Papillon Perfumery Spell 125 new release review

SubUmbra

Well-known member
Jul 9, 2018
I haven't worn it on skin yet, but one word I keep thinking of to describe Spell 125 is "austere" (and I mean that in a positive way!). It's the type of austere one might experience if they read "Wuthering Heights" for the first time.
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
This smells like a pine forest after a rainfall. Wet soil, damp wood and herbs, coniferous resin, with other subtleties creeping in. Very complex and evocative.
Would you characterize Spell 125 as fresh? Or do the subtle undertones you describe lend mystery to it?
 

Blizzard

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
Wow, it sounds fabulous.

Blizzard, I hope your bout with the virus will be brief!

Thank you. As of now, my sense of smell is completely gone (tried multiple sprays of Interlude and smelled absolutely nothing), which is very disconcerting for someone with our hobby!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
Thank you. As of now, my sense of smell is completely gone (tried multiple sprays of Interlude and smelled absolutely nothing), which is very disconcerting for someone with our hobby!
Yes, it is truly awful and not at all as rare a symptom as doctors initially thought. Of the people I know who've had COVID, at least half either lost their sense of smell entirely, or experienced distortions. Sometimes the sense of smell returns to normal in a matter of days or weeks, and I fervently hope that will be true for you. I just read that up to 47% of new COVID cases are among the fully vaccinated population! Everything about this virus is cruel, unusual, unfair and evil. And you just bought Spell 125! I wish we had a :banghead: emoticon here.
 

JonoBorneo

Well-known member
Jan 30, 2019
I received a sample of spell 125 today. I have to admit I’m a huge fan. What instantly comes to mind is.....Slumberhouse’s Norne! Perfect timing considering it was just discontinued. This, to me, is a lighter interpretation of Norne. Incense and Fir notes, but they’re fresher, greener, with higher diffusive qualities. Spell 125 isn’t a new genre, but it’s taken a classic and brought it into the realm of ultra-wearable. This will go right onto my wishlist.
 

Cheetah1919

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2016
I received a sample of spell 125 today. I have to admit I’m a huge fan. What instantly comes to mind is.....Slumberhouse’s Norne! Perfect timing considering it was just discontinued. This, to me, is a lighter interpretation of Norne. Incense and Fir notes, but they’re fresher, greener, with higher diffusive qualities. Spell 125 isn’t a new genre, but it’s taken a classic and brought it into the realm of ultra-wearable. This will go right onto my wishlist.

I like the sound of that!
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
I received a sample of spell 125 today. I have to admit I’m a huge fan. What instantly comes to mind is.....Slumberhouse’s Norne! Perfect timing considering it was just discontinued. This, to me, is a lighter interpretation of Norne. Incense and Fir notes, but they’re fresher, greener, with higher diffusive qualities. Spell 125 isn’t a new genre, but it’s taken a classic and brought it into the realm of ultra-wearable. This will go right onto my wishlist.
That is a really helpful description, JoniBorn. Sounds like Ms. Moores has struck gold again - she's one of the best.
 

Starblind

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Oct 2, 2013
I think lots of people will love this one, I'm just not among their members. I really admire Spell 125, I just don't want to wear it. As I mentioned in my review, if I hadn't smelled Mriga first, I might like Spell 125 a bit more. I would definitely enjoy it as a room spray or candle, though.
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
Finally got to try this one. Lovely dark pine scent. Awesome!!
Would you say that there's any hint of mystery and magic in this, of the kind referenced in Papillon's description of Spell 125 and the weighing of the heart ceremony? Is the incense of a deep evocative kind, reminiscent of Anubis? Or is this, instead, an exuberant pine forest fragrance - bracing, not brooding?
 

PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
Would you say that there's any hint of mystery and magic in this, of the kind referenced in Papillon's description of Spell 125 and the weighing of the heart ceremony? Is the incense of a deep evocative kind, reminiscent of Anubis?

Sure; haven't tried Anubis.
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
Sure; haven't tried Anubis.
I'm just wondering if Spell 125 is intriguing and mysterious, in line with the Book of the Dead reference that Liz Moores makes in her description of it. Most of the comments praise its coniferous notes, but I don't see much mention of the incense. I think I really need to just order a sample from Lucky Scent, as my question is probably too subjective for anyone to answer.
 

PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
I'm just wondering if Spell 125 is intriguing and mysterious, in line with the Book of the Dead reference that Liz Moores makes in her description of it. Most of the comments praise its coniferous notes, but I don't see much mention of the incense. I think I really need to just order a sample from Lucky Scent, as my question is probably too subjective for anyone to answer.

In my opinion, it is intriguing and mysterious, and, while the incense is not as prominent as the coniferous notes, it is certainly detectable and interesting, brooding. If that's what you're looking for, I would definitely recommend it. Of course, it is subjective as you said.
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
In my opinion, it is intriguing and mysterious, and, while the incense is not as prominent as the coniferous notes, it is certainly detectable and interesting, brooding. If that's what you're looking for, I would definitely recommend it. Of course, it is subjective as you said.
Thanks, yes, that does answer my question..."brooding" is what I was looking for, as bright sunny pine notes don't do much for me. Very subjective! :)
 

Mak-7

Well-known member
Sep 19, 2019
Just got my decant, qnd although i didnt wear it yet, i have to say that from a tiny trace of it on my fingers it is incensy. So far it reminds me the orthodox church smoke the most - meaning smoke from bees wax candles. And right with it - there is smth like black hemlock, which is not bright conifer, but dark and on top of that - there is either civet or ambergris(morning breath) polish to it.
A strange beast and i am reqlly waiting for tomorrow to give it a full wear
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
Just got my decant, qnd although i didnt wear it yet, i have to say that from a tiny trace of it on my fingers it is incensy. So far it reminds me the orthodox church smoke the most - meaning smoke from bees wax candles. And right with it - there is smth like black hemlock, which is not bright conifer, but dark and on top of that - there is either civet or ambergris(morning breath) polish to it.
A strange beast and i am reqlly waiting for tomorrow to give it a full wear
Ohhh, that sounds delicious!
 

Mak-7

Well-known member
Sep 19, 2019
The only creations of her that caught my attention were Salome, Anubis and Spell. Other 4 i cant even remember. Spell 125 is better than bengale rouge.
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
I've loved everything Papillon has ever done, especially Anubis, Salome and Dryad. My least favorite is Angelique, which is too sweet for me, but I recognize its excellence within its own genre. Tobacco Rose is gorgeous. Bengale Rouge is warm, honeyed and enveloping. Liz Moores alchemizes a distinctive spark within everything she does. I ordered a sample of Spell 125 just now, and even if I don't adore it, I know I'll respect its genius. That's just the way it is with Papillon.
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
Absolutely love Dryad and Anubis. Can't wait to try Spell 125 (waiting on a decant).
Have you ever smelled vintage Vol de Nuit? It doesn't age well, due to its loose structure, which is why I seldom wear it - it starts out fine, but quickly falls apart. Dryad smells like I imagine Vol de Nuit would have smelled when it was first created - a side-by-side comparison is breathtaking. I'm not saying Dryad is a VdN clone, but they share many notes and in Dryad they are fresh, crisp, nuanced and beautifully blended. I find it a superb fragrance, in a category all its own.
 

LinePlaneVolume

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
Have you ever smelled vintage Vol de Nuit? It doesn't age well, due to its loose structure, which is why I seldom wear it - it starts out fine, but quickly falls apart. Dryad smells like I imagine Vol de Nuit would have smelled when it was first created - a side-by-side comparison is breathtaking. I'm not saying Dryad is a VdN clone, but they share many notes and in Dryad they are fresh, crisp, nuanced and beautifully blended. I find it a superb fragrance, in a category all its own.

I've wanted to try Vol de Nuit, but haven't had the opportunity to yet. I have heard mention that they share some qualities. I'm just happy to have found Dryad, and I agree that it really stands on its own... a wonderful work of art.
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
For those in the US who ordered the full bottle: Did LuckyScent require a signature on delivery?

Edited to add: Never mind, the info was on LuckyScent's shipping page. Only $500-plus orders require a signature on delivery. And they ship UPS! Yay!
 
