Lily: 9 posts

Serge Lutens La Vierge de Fer : Perfume Review

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I don’t know why I expected a perfume called La Vierge de Fer (The Iron Maiden) to be the olfactory equivalent of punk rock*. Serge Lutens is as enigmatic as ever in his description and sources of inspiration. The fragrance was inspired by Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. It references a lily, a flower traditionally associated with the Virgin Mary. The website blurb also mentions instruments of torture. Oddly enough, this kind of eclectic mix appeals to me, and I was curious to see what scented shape it would take.

botticelli-madonna

I dabbed the pale, grey tinted liquid on my skin and took a deep breath. I inhaled jasmine; its green twigs, yellow pollen and crinkly petals unfolded one by one as I stood with my nose pressed to the pulse point on my wrist. Every time I’ve worn La Vierge de Fer since then, I’ve noticed other elements–the fizzy, silvery sparkle, the waxy lily petals, the warm musky sweetness, but I still can’t shake off my initial impression of being wrapped in a soft jasmine veil.

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Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia : Perfume Review

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An announcer on the Belgian weather channel–wearing sparkling eye makeup and a deep-cut sweater–says with a pout, “Le temps est exécrable” (The weather is awful). There are several ways to deal with Belgium’s dreary weather–to complain, to approach it with a sense of humor, or to ignore it. Belgians are good sports about it, and on any given day, as long as it’s not raining, the outdoor seating at cafes is full, regardless of the chill.lys-soleia-guerlain

I don’t fancy eating dinner in 40F weather outdoors, but I have my own ways to add a splash of sunshine to a grey, overcast day. Over the years, I’ve cultivated a little winter perfume wardrobe to which I add a new favorite from time to time. Last year, Guerlain Lys Soleia from its Aqua Allegoria collection became my cold weather staple. As its name promises, it’s sunny and bubbly.

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Tom Ford Jardin Noir Lys Fume : Perfume Review

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“Flowers can have a dark enchantment,” says Tom Ford of his new Jardin Noir series. “When you showcase their darker and less innocent aspects, flowers can become so thrilling and beautiful, they could almost ruin you. That was the sensation I was after.”* For a flower from a collection called Jardin Noir, Lys Fume upon first impression is not all that dark. For a perfume named “Fume”, which I take to mean “smoked lily” in French, the smoke is quite subtle.

But even if Tom Ford is after the “film noir” glamour goddesses in theory only, Lys Fume is an enjoyable fragrance. Real lilies smell intensely indolic–of ink and moth balls–and while perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Shyamala Maisondieu  tone down the animalic components, they didn’t shy away from exploring some surprising twists to create this blossom.

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Cartier Baiser Vole : Fragrance Review

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Cartierbvad2

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

A lily that flirts with vanilla, Cartier Baiser Volé took me by surprise. After experiencing the pretty, but overly timid Cartier de Lune, I expected that Baiser Volé would fit its name, which means “stolen kiss” in French, by possessing a delicate and fleeting character. I was right about delicate, but fleeting and limpid it is not. For all of its soft and caressing presence, it has a distinctive and vivid character. While its start is sparkling and bright, Baiser Volé becomes warmer and richer as it develops, turning from a gauzy veil to a comforting cashmere wrap.

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Serge Lutens Un Lys : Fragrance Review

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Un-lys

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Pretty, classical, romantic… Un Lys is somewhat of a wallflower next to the quintessentially dark and cerebral Serge Lutens blooms like dramatic Tubéreuse Criminelle, voluptuous Fleurs d’Oranger, animalic jasmine of Sarrasins, or even dusky Bois de Violette. Yet, what Un Lys lacks in drama, it more than makes up by its bright, uplifting character. It is a fragrance I reach for when it has been raining too long or when I crave a waltz, for Un Lys is truly the olfactive equivalent of Strauss’s Blue Danube, given its radiance and romantic elegance!

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Latest Comments

  • Ninon in Recommend Me a Perfume : August 2017: Oh my! I’ve wondered about this one for ages. I will get my hands on a small vial 🙂 August 17, 2017 at 5:55pm

  • Ninon in Recommend Me a Perfume : August 2017: Thank you! I tried Ormonde Woman many years ago, when I was new to niche. I will be sure to try it again. And thanks for the Coty rec–Ma Griffe… August 17, 2017 at 5:52pm

  • Ninon in Recommend Me a Perfume : August 2017: Thank you so much! I actually just received a mini of vintage Niki Saint Phalle parfum this week and it is heavenly! I’ve been wondering about Zelda…I will be sure… August 17, 2017 at 5:50pm

  • rosarita in Recommend Me a Perfume : August 2017: Still relatively easy to find at discouters/eBay is Niki de St Phalle, a classic softer chypre. Estee Lauder Private Collection or Aliage also. For a more modern yet vintage feel,… August 17, 2017 at 4:23pm

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