Lead Us Into Temptation: Review – Papillon Artisan Perfumes Salome

By Tara

The New Testament tells the story of Salome’s beguiling “dance of the seven veils” leading to the death of John the Baptist. As a result, she became a symbol of dangerous female seductiveness.

What a fantastic figure to inspire Papillon’s new fragrance.

Salome feels like the archetypal embodiment of all those women through the ages who didn’t shy away from their powerful sexuality, but positively reveled in it.

British perfumer Liz Moores released her first collection of fragrances last year to great acclaim. Anubis, Tobacco Rose and Angelique were all beautifully conceived and skillfully executed, so I was full of eager anticipation when this latest addition was announced.

salome bottle
But soon after, I wasn’t sure whether to be excited or apprehensive because the word I kept hearing murmured about it was “Filth”.

Salome includes notes of carnation, jasmine, Turkish rose, Africa Stone, oakmoss, patchouli, bitter orange, styrax, bergamot and orange blossom.

Now, this fragrant dominatrix doesn’t mess around. She confronts you straight away with her strident sexual advances, packing a punch direct to the nether regions. No wooing you patiently with a non-threatening beginning and then stealthily revealing a dark underbelly. Salome is all undulating curves and blatant come-hither looks, right from the start.

With foreplay forgone, we are plunged straight into the midst of the act itself. Resinous, musky and somewhat spicy, there are two or more writhing bodies radiating heat in the darkness, veiled only in a sheen of glistening sweat.

It’s reminiscent of a decadently debauched scene from Ancient Rome.

What gives Salome its potency is the presence of hyraceum, also known as Africa Stone. This is the petrified excrement of the rodent-like hyrax, which has aged and turned stone-like over hundreds of years. It’s an intoxicating, animalic aroma which is used as an ethical substitute for civet and deer musk.

It makes Salome a must-try for fans of skank everywhere as well as those looking to move over to the dark side. It’s enough to make even the most jaded perfume lover gasp.

I inhale and my heart beats a little faster.

However, her intention is not to shock and awe but to captivate and seduce. This is not a superficial filth-fest; there’s much more thought gone into the composition than that.

Salome maintains the collection’s admirably high level of refinement and craftsmanship. She stays poised within a classical chypre structure and retains her femininity through a floral touch.

With a deep need to connect, the fragrance adheres to your skin and doesn’t let go for hours on end.

roman-orgy-vasily-alexandrovich-kotarbinskyI recommend wearing Salome somewhere intimate. Keep it hidden, like a salacious secret you only share with your lover when you are as close as two people can get.

How do you get on with animalic fragrances? Do you think you could handle Salome?


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44 Responses to Lead Us Into Temptation: Review – Papillon Artisan Perfumes Salome

  1. Lady Jane Grey says:

    I adore Liz’ work (and Liz herself), and love her first 3 Pieces of Art, so I was excited to test Salome (BTW, I love the name of the new perfume). I boldly sprayed a small amount of juice from the vial and WOW ! It’s bottled sexiness ! Shame on me, but I’m not brave enough to “go public” with Salome. But I’m already curious (and cheekily so 😜), how people close to me will react when I wear Salome…

  2. Vanessa says:

    ‘there are two or more writhing bodies’…I see what you did there, haha. Like LJG, I have yet to brave the outside world wearing Salome, not least because my skin seems to amp up the animalic woomph factor even more than other people on whom I have smelt it. I salute Liz for daring to create such a potentially polarising – and retro – scent. And I do agree about the craftsmanship – I tested Salome against Bal a Versailles and the former struck me as much more smooth and well blended.

    • Tara says:

      Ha! You got it, V 🙂
      My skin really amps up the spice so it does seem to be one of those perfumes that can smell different on different people.
      How cool that Salome stood up so well against Bal a Versailles.

  3. Asali says:

    With a name like that, much like with En Voyages Frida, the perfume has to deliver, and isn’t it just great when it does? I’m curious about the Africa Stone- note, how would you say it differs from civet and deer musk?
    I’m curious about this one, as it seems that at the moment I’m really enjoying perfumes like Bal a Versailles and other dirty vintage perfumes. He, now I’m thinking about it; could it be because I’m looking at another great seductress at the moment: Dalila?
    Wonderful review, which says perfectly what kind of perfume this is, even if I somehow can’t imagine it will be your favourite from the line 🙂

    • Tara says:

      Asali, Salome really does live up to its name. I would say the Africa Stone here is more wearably musky than a lot of old-school skank. I reckon if I can wear it, it must be, ha ha. I don’t find it particularly fecal/urinous or beastly but I was a bit self-conscious wearing it on the tube this morning 🙂

      I think the timing is perfect for you and Salome.

