If your skin amplifies these notes, it seems to ruin the whole affair, giving several other reviewers a “pissy”/“offensive” reaction.

I see the Vol de Nuit comparison but this one is hazier and more spare. The whole thing comes at you through a veil. My bottle comes across to me as very shy. Some reviewers find it overly loud. A high percentage of naturals means this could be batch variation or different levels of sensitivity to different ingredients in different reviewers.

If you love chypres give this a try. If not, probably an easy miss. Nothing groundbreaking, here, though Luca Turin seems to think there is something very interesting and novel going on... I’m just not enough of a chemist to understand what that might be. Probably too subtle for me to get without a seminar. Still it doesn’t need to be a breakthrough. Just very nicely done perfume from a small British perfumer.

Alchymia. Perfumare. Magnum Opus.

Exit the Dryad (in horror)

OK, this is bad. Really bad. Almost one year after I was left in utter bewilderment by this quasi-chypre-ish thing, I had to give it another try and my verdict is final. This is a royal mess. And you would be wrong to assume that it is only because of the high expectations that were shattered. The only thing consistent during this olfactory rape is the pack of chemicals that were so lavishly and offensively put into this pell-mell of molecules. And although I always check the notes (the listed ones that is), I didn't see this coming. None of the usual suspects in the likes of ouds, musks, leathers, fruits and mute flowers are in “Dryad” (only apricot but in the grand scheme of things this is negligible). Someone has been very naughty and cunning in managing to create this synthetic orgy, circumventing said usual suspects. And we know who this is…

But if it were only that – only one of the myriads of such chemical messes, I would let it pass. Far from it though. From the very start, on me “Dryad” opens with a repugnant urine smell, in parallel to a piercing green which continues to alternate with something sweet, which I can’t pinpoint. Basically, this is a synthetic urine smell with alternating piercing green and disconcerted sweet, covered in some peppery-grayish cloud, where none of them can either blend or overpower the others. They just sit there like parallel entities, hanging aimlessly. And when they eventually get tired, what is left is the green peppery synthetic barbwire around your throat and head.

All in all, it took around 5 hours for the olfactory drama to calm down and for some modest pleasantness to finally peek out of the deep. I have to assume this is the dryad that so many reviewers seem to love. Only, the dryads were gentle, shy and enigmatic forest creatures. Calling this harsh, loud and pompous thing a dryad is an abomination. A dryad wouldn’t come within a mile of this concoction. But the ease with which names are thrown at perfumes these days… just as empty as they are catchy.

If I have to point one thing important about “Dryad” it would be its character. Like it or not, it will not leave you indifferent.

Other than that, in situations like these, I am tempted to hope I have enough of a lifetime to really master the art of perfumery and create beautiful perfumes, redeeming the art and showing what true perfume alchemy is.

And to top it all – the price tag is no joke. At least the bottle comes with a complimentary headache.

Sorry, but this thing screams in pain and cries for help for someone to end its misery and save it from itself.

Papillon Artisan Perfumes, Dryad:
Composition: 3/10
Complexity: 7/10
Development: 4/10
Naturality: 2/10

A fragrance that navigates in between Guerlain Vol de Nuit in the top (without the vanilla), to Balmain Vent Vert in the heart, to land on Heeley Verveine d'Eugene in the base. Moderate performance.
A great quality blend, but with a strong back taste of 'deja-vu'. At that price point, for me, quality is not enough. When shelling out $220 for just 50ml, I require originality. And this is definitely not the case here, like for the other 2 fragrances I tried from this house, that appears as being 'strongly inspired' by other creations. A pass for me.

A opening with a herbal, citrus - bergamot, bigarade, cedrat, ripe oranges - and some spice - this is my first impression here. The spices - mainly orris, cistus, and galbanum - prevent the citrus to be very fresh or bright, and the darker spices result in an olfactory twilight zone. The herbal influence is provided by thyme, clary dosage with whiffs of basil. An unusual and complex opening phase.

The drydown shift a bit by adding florals and fruits. Ripe apricots with whiffs of overripe yellow peaches mix with orange blossoms, narcissus and a darker and lightly powdery iris

That later stages are shifting gear again, with chypre-style components, with a mossy impression combining with a sharper benzoin and an - at times balsamic - styrax, which never takes on a medicinal or very camphoric character on me. On the other hand, a leathery undertone, without much of a smokiness on me, is noteworthy in the final stages.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection, and six hours of longevity on my skin.

This is a multilayered scent for autumn evenings, which suffers a bit from an overload of ingredients that cannot all fully develop, but they blend very well, resulting in a good and versatile development - there is hardly ever a dull moment here. The quality of some of the ingredients is indubitably high, and some are also natural. Overall a challenging and quite impressive creation. 3.75/5

Now this is a gorgeous 10 out of 10 green chypre fragrance that lasts over ten hours on my skin. It is one of the most complex scents I have experienced as there is so much going on.

On the opening I'm getting green hay, galbanum, oakmoss and then these floral parma violets take over. If you remember those parma violet candies as a kid well it smells like that but it's really beautiful. Lot's of earthy forestry smells with floral elements. It's very mossy just how I like my Chypre fragrance's. It really keeps your nose on it's toes so to speak.lol........ Big wow for me with this one, the quality just shines through. Did not think they made them like this anymore but here we are.

After about three hours or so I could pick up more of notes tobacco, iris, furry musk, vetiver and the oakmoss is to die for if you love the accord. Such a mossy warmth infused with the spirit of the forest. lol....... don't mean to get poetic there but if you smell this scent you will know what I mean. It's glorious!

What is very interesting is the constant shifting of the notes upon the skin. Every time you smell the fragrance you can pick up different notes and it constantly changes as time goes by. A example of this is I sprayed my chest and wrist and several hours into the drydown both areas smelled different. The scent from my chest area smelled like fresh iris and on my wrist I was picking up smoky green vetiver. And then nine to ten hours into the drydown it changed again smelling like the drydown of Knize Ten. Giving you sweet powdery floral accord, really heavenly.

All in all this is a fantastic perfume taking you on quite the journey through a enchanted forest as it constantly shifts and evolves on your skin. This fragrance is like a tribute to the old greats like the Guerlains of yesteryear. A massive thumbs up and then some from me. Love it!

There’s a prominent costus note in Dryad that almost ended up ruining it for me, much in the same way that cumin hijacks Salome and makes it unwearable on my skin. Thankfully, the costus in Dryad disappears after about an hour or so, leaving me with a dry down that is definitely worth the wait, as gorgeous as any of the classical green chypre/orientals, including Magie Noir, Givenchy III, Dioressence, and Paco Rabanne's La Nuit.

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