Dryad fragrance notes

    • Bigarde orange, Bergamot, narcissus, jonquil, Orris, Orange blossom, costus, galbanum, clary sage, deer tongue, cedrat, benzoin, iris, lavender, thyme, Vetiver, Tarragon, Apricot, Balsam, Styrax, oakmoss

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Latest Reviews of Dryad

This is the second frag I've tested in the last few weeks whose heart is a dead ringer for my signature scent from 15 years ago, Dia de los Muertos: an indie oil from a now defunct brand I thought I'd never smell again (the other dupe is Rogue's Vetifleur). It's this moss and white floral accord that reads jungle-y and attic-y all at once. Out of this and Vetifleur, this is my favorite; Vetifleur has too much sharp citrus in the opening, where this is all a bitter leafy green. This carries over along with a little ghost of incense from the Clary sage into the beautiful floral heart, so it doesn't veer too sweet or cloying. Definitely going on the FB wishlist.
29th December 2022
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.
29th July 2022

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
30th May 2022
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.
8th February 2022
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
12th December 2021
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!
30th October 2021
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.
28th October 2021
Dryad opens with a slightly sweet, fruity floral orange blossom and apricot focal tandem with underlying smooth orange fruit support before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart woody green cedrat melds into the orange lingering from the open, as hay-like herbal deertongue joins green spicy, woody galbanum and mild woody vetiver in support. During the late dry-down the composition completely shifts to a mossy (likely oakmoss and tree moss derived) green late dry-down with little remaining of the previous notes through the finish. Projection is average and longevity outstanding at well over 15 hours on skin.

Dryad smells fantastic. As soon as one applies the perfume on skin a gorgeous orange blossom emerges that quickly morphs into an equally appealing vetiver and galbanum enhanced spicy-woody heart. Quite frankly, this profile I expected to continue through the late dry-down, but the perfume rather surprisingly shifts gears completely, morphing into an equally appealing but all together different mossy-green focal late dry-down that lingers for hours and hours. The mossy-green dry-down definitely contains some oakmoss within, but its smooth facet and seemingly endless duration leads this writer to believe the oakmoss is heavily infused by tree moss. Another possibility is this is a tremendous implementation of the IFRA compliant low atranol oakmoss that has proved unimpressive in so many other compositions. However the perfumer achieved the highly appealing mossy-green base, it is it be commended. The bottom line is the $186 per 50ml bottle Dryad is a fine example of a modern day green chypre that gets just about everything right, earning it an "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 rating, and a strong recommendation to all.
25th April 2021
This is a classic. It's a beautifully well blended everything-even-the-kitchen-sink kind of fragrance. Good longevity, and I got wafts during the day. Then the far drydown on clothes is gorgeous. I can't pikc out a lot of the individual notes, but it doesn't matter since the whole is so harmonious. Love this one.
27th February 2021
Dry green

I put it on. Ah, dry green fougere. Read some reviews. Chypre? I feel like a must be having a tough time distinguishing. Dried down to still a fougere to me. I dont know. I experienced a dry green fractured mossy fougere.
30th September 2020

After reading the other Basenotes reviews, I was expecting a mossy green chypre, but my nose tells me this is a very dry leather, the inside of a well-used leather shoulder bag, with hints of its former contents left behind.

It is so light and so dry I can barely detect it. I had to keep making sure the liquid in my sample was actually coming out of the vial, as I couldn't detect its feel at all.

It's very hard for me to rate this one, since it's so ethereal.

My spouse did not enjoy it, finding it to be harsh – a murky, musky green, giving the impression of trying to cover up rotting vegetation with overly sweet florals.

Two entirely different takes. Going with my dry leather impression, I must give it a neutral as it doesn't really impress. It's just odd and different, almost a non-scent.

23rd May 2020
Dryad is a back-to-basics kind of perfume. It delivers a dry green chypre uncomplicated by sideways excursions – presumably to satisfy the mossy yearnings of perfume lovers, now that this material features so insignificantly due to current restrictions. So we have the arid, ever so slightly yeasty, severity of oakmoss, signifier in perfumes of yore that they had backbone, dressed in the dark green skirt of galbanum, with a bit of herbal zing from clary sage. These are all good things and the range of other notes declared remains muted behind these two players. Except of course for the beautiful rich, buttery green floral note of narcissus, blooming in its heart.
Dryad is not always a hit on my skin – some days when the floral centre opens up and expresses itself, the sylvan intention seems perfectly realized and all is fine with the world. But I have also had wears where it remained contained and restricted to the chypric bones, and then it felt a bit like skinny fashion. Fine for purists, but a touch too single-minded.
26th February 2019