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LiveJazz

Funky fresh
Basenotes Plus
Mar 16, 2006
I gave Spell 125 a full wear last night. In short it is outstanding, and I will buy a bottle. I think Papillon is one of the best things going in indie/niche right now.

The opening caught me totally off guard. I was expecting a pretty straight piney incense, but there's a strong sour/bitter layer (a treatment of frankincense?) that smells vaguely poisonous, very dark, funky, living...a lot like decomposing wood...like when you lift up a big old pine log in a forest and there's bunch of damp forest matter and bugs and stuff underneath. This is alongside the ambient smell of living forest. In the opening, the darkness is dominant, and smelled up close, it can be a little offputting. But smelled as sillage, it works like a peaceful, cool, shadowy nook in the accord. This is exactly the kind of wearable "realistic damp living forest" scent I was hoping to find at some point. Did not expect to find it here.

Rereading Claire's review, she descripes the opening perfectly, and more eloquently than I could ever hope to:

"...a clutch of green resins, blackish gums, and saltwater dripping from trees in some primordial forest, immediately evaporating into smoky ether as they hit the hot minerals beneath.


"...smells both funkily organic, i.e., ‘ripped from nature’, and preternaturally airy, a whole diorama of sky, forest, and wind filling your lungs as you draw breath."

Lord, can she write.

It dries out going into the heart and base, but frankly I was so distracted by the extended opening that I need to smell it again to get a better handle on things. I don't recall the base feeling very incensey, at any point. It's hard describe...dry and austere, not purely woody, not really smoky, a little mineralic, "natural" yet I can't pin it to a specific natural thing. Dry dirt made of woody matter and pine needles is the closest I'm getting right now...the patch where the decomposing log was, after a several hours to dry in the sun.

TL;DR: Clearly the work of a genius at the top of her game.
 
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PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
I gave Spell 125 a full wear last night. In short it is outstanding, and I will buy a bottle. I think Papillon is one of the best things going in indie/niche right now.

The opening caught me totally off guard. I was expecting a pretty straight piney incense, bit there's a strong sour/bitter layer (a treatment of frankincense?) that smells vaguely poisonous, very dark, and a lot like decomposing wood...like when you lift up a big old pine log in a damp forest and there's bunch of damp forest matter and bugs and stuff underneath. This is alongside the ambient smell of living forest. In the opening, the darkness is dominant, and smelled up close, it can be a little offputting. But smelled as sillage, it works like the scent equivalent of a peaceful, cool, shadowy nook in the accord. This is exactly the kind of "realistic damp cool living forest" scent I was hoping to find at some point. Did not expect to find it here.

Rereading Claire's review, she descripes the opening perfectly, and more eloquently than I could ever hope to:

"...a clutch of green resins, blackish gums, and saltwater dripping from trees in some primordial forest, immediately evaporating into smoky ether as they hit the hot minerals beneath.


"...smells both funkily organic, i.e., ‘ripped from nature’, and preternaturally airy, a whole diorama of sky, forest, and wind filling your lungs as you draw breath."

Lord, can she write.

It dries out going into the heart and base, but frankly I was so distracted by the extended opening that I need to smell it again to get a better handle on things. I don't recall it feeling very incensey, at any point. It's hard describe...dry and austere, not purely woody, not purely smoky, "natural" yet I can't pin it to a specific natural thing. Dry dirt made of woody matter and pine needles is the closest I'm getting right now...the patch where the decomposing log was, after a several hours to dry in the sun.

TL;DR: Clearly the work of a genius at the top of her game.

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this and I'm glad you enjoyed it.
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
Wow, LiveJazz. What a fabulous review. Thank you so much for posting your thoughts. I just ordered a bottle, in addition to the sample that's hopefully already on the way.
 

Mak-7

Well-known member
Sep 19, 2019
I wore this frag for 10 mins and ordered a bottle. This is properly good and rustic and nostalgic to me.

Also, there is a Canadian Shoppe - company that still has it in stock and its 240 cad/191 usd. If they ship to usa for reasonable amount or maybe even free - you can save $25 and taxes on top of that. Just a suggestion.
 

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