Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Lys Mediterranee is a lily in the floral bouquet of Frédéric Malle Editions de Parfums, which includes two lush roses (Lipstick Rose and Une Rose), indolic jasmine (Le Parfum de Thérèse), rain drenched lilac (En Passant), elegant iris (Iris Poudré), sensual tuberose (Carnal Flower) and powdery mimosa (Une Fleur de Cassie). Woven by its creator, Edouard Fléchier, from several different lilies, it shines like dew drops on a large white flower floating in a bowl of water. Its heady sweet aroma is underscored by the succulent verdancy and aquatic transparency, giving a sensation of a cold waxy petal and golden pollen that spills leaving a dusty trail.
The linear nature of Lys Méditerranée and its static crystalline beauty are liable to leave me cold. On the one hand, it makes me think of lily symbolizing purity and, on another, of its funereal associations. Lily as a dominant theme has an effect of a cold crispness, which I find lovely but distant, wishing for a soft velvety touch to balance out the chilliness. …
Yet, the green muskiness of angelica root lends a quality that allows Lys Méditerranée to shed its impression of a bouquet of flowers carefully arranged on a pristinely white table cloth. A touch of saltiness is as welcome in the composition as a savory component in a dish made overly sweet. A vision of a large white flower begins to fade until one is left with a hazy impression of its scent. Suddenly, it becomes a smell of a place–a garden overgrown with grass and lilies, a florist refrigerator case containing cold flowers, an Old Delhi stall selling flower garlands… I still wish that Lys Méditerranée took me on a longer, more adventurous journey, yet the glimpse it shares with me is lovely enough to revisit this Frédéric Malle perfume from time to time.
Lys Méditerranée includes notes of water-lily, ginger-lily, lily of the valley, angelica root, orange and ambrette seeds. Editions de Parfums fragrances are available from Frédéric Malle boutiques, Barneys New York and Frédéric Malle Editions de Parfums website.
Photo: White Lily from scrg.org.uk.
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