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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lily of the Valley Week. Day 3. Comme des Garcons, Floris, Jessica McClintock, Les Parfums de Rosine, Parfums de Nicolai

Comme des Garcons – Lily

I debated whether to include this scent in the Lily of Valley Week or to wait till the Lily week (yes, it’s coming, as well as Gardenia, Tuberose and Jasmine weeks…do you see a trend here? ). Lily of the Valley won, because, although I smell both flowers in Comme des Garcons surprising creation, lily of the valley is much more prominent. I say “surprising creation” simply because this rather conventionally pretty, frankly unexciting scent seems rather out of place in the brand’s quirky lineup of fragrances. It starts with a very green muguet, and that is the stage I enjoy the most; the scent has a dew-drenched feel of an early, cool spring morning…then the perfume grows considerably sweeter and stronger, this is when I smell lily (maybe Casablanca lily) and freesia. The latter adds an unwelcome pink heaviness to the blend; it seems incongruous in this ethereal white-green composition. After going through the very sweet phase, the scent does a full turn and becomes fresh and green again, but to me the freesia-laden heart is a good enough reason not to ever want to own a bottle of Lily.

Floris – Lily of the Valley

First created in 1847, Floris’ Lily of the Valley is the oldest of the muguet scents I am talking about this week (Guerlain’s Muguet was originally released in 1906). The title note is indeed very prominent here and is at the center of the composition, but I almost hesitate to call the perfume a soliflore. The rose is particularly strong; it is sweet, juicy, and very life-like. I imagine Floris’ creation to be a lovely bridal bouquet made of delicately-pink roses and dazzling white lilies of the valley. The scent is very pretty, very easy to wear, but it has too much rose for me to absolutely love it.

Jessica McClintock – The Fragrance

Again, this is not a soliflore, but the lily of the valley is prominent enough to warrant the perfume’s inclusion in the muguet week. The beginning is citrusy, slightly herbal, almost a little peppery, with the green basil note serving as bridge of sorts to the green lily of the valley, which will become apparent in the heart. Jasmine is almost as strong as muguet, but not quite; on my skin, lily of the valley is the dominant floral element of the blend. The drydown is softly woody, delicately sweet. The scent makes me want to don a white sundress …maybe even a sundress with ruffles…and to act all demure and a little coquettish, in other words, completely out of character…I am considering buying a bottle.

Les Parfums de Rosine – Le Muguet de Rosine

It is rather sad that Parfums de Rosine decided to focus on rose scents only, as the now discontinued perfumes, the opulent, fruity-ambery Coupe d’Or, the fresh and creamy tuberose Mea Culpa (one of my favorite tuberose scents of all time) and Le Muguet, are as beautiful as the rose perfumes in the collection. Le Muguet is a tricky one for me. It likes to play with me; on some days, it is green, green and green, with fresh lilies of the valley and lots of grass and not much else. On others, it is a fragrance of considerable depth and breathtaking complexity. On those days the jasmine becomes very prominent, bringing with it a vaguely indolic quality, and the rose adds to the scent a wonderful honeyed aspect. The drydown is musky and slightly resinous. An interesting, sophisticated rendition of lily of the valley, and it truly is a shame that it is now practically impossible to find.

Parfums de Nicolai – Eclipse

There are many "light-green" renditions of lily of the valley, Nicolai’s is "dark-green". It has sumptuous, peppery greenness of basil and oakmoss. Because of the presence of anise, lily of the valley here has sweet spiciness… or spicy sweetness. I strongly believe that there is rose somewhere in this beautiful composition, as I sense rather than distinctly smell a presence of its bordeaux-colored petals among the greenness. Much more than simply a muguet soliflore, this is a very elegant, very sophisticated blend that possesses the sort of creamy sumptuousness that I came to associate with the work of Patricia de Nicolai.

Comme des Garsons Lily and Parfums de Nicolai Eclipse are available at, $68.00 and $70.00 respectively; Floris Lily of the Valley is sold at, $45.00-$70.00; Jessica McClintock can be found at, $48.00-$68.00.

We take a break tomorrow for Tom's report on L'Eau du Jatamansi. Lily of the Valley will be back one last time on Friday.

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Blogger tmp00 said...

How funny- when I was at ScentBar trying to get a LotV scent I trried the CdeG Lily and dismissed it because I got all Freesia, all the time. I was told that there was LotV in Jatamansi, but of course that will be dealt with tomorrow.

Gardenia, Tuberose and Jasmine weeks? Oooooh!

12:57 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night as I lay in bed I thought, "Shoot, I haven't tried Eclipse! I bet Marina will write about it this week." I'll put it on my definite to-try list. :-)

1:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Martin said...

Oh no, I can't believe that one of my favorite muguets, CdG Lily, get this low rating! :) For me, it is a very easy to use white floral, which never seem to become too boring on me. And never too femme either, which is a plus. Definately very green.

