WHAT I SMELL: Oh my; Hera opens up with a sweet orange blossom that quickly moves to a warmed jasmine and ylang, ylang. It’s thick, rich, intoxicating and absolutely breathtaking. From the beginning, Hera is beautifully all woman and has a persona that feels all-knowing with its golden glowing countenance. As the perfume develops, the florals become more creamy as the Rose de Mai begins to bloom from the center. The rose is rapturous without dominating and it helps to create a dream like aura in its wake. After some more time, a hint of incense whispers in, but I am guessing its the narcissus that I am smelling vs. incense, but in any case it adds a dimension of mystery to this rapturous beauty. In slow and graceful development, Hera begins to powder and dry and a wonderful oakmoss note appears. And a bit later, the perfume once again becomes a bit more creamy with what seems to be a hint of violet. Here, the perfume is so soft and enticing and lyrical in nature. It’s strange, because Hera seems to quietly move, meld and morph at every slow turn so it’s quite hard to pinpoint any development in a chronological order. And as a result, every time it’s worn it feels completely different, but no less beautiful. Hera is a gift from the gods of which this mere mortal is not giving it justice in my description, because it’s just to hard to put rapturous beauty into adequate words.
From the Papillon Artisan Perfumes website:
The goddess of weddings, family and blessings, Hera possessed a majestic power. Here, she is celebrated in the opulence of orris and jasmine. Engulfed in flowers, you are invited by a burst of orange blossom, radiating a golden halo of warm white flowers. Delicate touches reveal a buttery, rich embrace. Rose de mai brings a whisper of drama and gentle musk offers a sensual caress for Gods and Goddesses alike. A bright and beautiful perfume, steeped in energetic luxury and effortless glamour.
Notes: Jasmine. Orange Blossom. Ylang. Rose de Mai. Orris. Narcissus
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Perfectly named, Hera is indeed “Queen of the Gods.”
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE HERA: glorious, captivating, breathtaking.
BOTTOM LINE: It’s not often enough these days that I am completely swept away by the beauty of a fragrance. I find many that are wonderful and interesting, but not ones that immediately grab my soul. Hera is a masterpiece. And one reason why is that it seems to carry DNA from vintage Caron. Hera at times reminds me greatly of the chypre mastery of Alpona, the thickened golden beauty of En Avion and the intoxicating florals of French Can Can. I can’t stress enough that Hera is absolutely breathtaking. My only dilemma is that since I live in Mexico I can’t purchase a bottle because it’s unavailable here (in stores and for shipping). So until I travel to other lands, I will have to be patient, because Hera is a perfume that will be added to my collection without hesitation.
- Bone Rating: 5 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Floral
- Nose: Liz Moores
- Classification: Leans feminine, but I believe it’s easily unisex
- Expense: $310 for 50ml parfum extrait