Perfume Review: Élisire Eau Papaguéna (Franck Salzwedel and Pierre Negrin) 2015 + What’s in A Fragrance Name Draw


Photo: Monica Belluci for Harper’s Bazzar; Photographer Signe Vistrup

What is your first experience with a new perfume? Is it holding the bottle, reading or watching the advertising, smelling the scent?  My initial encounter is often simply a matter of connecting with the name!  Sometimes perfume houses tell it like it is and name a fragrance for what it smells like. Then there are fragrance names that hint at what the perfume might turn out to be. Names are designed to suggest romance, fantasy, color, texture and music. But there are also monikers that have multiple meanings or that are totally esoteric – the significance of the name known only to the perfumer.


Photo: Dior Magazine #6 Ben Hassett

For me the name “Eau Papaguéna”, Franck Salzwedel’s 2015 fragrance created for Élisire with Firmenich perfumer Pierre Negrin, alludes to colors and sounds, as well as to astronomy and opera.   When I hear or read the word Papaguéna I imagine the luminescent greens and yellows of Amazon parrot feathers. The words for parrot in German, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch are similar (papagei, pappagallo, papagaio and papegaai respectively) Papagena is also the name of a large, bright asteroid – 471 Papagena – discovered in 1907, that made its most recent appearance in 2015.  My favorite connection to the name is via Papagena in Mozart’s’ Magic Flute. Although this character plays only a minor role in the opera, the duet between Papagena and her bird catcher lover Papageno is one of the all time delights and highlights of operatic literature and repertoire.



It is easy to connect all of these impressions with my experience of Eau Papaguéna. The extrait de parfum is initially bright, sunny, spirited and far-reaching, evocative of  fresh green herbs and bold, yellow citrus fruits, similar in the effect to classical Italianate colognes. The very first whiff refreshes with grapefruit, tarragon and mint. 


Alexander McQueen, Parrot Dress ‘Le Dame Bleu’ Spring/Summer 2008

Eau Papaguéna recedes after about 20 minutes to reveal a youthful heart of cardamom and honeyed orange blossom, balanced with vetiver, woody notes and Ambroxan.  Much like the operatic character, Eau Papaguéna does not stay long on center stage, but is memorable.  After a few hours a trace of vetiver, wood and a faint memory of orange blossom remain on my skin.  These last notes linger for three more hours. Sillage is close as one might expect from an extrait, but projection is excellent.


Ralf Jovoiss fro Maxim Italia

I imagine wearing Eau Papaguéna during the summer heat, but it is appropriate any time of year for either men or women.  Eau Papaguéna would be especially effective (and enticing!) worn as a compliment to a crisp cotton shirt and tanned skin – breezy, uplifting, clean and full of life. Notes include:  Calabrian Bergamot, Grapefruit Flower, Cardamom, Orange Blossom Absolute, Ambroxan, Incense, Haitian Vetyver and Cypress.

Disclaimer:  I would like to thank Franck Salzwedel and Élisire for the generous samples of Eau Papaguéna extrait de parfum.  My opinions are my own. 

Gail Gross – Sr. Contributor

Art Director: Michelyn Camen

 Our reviews of Ambre Nomade, Poudre Desir, Jasmin Paradis and Elixir Absolue here Editor’s Note: Gail is correct, so truly she made the connection.  According to Franck, Eau Papaguéna was indeed inspired by the character in the Mozart opera


Thanks to the generosity of Franck Salzwedel and Élisire we have a 50 ml bottle of Eau Papaguéna for one registered reader in the USA, EU or Canada (be sure to register or your comment will not count). To be eligible, please comment on what appeals to you about Eau Papaguéna based on Gail’s review, where you live and if you have a favorite Élisire fragrance or how important is a perfume name to your perception of fragrance.  Draw closes  Dec 8, 2016.


We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS feed…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.





New Fragrance: Shay and Blue Dandelion Fig (Dom De Vetta/ Julie Massé) 2017


I have never smelled a fragrance that uses dandelion leaf in its composition… nor can I remember seeing this ingredient in a perfume's listed notes… until now. Leave it to  Shay and Blue's Creative Director Dom  De Vetta   in collaboration with de facto in-house perfumer Julie Massé,  to compose an unusual, unisex, eclectic new perfume, Dandelion Fig.

Whisper-soft layers of fig and dandelion leaf.  Blended with lemongrass, tomato vine and juniper.”

TOP NOTES: Dandelion leaf opens the fragrance with a note of fresh green, while lemongrass adds a touch of heat.

HEART NOTES: Tomato vine underlines the green opening and juniper is the zingy counterpoint in the heart of the scent.

