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I have always felt the forest to be a very magical place, and my love of all things otherworldly and mysterious definitely manifested itself in this perfume. I think the name encompasses those ideas of earth and magic, and of being entirely centred with nature.
You live very close to nature, and we think that out of the Papillon scents Dryad has the greatest feel of greenery, the forest, and moss.. Tell us about your influences when creating this scent.
I always site my surroundings as influencing my fragrances, but in my eyes Dryad is the most definitive in its representation of the forest. It was not my ambition to create the smell of the forest where I live as such, rather I wanted to take this as a starting point and bring in elements of mythology and folk tales. I tried to play on the idea of nature meeting with skin and the effect this creates, so the figure of the Dryad instantly came to mind. I also always refer people to the poem ‘Dryad’ that my daughter Jasmine wrote in response to the fragrance (below), as I feel this best captures my intentions for the fragrance.
Your scents, and you, always possess a certain glamour - and, as well as having this green quality, Dryad in particular has a glamorous feel, and has been described as Guerlain-esque. What does glamour mean to you? How do you express it in your creations?
I think glamour and luxury are created within yourself. I feel most glamourous when I feel confident, so when I create fragrances my only hope is that those who wear them do so with confidence. I also think that the quality of the materials is essential in creating a luxurious feel. They add a depth, which brings sexiness and glamour to a fragrance.
What are the characteristics of some of the ingredients you used in this perfume? We are intrigued to hear more about deer tongue.. we understand it is a kind of lily?
I tried to encompass the elements of the forest as well as a suggestion of changing seasons. I used the Galbanum to create the greenery of the leafy canopy, and Oak Moss and Benzoin for the deep earthy bark. The Narcissus and Jonquil added gold tones. Deer Tongue is part of the lily family; they’re plants that are found in large group on the forest floor and have a vanilla like fragrance that is drawn from the leaf. Everything about this material married perfectly with the overall concept for the perfume.
Animalic and 'dirty' notes often come to the fore in your scents. Tell us about some of your favourite animalics, how you use them and why?
It’s so difficult to choose favourites and animalics are some of my favourite materials to work with. I adore Civet for the warm glow it gives and how perfectly it works with rose. I adore Ambergris for the space it gives between other materials. If I had to choose a favourite I think it would be Hyraceum; I use this in Salome and love the sheer sexy and sensual nature of it.
How did the scent's concept change as you developed it?
Although the fragrance itself will change a lot from the initials mods, the concept does not change. I knew what I wanted to create so the overall vision remained the same.
You said before that you sometimes have too many ideas. How do you find what ones to draw out into a perfume?
It really is a case of trial and error and seeing which ideas begin to manifest themselves feasibly as an overall fragrance. I spend a long time thinking of the ideas before I would even start putting together materials, so there will always be ideas that stand out. My studio is full of ideas that have had to be abandoned because they are not coming together; equally, I can sometimes return to these months later with a fresh mind and smell something entirely different.
Has becoming a perfumer changed the way you approach and pay attention to your other senses too?
I associate smell with colour, so piecing together a fragrance also involves a lot of colour work for me. When I’m creating, it’s a complete sensory experience, although this can be tricky with small children in the house. I have always had an acute sense of smell so this hasn’t necessarily changed since becoming a perfumer, it’s just being put to use!
Do you have any favourite books on perfume?
Mandy Aftel – Essence and Alchemy
Can you tell us about anything you have planned for the future?
I am always coming up with new ideas for perfumes and plan to continue working on beautiful fragrances. I do not have a specific plan, but I will allow Papillon to grow organically as I always have.
by Jasmine Moores
Settled in silence. I utter no words,
but my lashes flash fluent in the language of birds.
My fingertips feather the sparkled patois of flora
my skin, steeped in sunlight, flows smoothly with fauna.
The hushes of rushes steal sounds from the wind.
Is it often lamented, the weight of my tongue?
Or the vetiver ash that rests in my lungs?
Wordless in woodlands, my senses can sing.
sound is not needed
to speak from within.
I press soft flesh to bark in the evening’s gold dusk,
to breathe heavy hues of a Satyr’s musk.
My body is swelling with the oak’s root and seed
Our veins and our vines weave together with ease,
And as your chatter dispels at the shake of our leaves,
You set your ear to our chest, to hear the whisper of trees.
We rise not in your throat, nor your mouth, nor your teeth.
But we streak coloured streams set to dazzle.
When your eyes close in the chaos of our heady wood drowns,
and heavy with ache in the spectrum of colours you’ve found, I hold you close.
and deafen sounds.
Beneath the dark of your eyelids, our damp forest floor rises.
The lilac of lavender soothes dwindling sight.
The essence of our body’s sap stained perfume
Soars above oak beams, drenched in silk, silver light.
I press the soft suede of an apricots sheath to your lips.
The sweetness jars with narcissus’ bitter.
Head tilted, enchanted, you breathe your first breath, with the timber of touch I lead you, bereft
of sight and of sound, but with gilt dew on your skin
each of your pursed pores unravels, and the forest seeps in.
I watch moist emerald moss survive in the sun,
I catch burnished, bronze leaves that fall from each stem.
While dwelled in the canopy, I skim saplings in starlight,
And dust gilded galbanum through the dim of the glen.
From autumn to summer, from winter to spring
The branches and bow are open.
The changing of seasons ticks with the sun.
Each colour prints petal marks to rest at your chest;
it is dappled with wolf’s blood and the slick of deer’s tongue.
Roses creep at my ankles, bergamot blooms
Clary sage clouds you with billowing fumes,
and here in my tree I watch you awaken; I do not hide behind trunk or stem.
So dance with the Dryad’s, sip all you have taken
Fall blind, deaf and drunk in the pearl of the glen.
Whisper so soft, your breath on my neck
Inhale at the bow of my tree.
What are words in a wilderness?
save your lament
I spin voices and chants with the power of scent.
My touch lifts you to heights of nature’s true worth,
and I speak every word, with the fragrance of earth.
Dryad poem copyright of Jasmine Elizabeth Moores and Papillon Perfumery
Photo credit to Thomas Dunckley aka The Candy Perfume Boy