Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review (Part 4): Penhaligon's Fragrance Profiling Service Part 4 - Lily & Spice

I decided that for the purpose of this review I would present Alex Musgrave's recommendations in reverse order of what he decided I should try. That way I can save the best for last, right?

Suggested Fragrance: Lily & Spice
Here's what Alex had to say about this scent:
" of my personal favourite amongst Penhaligon’s fragrances - Lily & Spice. I just adore this scent. It the whiteness, the laundry-fresh, starch-like quality of this unusual floral that I love so much. The key is high quality white musks. These leave the soft, ivory, New England white trail across the skin.  Other notes include White Madonna Lily, saffron, pepper, clove, benzoin and vanilla. I’ll be honest, for you this will be total love or hate. I love white lilies, I am aware that some people don’t. But there is magic in this scent, darkness and light, haunting and dancing, simply beautiful and very easy to wear every day.  I have converted many people to this elegant, shifting gem and they still come in to thank me. I worked in Japanese fine art, in particular with textiles and lacquer. I like all things Japanese. I think one of the things I admire about Lily & Spice is the pared down, bone-white quality it has, it is quite Zen and contemplative at certain times of the year."
Lily & Spice? I love the name, but would it really be a scent I would like? I was very skeptical. The kind people at Penhaligon's sent me samples of this product and I was able to wear it for a while.

What Penhaligon's Site Says About Lily & Spice
Head Notes
White Madonna Lily and Saffron
Heart Notes
Hot Pepper and Clove
Base Notes
White Musk, Patchouli, Vanilla and Benzoin
Created in 2006, Lily and Spice is sensual and edgy, a floral oriental flirt, carnally spiced, thick with hedonistic blooms and musk. Saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, earthy and warm, wraps itself around the oozing sweetness of White Madonna lily. This incredibly lush accord plunges into dark spices, sparkling musk and thick swathes of clove-studded vanilla. The final effect is remarkable; outrageously beautiful, dark, sweet, earthy and creamy.
Perfumer: Mathilde Bijaoui
Lily & Spice comes in several forms, including perfume, soap, hand and body cream, and a candle. The Eau de Parfume comes in a 100 ml bottle for $125 and a 50 ml bottle for $95.

My Experience with Lily & Spice
I must admit when I heard the word "Lilly" I was instantly put off by the idea. Lillies are, in general, my favorite flower. I love the way that they look. I can not stand the way they smell in a concentrated form, mostly because my sinuses instantly get set off. I don't like rose sent for the same reason.

Lily & Spice begins with a hard hit of Lilly. And I'll admit, the first time I tried this scent I absolutely hated it. But as the scent dries down you do get a more darker scent, as Alex describes. I never got the "spice" from it, however. The scent was undeniably floral on me. I could not discern the Saffron. Blame my Dayton-tortured sinuses.

However, I tried this scent a second time and ended up wearing it for several days. While Lilly &Spice is not a favorite scent of mine, or of the Penhaligon's scents I have tried, it is quite a powerful scent and it did grow on me. I could see myself eventually obtaining this as something to have, but not something I would go to every day.

Bottom Line
With this scent in particular, obtain a sample (or several) first. And try it a few times before you make up your mind. Because of the clarity of the lilly scent, I think this is unique among the floral perfumes I have smelled.  But if you love true scents of flowers (lilly in this case) this might be for you!

Read my previous entries:

Image from Penhaligon's Website.