BASE NOTES:Fig in the dry down for a naturally earthy base to anchor the composition

Based on the description,  Dandelion Fig sounds different, fresh and modern.


Large size 100ml, Natural Spray Fragrance  £55 (roughly $ 70  and the portable 30 ml £30 ($ 38)

 Dandelion Fig, is being matured in vats for three months thus will be available worldwide March 2017, but will be sold on  in February 2017

Via Shay and Blue

Michelyn Camen, Editor in Chief who is very excited to get my nose on this one.


ÇaFleureBon Holiday Perfume Gift Guide (Part 1) + Best Fragrances to Give or to Get Draw


Black Friday seems to be hanging on through cyber-monday and we hope you #shopsmall. If you are a regular reader of ÇaFleureBon you know I don’t believe in blind buying perfume as a present unless it is a much-wanted bottle and I have reservations even then.  Even if you think you know what they want, true perfumistas are likely to spring for that bottle without telling you it’s off of their “Must…Have…Now” list and they are already onto the next acquisition, most likely something unobtainable, a limited edition of 20 and found only in Dubai. It is time to think outside the flacon. This year’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide includes over a dozen scented  treats that will please even the pickiest perfume peeps. It will take two posts to fit all the glorious gifts into our guide.


Belle Fleur Deluxe Fragrance Coffret

Perfume Gifts that aren’t Perfume

There are scented candles and then there are candles scented by a Robertet perfumer. Belle Fleur, one of New York’s toniest (no pun on Tony Perez co-owner) florists, also produces some of the most lush, evocative and stunning candles on the planet. Created in partnership with perfumer Jerome Epinette, who has developed perfumes for Atelier Colognes, Byredo and Jovoy amongst others, Belle Fleur’s candles are exceptionally elegant. Each candle burns for 50-55 hours and comes in Belle Fleur’s signature aqua/brown packaging. There’s a reason this small business won The Fashion Group Rising Star 2014 award.

mayan tuberose beyonce

Belle Fleur has combined their beautiful packaging (which made them our choice for Best Booth at Tranoi last September) with a jewel box featuring a mirror, and 2 removable trays in the limited edition Belle Fleur Deluxe Fragrance Coffret. In addition to the candle and diffuser, each Coffret comes with reed sticks,  a story card and a matchbox. My top picks among these beauties: Mayan Tuberose is a gorgeous, almost edibly creamy tuberose made lush and sultry by ylang ylang and vanilla. Burn this to channel your inner Rita Hayworth. Beyonce is such a fan that dozens are delivered to her hotel rooms; Bergamot Cedar smells like spiced oranges and bitter chocolate mulling over a wood fire. This is a perfect chilly evening scent, with a crackly sandalwood, almond pastille note of frangipani and resinous, disheveled cistus. This is the candle I’d light while snuggling up with a mug of cocoa while imagining I was in a log cabin in the woods.

$ 365 available at Instagram @bellefleurefragrances


The soignee Parisian tea shop Le Palais des Thés has been included in our holiday gift guide several times for good reason: their teas are consistently high quality, carefully chosen and blended by their in-house perfumer. While there are a number of tempting offerings including a sampler for herbal and green tea lovers, the true tea connoisseur will appreciate the Essentials Tasting Set which features a selection of 10 single-estate black, green and oolong teas along with an introduction guide to tastings. Standouts in the set include the earthy Pu-erh Imperial, an unusual black tea that with a woody, wild mushroom bouquet and savory-sweet flavor. Taiwan is rightly famous for its Oolongs, and Butterfly of Taiwan, with its amber color, smooth taste and mild astringency, is a classic example.


LONG JING green tea

If you are a green tea drinker, Chinese Long Jing has a mellow, delicate nuttiness and an aroma of sweet chestnuts. For black tea lovers, the Grand Himalaya is a blend made with the best Darjeeling from the First Flush 2013. Also included are: Grand Yunnan Impérial, a flowery and mild Chinese black tea; Genmaïcha, a unique mix of Bancha tea and roasted rice; Sencha Ariake,​ a grassy Japanese green; Margaret’s Hope, a fruity Darjeeling; Assam Hattiali, a high quality black tea from India with a spicy and full-bodied liquor and Saint-James, a Sri Lankan black tea. The Essential Tasting Set includes 10 whole leaf tea tubes of 12 g each, which is enough tea to brew a 6- to 8-cup pot – although Pu-erh teas can stand two steepings.

$ 55  Instagram @palaisdethes Lauryn Beer, Editor



Even when you can’t deck your halls (folks in tiny studios in the city or  those who live in the high desert know what I mean) with boughs of holly, it still can smell like Christmas 365 days a year. Annick Goutal’s Noël 3.4 oz home spray  brings back treasured memories of picking out that perfect evergreen and hanging orange pomanders studded with cloves from its branches. Buy one, give one.

