Three Days of Lily Perfumes. Day One. The Un-lily-like: Calypso St Barth, Marina de Bourbon, Parfums 06130
Writing the review of Amoureuse made me realize that the last white floral bastion has fallen: the lily note, which used to be one of my biggest enemies, has become one of my favorite perfume ingredients. No, Amoureuse did not bring the change along; it simply reminded me how much I adore lilies. I think that if there is just one fragrance responsible for turning me into a lily-fan and perhaps even a white-floral fiend in general, it is the beautiful, creamy and slight spicy Antica Farmacista Casablanca. Granted, even in my lily-hating days, I used to like Angel Lily and Lutens Un Lys, however, the former is really not a lily soliflore by any stretch of imagination but rather a gourmand floral with an obvious likeness to its Big Mamma Angel, and the latter is, to me, a lily scent for the lily-phobic. But more on Un Lys later. I knew that my transformation into a white-floral lover has been complete when one of the scariest white florals of them all, Malle’s Lily Méditerranée, suddenly became breathtakingly exquisite and what’s more important - wearable, on my skin. More on Lys Méditerranée on Friday. Today I am talking about the lily scents I don’t like. As much as I love the note, not all lily scents have been created equal, and this post is about the ones that cower at the lowest stratum of my Lily Hierarchy.
Calypso St Barth Lily. I seriously, seriously dislike this one. I am actually not sure why it is called “Lily”, as the list of ingredients doesn’t even seem to include the note. What it includes, and what I smell, loud and clear, are roses, a generous helping of extremely sweet berries and fruits (black currants, peach, mandarin) and some sandalwood. If I put my imagination into the work-hard mode, I can sort of, kind of envision that the creators might have been trying to suggest the heady sweetness of lilies rather than to go the straightforward route and actually put some lilies into a scent bearing the name “Lily”. They are being creative and kudos to them for that, but the end result is, on my skin, a cloying, syrupy mishmash of fruity notes.
Another “inventive” take on the theme is Lys by Marina de Bourbon. Marina de Bourbon’s signature fragrance is one of my longest standing holy grails, and, out of sheer loyalty (and masochism), over the years I’ve been seeking out other scent from this obscure line. Unfortunately, apart from Marina de Bourbon EDP, the perfumes are nothing to write home about…unless you are writing a lament about the lack of beauty, refinement and originality in modern perfumery. Lys’ long and impressive list of notes (fig, passion fruit, plum, tagette, apple, rose, mimosa, jasmine, cinnamon, cypress, cedar and musk) does not include any sort of lilies, and I cannot in all honesty report that the scent which, two-thirds through its development, does evolve into a cold, somewhat sharp white floral, smells of lilies. What I mostly smell is harsh, robust jasmine which makes me think of Diane Von Furstenberg’s white floral monster that is Tatiana, but sweetened considerably by fruits aplenty. Those fond of figs might be delighted by the figgy- green beginning of Lys, but the note is very short-lived. The fans of dry woody base notes will feel at home at the drydown stage of Lys. Lovers of lily scents should look elsewhere.
Yet another unappealing and, to me, rather un-lily-like lily scent is Lys by Parfums 06130. I tried it a while ago and wrote a review. Having re-sampled it recently, I can say that my opinion hasn’t changed. The scent is as pale, dull and strangely reminiscent of (although much inferior to) another of the brand’s offerings, Yuzu Rouge, as I remembered it.
Tomorrow, the lily scents that are OK But Not Stellar, and on Friday, the post on Lily Perfumes to Die For.
Calypso St Barth Lily is available at Luckyscent, $90.00 for 100ml. Marina de Bourbon is sold at FragranceX, $25.95 for 100ml. 06130 Lys can be found at Aedes, $90.00 for 100ml.
The painting is Lilies by Walter Crane.