  4. hajusuuri says:

    I’m scared.

    I’ll put this in the same category as Bogue MAAI which I have not tried because…see above 🙂

  5. Tina G says:

    Wow. Ok if you could see the look on my face right now it’s a slight worried frown, one enquiringly raised eyebrow, and a cheeky smirk.

    Hurry up, Australia Post… I want my sample NOW. 🙂

    Tina G xx

  6. cookie queen says:

    Hmmmmmm. I have not tried this on my skin. You know how protective I am of it.
    But I will. Next time I am on a plane. 😉

  7. Sabine says:

    I am pretty good with skanky scents and this one sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to try it. Or I just book a flight next to the cookie queen…)

  8. WOW! Sounds like something I could possibly like, just a teensy bit Tara.
    Love this post,
    Portia xx

  9. Well-written and great pictures. Now…I must visit lessentaurs tomorrow. I have smelled Africa stone on its own and it is hypnotic skank.
    By the way, I have recently bought grossmith saffron rose from bloom and love its animalic oud (yes i know) smell and spicy tobacco smoothened by rose and saffron. Never liked it before on paper, but on body it is magic. It is the best one that grossmith do.

    • Tara says:

      Thanks, Mahesh. It’s officially released on 1st August but I bet Les Senteurs will have some you can test. How interesting that you’ve tried Africa stone. “Hypnotic skank” is a great description.

      I appreciate your thoughts on Saffron Rose. It’s the Grossmith that has been calling my name as I’m a fan of both.

  10. I like skanky fragrances + I love all the other Liz Moore’s creations = I really like Salome. I DID go out wearing Salome and I will do so again. It’s a pity that I’m not living up to this super sexy scent. 😉

  11. Anka says:

    Oh, là, là, what an enticing review, your writing really has a seductive effect: I’m now very curious to try Salomé. So far I’ve tested Anubis and love it and I’ve tried the sunny Angélique which manages to surprise me with each wearing. It’s a pitty that First in Fragrance doesn’t offer samples of Tobacco Rose at the moment, which is your favorite from the Papillon’s, if I remember correctly? Well, and for animalic fragrances, I admire Musk Ravageur (and Anubis).

    • Tara says:

      Anka, Anubis is fab and Angelique is quite the elegant shape-shifter. I especially like Tobacco Rose because I’m a fan of big roses and often feel the need to cover myself in lush red petals 🙂

      Have you tried Papillon’s own website for a sample of TR?

      Hope you fall for Salome.

  12. Esperessence says:

    Loved your review, Tara. Although I have not tried Salome yet I can imagine what it smells like quite Well now and look forward to try it. I meet Liz last year in Amsterdam. She had an earlier version of Salome with her then which was more a mix between vintage Caron and Guerlain, quite different Than THE current final version.

    • Tara says:

      Thank you, Esperessence. How nice that you got to meet Liz in Amsterdam. I recall seeing pics of that trip. I also tried an earlier version of Salome and yes, it was quite different. It retains a vintage feel though.

  13. Sandra says:

    Great review Tara. Not sure if this is my thing but I am willing to give it a try when I can eventhough I will be nervous. xo

  14. spe says:

    Well, reading between the lines, it may not fulfill the basic criteria of “above all, smelling good.” (paraphrasing Guy Robert). There are so many fragrances that send my heart soaring, I have no need to waste time on something reportedly uncomfortable to wear in public. Thank you for the advanced warning!

  15. Sun Mi says:

    Tara, this sounds intense. I’m not sure how well I do with skank (I’ve tried only barely skanky scents), so I’m utterly curious… Thanks for the fun review!

    • Tara says:

      Hi Sun Mi,
      I’m terrible with super-skanky scents but this one is more about musky sexuality than foul smelling stuff. I’m very happy you found the review fun!

  16. Undina says:

    Great review, Tara! It sounds like something I should stay away from. I prefer my perfumes pretty 😉

  17. Suzanne says:

    Tara, if anyone could “Lead Us Into Temptation,” it’s you! I haven’t been wearing many animalic perfumes over the past year, believe it or not, but your review makes me want to. 🙂

    There is no cumin involved with this one, I’m assuming? (Because I know how you feel about that note, and you seem to be really enjoying this scent, by your description. You make it sound risqué yet sophisticated.)

    • Tara says:

      Ha, thanks so much for that Suzanne!

      Funnily enough, I do get cumin from Salome. However, I can still appreciate what a great composition it is and enjoy it in small doses. “Risqué but sophisticated” sums it up really well.

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