Poppy Soma is a narcotic spicy beast from Parfums Quartana performed by the talented perfumer Emilie Coppermann and focused on the (yes provocative) dominant floral ingredient of poppy. Poppies are kind of sinister florals considered a symbol of both sleep and death. According to Greek and Roman mythology, poppies were flowers used to adorn tombstones in order to symbolize eternal sleep. At same time they also symbolize the blood for fallen soldiers on the battlefields of war. What do they smell like? Is hard to describe this alluring aroma (in general and in this specific case), sort of an intriguing smell of pomegranate and orange connected to a spicy core of pepper, cloves and cinnamon plus some cherry blossoms encompassed by something creamier and syrupy as vanilla and cocoa beans. In this case (in Poppy Soma) I detect a sort of burnt sugar spicy fruity vibe kind of indie and agricole. This dodgy creation is floral in a carnal edible way. Relentless as a jackhammer. Spiciness is extreme and kind of yummy/fizzy, a sort of super intense nectarinic vibe with a sort of fruity (kind of vaguely berrish/cherry-like) undertone. Definitely the aroma is musky and resinous while the floral "miasma" is boisterous, dirty, vaguely rotten and agressive with a strong tuberose, some earthiness from rose and a super edgy jasmine. Is like musk and frankincense melt a violent floral dough inside their blast furnace. Muskiness is definitely addled and wild. More in general Poppy Soma is not properly an "accomplisced" work of perfumery but more properly a wild deliberately unbalanced carnal aromatic mélange. Cinnamon, musks and chaotic peppery/floral/leafy elements dance initially random taking finally their more determined place in the gorgeous musky fluid. I detect this sort of bohemian crude vibe all around which is spicy, floral, fruity and musky. I detect a sort of mental association with a less floral Parfums d'Empire Musk Tonkin which is more "glorious" in vibe and a fragrance which exudes a more classic elixir undertone conjuring scents a la Aramis JHL, Coco Chanel, Estee Lauder Cinnabar and Ysl vintage Opium (despite in its case modernized and oriented towards more contemporary musky animalic beasts a la Mazzolari Lui, Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan or Bogue Maai) while Poppy Soma being more focused over a modern indie visceral less classic concept really rural, oily, mostly floral and experimental. Dry down is intense, dense and syrupy (fruitiness, burnt sugar and cherry-like spiciness) in a quite erotic way. Really powerful performances. A fatal spectral young woman could match the Poppy Soma-kind of ideal fellow (a super elusive and dangerous unknown creature from the woods wreaking havoc on a urban dark context).
Retrying Poppy Soma from Parfums Quartana is a treat. Like Midnight Datura, it's one of the entries in the Les Potions Fatales line that actually feels quite floral dominant, whereas most are more blended though named after central floral ingredients.
Poppy is a provocative ingredient for me, reminding me of heroin, opium, and poppy seed bagels all the same, but when combined, in this perfume, with other white florals that seem common to the Quartana line (jasmine, tuberose, rose) and others (gardenia, styrax) and rounded out with some musk and mixed pepper. It's overall quite seductive, creamy, sweet, and above all, floral.
The pepper does not seem to weigh heavily on my nose, the blend never seeming particularly spicy, but the musk comes out significantly in the dry down, in my estimation, as the scent shifts from sweet and sharp to mostly sweet.
It's a stronger performer than most of the line, as well, bold and dense for several hours before finally starting to thin out. Priced at $185 for 50ml, Poppy Soma is on the higher end of the line's pricing.
I would enjoy smelling this more on a woman than on myself, as that's simply how it feels on my skin, a bit unnatural for me, ever so slightly too floral, but it certain is quite the composition and lives up to its having won the 2017 Fragrance Foundation (Fifi) Award for Perfume Extraordinaire of the Year. Certainly a worthy try from the line.