Hera by Papillon Perfumes

Notes: Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Ambrette, Rose de Mai, Turkish Rose, Orris, Narcissus, Ylang, Heliotrope, Clary Sage, Bergamot, Vanilla, Labdanum and Musk

I have a love of Papillon’s perfumes and the Greek myths, so while I feel the will to write about fragrance ebbing, the forthcoming release of the artisan brand’s eighth perfume, Hera, pulled me back.

All the fragrances created and hand-crafted by Liz Moores have a distinctive character. While being unmistakably modern there is usually a nod to the past. My personal favourite is Dryad which I have been wearing consistently this spring and have now used up half my bottle. If you are reading this blog, you’ll know that says a lot.

Hera was composed by Liz specially for her daughter Jasmine to wear on her wedding day. In Greek mythology, Hera is the Queen of the Olympians, protector of women and goddess of marriage and birth. Jasmine has now kindly agreed for her very personal perfume to be shared with the rest of us. It will be released in the U.K. on 16th May.

On spraying, I initially get a mix of shimmering bergamot and fizzing ambrette seed, which makes for a fittingly celebratory opening. The bergamot swiftly dissipates but the ambrette is immediately joined by a cloud of creamy orris butter. With the association of a wedding scent, I can’t help picturing layer upon layer of airy white tulle.

From looking at the notes, I had expected a lush white floral with orange blossom – the traditional wedding flower – front and centre, along with prominent jasmine and ylang. Instead, the flowers combine with a touch of heliotope to create a haze of abstract floral sweetness. This brings levity and prettiness to the orris which is the core of Hera, setting it off beautifully. This is a sophisticated bride but she also has wildflowers threaded through her hair.

The base is clean, velvety musk with traces of what has gone before. Happily, the orris is present throughout.

The retro side of Hera comes in the form of a ‘boudoir’ facet. One of my favourite types of fragrance, boudoir scents are evocative of 1940s dressing rooms with a mélange of waxy lipstick, face powder and a hint of warm skin. This aspect adds an element of sensuality and self-possession to the composition.

Hera feels like a glimpse behind the scenes as the bride is getting ready for her big day, rather than the public spectacle of her walking down the aisle. It has an intimacy that makes it much more alluring as a result.

This is the kind of perfume that unfurls on the skin rather than one that develops in a distinctly linear fashion. It is seamlessly blended with a rounded feel and a lovely soft, downy texture.

Being Extrait de Parfum strength, it wears extremely well while staying relatively close to the body.

I very much appreciate (though am not surprised) that Liz hasn’t gone down the road of a completely naive bridal bouquet. Hera is an elegant balance between refinement and free-spiritedness.

Let me know if you are eager to try Hera in the comments.



Filed under Perfume Reviews

21 responses to “Hera by Papillon Perfumes

  1. I am now, after I read your review. 🙂 I would also expect it more on white flower side from the notes than what you got. But I’m actually glad that it’s surprising in that way.


    • Hi Ines,
      Vanessa and I both found it to be an iris edged with flowers so it will be interesting to see how others find it. I was also really pleased because I love iris over white florals.


  2. Hamamelis

    I am glad Hera pulled you back. Even if you write one review or post every months I am happy to read them. Hera sounds lovely. I still wish to sample Anubis, so I might as well add a sample of Hera too in my basket!


    • I really appreciate you saying that Hamamelis, thanks.

      You’ll have a lot of fun sampling Anubis and Hera at the same time as they’re like night and day.


  3. I have Hera’s launch date I’m my reminders I’m so excited!
    My current Papillon favourite is Dryad too.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Hera, she sounds stunning! I was expecting a Liz take on OB & jasmine so the Iris being so prominent is a surprise. Iris isn’t my bag so I may sample before buying despite having planned a blind buy


    • It’s nice to hear you share my love of Dryad and are excited to try Hera.

      You may not get prominent iris like me, but it’s always a good idea to sample first if you can.


  4. Tara C

    Your review dovetails nicely with the Waft from the Loft guys. They got a main consistent note of iris as well. I’ve pre-ordered a bottle which my husband is offering me as a birthday gift. I’m a huge fan of Liz Moores.


  5. Belladonna

    Lovely review! It definitely gives me the info I was looking for!


  6. Lady Jane Grey

    Dearest T., so nice to read from you again !!!
    Based on your review I think it‘s high time for a blind buy for me… – continental launch on May 25th.
    Sending lots of 💕


  7. My favorite is Bengale Rouge, so I am eager to try this newest one. Especially knowing that it was created for the “personal use.”

    On a separate note: it’s so nice to see you here! 🙂


  8. What a fantastic review, which absolutely nails Hera. I love your image of the perfume evoking the bride’s preparations rather than her public presence, and can now imagine she has a glass of champagne in her hand as her hair is being done! – the fizzing ambrette seed you detected. Definitely a distinct boudoir vibe to this; I am so glad my nose / skin was not way off as I thought it must be when I smelt something unlike what I was expecting, given the presence of those bright and lush florals.


  9. Lisa Aldred

    Lovely review Tara xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. PANTING for some Hera now Tara. Lemming like crazy.
    Portia xx


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