Diorissimo sure is the queen of all muguets though. I have a small sample of the EdP and the newer EdT and both are fantastic inmo. It feels like I've fallen down into the flower, trying to climb out of it on squeaky stems. It is pornographic take on a lily of the valley for sure. I have been guilty of wearing it going to the clubs at night...

Your view on AoP is one I share, clean but too clean. I could see myself wearing it though, but mostly because I'm so in love with the note of lotvs.

I got myself a bottle of Floris rendition real cheap, before I could try it. It sure is nice and easy to wear, but a tad too easy. Haven't noticed the rose, but will wear it today to see if I can pull it our of the backgrounds. Beeing such an old fragrance I was almost certain to find a muguet with a lot of OOMPH, but no. Floris' is on the verge of being boring.

I'm not sure if this one is a muguet or not, but I tend to group it together with Floris and CdG: Jalaine Ocean. It has some fangs and claws compared to Floris from what I can remember. Have you tried it?

And last, Penhaligon's version, one I haven't tried that many times but from what I can recall I found it interesting with woody undertones.

Great reviews, I can't wait to read the final chapter!


5:35 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Well, I was feeling seriously out of my depth here, never having tried any of these, and then I remembered I had a generous sample of Eclipse somewhere. Found it, tried it, and. . . well, it's very lovely and elegant, just as you said, but I am not moved to pursue it further. I think I am lacking the LOTV gene; I have nothing against it, but Diorissimo vintage parfum is the only LOTV scent that has ever moved me, and right now, at least, it's enough for me!

7:22 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Even after I exited my lotv loving days, I've continued to like Eclipse. Earlier this year when my lotv were in bloom in my garden, Eclipse is the only scent which for me came very close to capturing what it was like to be down on my knees on a cool morning, nose buried in the lotv bed. Eclipse has not just the blossom (and a damn close replica of it), but also the greenery and some wet dirt and a sense of cool air tossed in for good measure. Love it!
That Rosine Le Muguet sounds fab! Very sad that it's been d/ced. I share your love for Mea Culpa and adore Coup d'Or (especially layered w/ Bois de Paradis in the fall).

7:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Freesia is an enemy. It should be exterminated. taken out of each and every scent that it spoils. Which is t say- every scent where there is freesia.

7:52 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is definitely very much worth the try, as is all Nicolai line!

7:52 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am sorry :-) But Lily is definitely very easy to wear, except maybe for -for me!- in the middle stage.
I love how you describe Diorissimo as pornografic!
Penhaligon's was interesting, certainly more interesting that Floris'. It surprised me. (Review coming on Friday)
I have to try Jalaine Ocean, even though a scent called Ocean scares me a little :-)

7:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

If you have Diorissimo you truly don't need anything else!

7:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Eclipse definitely has "roots". Like Diorissimo, but of course in a different way.
I have to try Coupe with BdeP, the combo sounds oomphalicious! :-)

7:57 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Meant to add that I'm w/ you on the CdG Lily - the freesia deep sixes it for me. *Hate* that note.
I think the Eclipse is a gardener's lotv - very different associations for me from other lotv scents. Although, am now working on building the Mick/lotv associations. :-) Am actually *really* stretching it by trying to somehow link it to M and M. In an absurd sort of way it might actually fit in well w/ Margarita's flight and I have this idea that my beloved Woland would like Diorissimo.

8:29 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think Woland would love everything by Roudnitska. I have a huge crush on that character, always have had, how pathetic is that. he'd definitely love Diorissimo, the scent would speak to the soft and wistful side of him.
I see Margarita in a honeyed chypre or an oriental scent. Of all Diors...probably Dioressence.
OK, stop me now. :-)

8:35 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't tried any of these! I do have a sample of Eclipse somewhere and must dig it out. I had no idea it was an lotv scent when I received the sample. You make me fall in love with lotv more each day just with your reviews, and I don't own one single fragrance with it as a prominent note! I must remedy that soon.

8:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I hope you find the one you really, really like! I don't think there is any need to have lots of LOTV scents (said she hiding her wish list :-))

8:46 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All hail the new Queen of the White Florals. your Highness, I will follow diligently where you lead.

Lovin' your work.

9:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

*check in the mirror to see if the crown sits straight*
Thank you, Lee. We are very flattered. :-D

9:32 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do buy that bottle of Jessica McClintock, I think it will grow on you. I bought some last summer to wear to a wedding and found it to be a nice change-up from the lemony scents I usually wear in the summer. It's indeed very girly. (yes, I have that white sundress lol) and I got that peppery feeling too (it makes me sneeze when I first put it on). But when you have one of those days when something pastel with ruffles is calling to you from your wardrobe, or you have the irresistable urge to wear incredibly high white strappy sandals, this is the fragrance you'll reach for. It has nice lasting power on my skin, too.

12:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't have a white dress. I'll just have to buy that and JMcCl at the same time :-)

12:48 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

M, I like the CdG more than you do, but so happy to see Eclipse mentioned -- I'm ALWAYS happy to see PdN get a little love.

2:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Me too. I love PdN's scents, and think they deserve more recongnition.

2:19 PM EDT  

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