 $ 55 Instagram @annickgoutal_official –Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief.


One of the most memorable perfumers I have met is Paolo Terenzi of Tiziana Terenzi , a third generation chandler- utterly charming, modest, politically incorrect.  Along with his sister Tiziana,  he creates complex and musical scents that seem to magically float in the air. One of the most unique gifts in this holiday guide is the Ambience Stone diffuser, handmade in porcelain, which as Paolo poetically told me, contains the “breath of the stone.”  Spicy Snow is redolent of cool spices and warm gourmand notes and is my personal favorite. Paolo also mentioned that this particular scent has aphrodisiac effects for those who are near it, so skip the mistletoe and go for the stone.

$ 100 at Instagram @fragrancegroup Michelyn Camen, Editor in Chief

Perfume Gifts that are actually perfume

little bottles of perfume

Lauryn is whispering  “But Michelyn, ÇaFleureBon is a perfume blog, and you HAVE to put in perfume.” She may be right, since according to a study in Cosmetic Monitor, 65 percent of all holiday gifts are fragrance. No studies have been done on how many have been regifted.


Parfums M.Micallef Advent Calender

Let the countdown to Christmas begin. Many Christian families keep an Advent calendar from December 1 to Christmas Eve, and each day the children open a flap and voila,  a trinket or a toy appears. The best Advent calendar for any perfumista is from Parfums M.Micallef, where 23 x 5ml sample flacons of perfumes await you …leading to the grand reveal… 30 ml of Ananda perfume, composed in 2005 by Geoffrey Nejman and Jean Claude Astier. Ananda is Sanskrit for “bliss”, which is what the recipient of this perfume will feel on Christmas Eve. The opalescent white crystal-studded flacon holds a soft, sheer feminine floral that is elegant and as classic as a perfect strand of pearls.

23 x 5ml samples + 30ml miniature $ 95 available at  Instagram @parfumsmicallef -–Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief


Great things come in small blue boxes. No, thisperfume pick is not from Tiffany’s but for fragrance lovers, it’s the next best thing. Shay and Blue Limited  Editions Precious Miniatures are 5 x 10 ml gems in five luxe scents: Salt and Caramel, Framboise Noir, Watermelons, Attropa Belladonna and Blood Oranges. Creative Director Dom De Vetta, (perfumer Julie Massé), formerly of CHANEL and Jo Malone, knows that a true perfumista changes fragrance on a whim. You can wear Attropa Belladona, a seductive heady floral, to a gala Christmas party and the next day snuggle up to that special someone enveloped in Salt and Caramel, a scent so yummy its lickable. 

$ 106.00   Instagram @shayandbluelondon –-Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief

We continue tomorrow with Part 2, featuring fragrant gifts from Parfumerie Generale, Caron, Michael Edwards “Fragrances of The World”, Maison Gabriello Chieffo, Lili Bermuda and Fumerie Parfumerie.


Saturday Evening Post-Christmas1918-JCLeyendecker

We have a draw for EVERY scented gift we are offering today and tomorrow to twelve registered readers… you must do this or your comment won’t count.

WORLDWIDE: Courtesy of The Fragrance Group distributors of Tiziana Terenzi  Ambience Stone diffuser in Spicy Snow

WORLDWIDE: From my friend Dom and all the team at Shay & Blue Limited  Editions Precious Miniatures

WORLDWIDE: Merci Martine et Geoffrey of Parfums M.Micallef, for the Advent Calendar 23 x5ml +30 ml of Ananda

USA Only:  We just love Tony and Meredith Perez for offering Belle Fleur Deluxe Fragrance Coffret in your choice of Mayan Tuberose or Bergamot Cedar

USA ONLY: With gratitude to Le Palais des Thés for the Essentials Tasting Set

USA ONLY: Thanks to the generosity of Françoise Allesi, the Retail Manager of Annick Goutal in New York City, (located at 955 Madison Avenue/ P (646)964-4795)  for sponsoring Annick Goutal’s Noël 3.4 oz home spray

To be eligible for our scentabulous 2016 best fragrance gifts please leave a comment with someone in your life who really deserves a great holiday gift and why, (it can be you) where you live and as many you would hope to win over the next two days.  Creativity and heart felt comments count, so one reader who leaves the comment that represents the true spirit of the holiday will win one of their choices.  Two members of the CaFleureBon team will judge from the twelve gifts that will be offered. So what do you think of our selections? The draw closes December 5, 2016

We announce the winners on our site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume