Butterfly, the Queen of the Night and Musetta

Last week, I mused about which perfumes certain heroines of operas might have worn and so, here are my three suggestions.

Butterfly from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly – Osmanthe Yunnan

Butterfly might have splurged on an expensive Hermessence with all the money that Pinkerton left her before going back to England (the first time).  She might have purchased ultra sheer, ultra discreet Osmanthe Yunnan.  Now, I know that this fragrance was  inspired by Beijing’s Forbidden City, so it is more Chinese than Japanese, but I still think that the combination of yunnan tea and the fruity-scented osmanthus flower would have appealed to the shy, delicate Butterfly.  A second runner up is also from the Hermessence collection and perhaps more appropriate… Rose Ikebana.  I’ve tested both and I think both would have been perfect for her.

The Queen of the Night from Mozart’s The Magic Flute – Iris de Nuit

At the risk of being too literal, I’m going to go with Heeley’s Iris de Nuit.  This downright chilly accord of iris and violets makes me shiver every time I spray it on… and I wore it twice this week before I put it back in the magic closet and wondered how wonderful it might be in the sweltering heat of summer.  It’s an odd perfume, definitely not for everyone… no optimistic muguet, nor lovely jasmine… no warm ambers. I could definitely imagine the Queen of the Night in this fragrance adding a chill to every room she enters… and leaves.


Musetta from Puccini’s La Bohème – Angel

This one was easy and it came to me in a flash!  What would be the perfect perfume for one of the most beautiful, frustrating and flirtatious heroines of all operatic time?  Angel!  And it would have been perfect for Musetta’s waltz with its multi-voiced melody… everyone singing different melodies and lyrics at the same time and yet creating a wonderfully cohesive aria that you’ll remember forever.  Once you’ve smelled Angel, you’ll pick it out of a crowd time after time.  If you don’t know much about opera, you might remember a song that Della Reese sang called Don’t You Know, which was taken directly from Musetta’s Waltz.  If you have time to listen to it here… enjoy!

I’ll come back to this theme later in the year and focus on the men.  Next week I want to talk about Lot’s wife from the Old Testament.

Have a nice week.

Leave a comment


  1. FiveoaksBouquet

     /  January 28, 2018

    Excellent choices! Operatic roles really do seem to be enhanced by a perfume that brings out the character of the individual being portrayed. Looking forward to hearing about perfumes for male characters later on and I’m really curious about Lot’s wife!

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