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Friday, May 18, 2007

Lily of the Valley Week. Day 4. Penhaligon's, Severnoe Siyanie, Shiseido, Taylor of London, Yardley

The last day my Lily of the Valley week.

Penhaligon’s – Lily of the Valley

Penhaligon’s call their Lily of the Valley “fresh and green”. On me, it is a rather sweet and creamy scent, certainly possessing a strong lily of the valley note, but with various other, some of them rather unexpected, notes. Firstly, in the very beginning I smell what I think is narcissus and a delicate rose. As the scent progresses, it acquires a hay-like aspect on my skin, and even – I swear!- a vaguely leathery undertone. I read reviews that said that the scent was very subtle, but on me Penhaligon’s muguet has a surprisingly substantial, “thick” quality. An intriguing scent, which I would like to own one day.

Severnoe Siyanie – Lesnoj Landysh (Northern Lights – Muguet de Bois)

A kind friend sent me a sample of this vintage Soviet perfume, and I thought it was remarkable. Of all the lily of the valley scents I reviewed this week, this one has the most forceful personality. It is not a loud scent, not heady, in fact it smells, for the lack of a better word, rather austere. Its unsmiling, commanding charisma that is truly striking. The scent has a strong chypre vibe. Lily of the here is not nearly as prominent as the woods and the oakmoss. Instead of a forest-glade white with muguet and some trees in the distance, I see an image of dark, tall, powerful trees, and in their brooding shade, one fragile lily of the valley. If I knew where to get some more, I would have gotten a bottle of Lesnoj Landysh in a heartbeat. (A note: I am pretty sure that the bottle I picture here is not the right one, but rather that of a new and most probably rather different reformulation or maybe even of a different company, it’s hard to tell and impossible to find the right one).

Shiseido – Koto

Another very charismatic, if slightly less severe, chypre lily of the valley scent, Koto has a very dry, herbaceous beginning, a complex floral heart, with lily of the valley being the strongest but by no means the only flower in the blend, and a warm, resinous, slightly leathery base. This lily of the valley should be worn to the most important business meetings. It has an imposing, although not overwhelming, presence and the kind of stern elegance that would go to so well with a sharply-tailored power suit.

Taylor of London – Lily of the Valley

Like Coty’s Muguet de Bois, this Taylor of London’s scent is the proof that sometimes the loveliest scents can be had for the smallest amount of money. A true soliflore, it is the scent of muguet with a dash of green leaves and not much more. Simple, effervescent, joyous and juicy, this is a delightful tribute to spring. A bargain at $17.00 for 1.7oz.

Yardley – Lily of the Valley

Yet another cheap find ($11.75 for 1oz), Yardley’s muguet is as appealingly straightforward as Taylor of London’s and just as enjoyable. It is a slightly greener, more “high-pitched” lily of the valley with a very subtle apple-like undertone. Easy, breathy, beautiful and ridiculously affordable.

I would like to conclude the Lily of the Valley week with a hit parade of sorts. Here are the scents I reviewed in order of preference, from most to least favorite:

1.,2.,3. – all bunched together as I can’t choose- Annick Goutal le Muguet, Coty Muguet de Bois, Dior Diorissimo
4. Guerlain Muguet
5. Severnoe Siyanie Lesnoj Landysh
6. Shiseido Koto
7. Les Parfums de Rosine Muguet de Rosine
8. Jessica McClintock
9. Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley
10. Parfums de Nicolai Eclipse
11. Floris Lily of the Valley
12., 13. Taylor of London Lily of the Valley, Yardley Lily
14. Caron Muguet de Bonheur
15. Comme des Garcons Lily
16. Art of Perfumery 3

Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley can be found at, $70.00-$90.00, Shiseido Koto is often sold on eBay, Taylor of London Lily of the Valley is avialable at, $17.00, and Yardley Lily of the Valley at, $11.75.

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Blogger tmp00 said...

Thanks (I think) for a week of new lemmings! I hope the move goes smoothly and the phone company comes through. Of course, that's like asking for the moon...

10:43 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for including the inexpensive fragrances. I'll look for them at the drugstore. Oh, but I'm mighty attracted to the graphic for Koto. Why do they do things like that? :-) Great LOTV week!

11:59 PM EDT  
Blogger Solander said...

I have the Taylor of London one since ten years or so, but in a completely different, more frilly and old fashioned, bottle. It's still 3/4 full and has turned mighty yellow. It's a little sharp and perfumey, I don't recall if it was always like that or if it has turned... It's teen nostalgia for me and not very wearable although I still love the actual flower. Here in Sweden, they don't bloom for May day, but they usually bloom in time for my birthday in the end of the month, so I often get them as a birthday bouquet. I'm sure the scent IS sharp in the flowers too, as you pointed out, but it feels softer and more natural when it comes from a bunch of flowers than from the ToL bottle...

5:36 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Uncle. I've decided I simply must give LOTV scents a second chance. I'd like for something like the Taylor to be at the top of my list, but I'm afraid the Rosine and vintage Diorissimo parfum are elbowing each other for that position. And am trying hard to ignore your description of the Soviet one. *Why* must great scents be d/ced? Wanders off, sadly contemplating this proof of the existence of evil in the universe...

7:51 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad there are so many good, inexpensive ones to choose from! Penhaligon's sounds wonderful though, especially on your skin. I think I will probably get a bottle of Caron's Muguet. Thank you for a lovely week of reviews.

10:11 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This lily of the valley week was great fun, M! I ordered the Coty. I can't wait to try it...

Good luck with the move and have a happy weekend! :)

11:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Muguet was the first note I truly fell in love (the fragrance that began this love was AIRS Rain oil)with when I first began loving perfumes as a girl. This week has a been a wonderful look at the Muguet note and lately I have found myself wanting to have another Lily of the Valley fragrance and these reviews have pointed the way for me to find one. Thank you.

11:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am a major major fan of Penhaglions "Bluebell" i am sad to not see it here, this iste and alot of the other nose people sites have been fascinating me. i had NO idea rthere were so many of US- wellas a bona fide nose freak ive discovered so many cool new things on this aite like how do i get this "I hate perfume" guys stuff? has anyone smeled the insanley expensive
"Bois De Paradise" ITS AT MAXWELLS in LA AND A VERY STRANGE smell nded , iwent crazy perfume shopping recently, from Bal De Versailles to Shalimar to Joy to Gianfrance Ferre( i find this one to seriously bethe best to wear on a date your serious about) almnostr all the Dominique Rupions such as Carnal Flower especially0 but at he end pf the day i swear by Fracas as my sognature scent going so far aqs to write an article years ago for Mademoielle( i think its not published anymore) about the importance of not discontinuiong it- ive had to endure Donnatellas "Blonde" wich i styrangely loved but wich is 100% a Fracas rip with stronger jasmine i believe- ive had to endure the first "tastings" of not only Anna Suis terrible frAGRANCES although then that night at Indochine in 1995 there was Cassia , Patchouli, Melissa , Palmorosa it was mesmerinsing- and also lashing of the originAL high coriander "agent provacatuer" you DO realis eikts sup[posed to smell like a vagine right? thats the whole Coriander joke of it all, so ihave strayed- a Quelqe Fluers phase here- serious essential oil blends by Yoiung Living there( Joy and White Angelica) ewas tempted very much so by Boudoir ( Westwood) and still love her- and Carnal Flower but never ever have i not had at a steady number one Fracas- until NOW- Penhaglion has seduced me with the whole package- teh candles wich are nothing compared to D and L ( and all the creepy l;ittle things he sells) my new favourite Modern Alchemy especually Salem- its a candle to rfemind one of Maple, Larch( one of my faves) Hazel of A WITCHBIURNING LOOKING ONLINE I realise Of COURSE its made by the genius d and l boy buit Penhaglion has spem seriously good things going for it- beyond the Fact that im ina fury about the fact that Kate Moss thinks she wore BLUEBELL before me- its so important to get to a fragraNCE firsty- ive been wearing Fracas since before you cold get it anywhere but J Bendels in NYC, then slowly ot grew back and i was on teh Fracas list in LA at Saks- etc etc- this Christmas however i bought( and im not ussually a scent nazi) bags and bags ands bags of Penhaglion product =-makeup bags of pink and black fine soft leather - silver candle holders, marquetry boxes and LOADS AND LOADS of Bluebell- Bluebell hAS knocked Fracas off its stool wioch has been wearing perfume since she was a little kid stealing Momns Ch5 and Yardley Lily of the Valley- ( Kidddles had a mkuguet and plastic smell) Id LOVE to start a candle line- i wonder how much it costs- ina ny case3 the Paqnhaglion perfumes all of them i ve had for christmas and i have dozens of the samples of the stranger names ande older spounding recipes= but like Victorian Cockstails wich suck ( you want your cocktails from teh 50s honey loads of Galliano and cream and coffee beans in them) old scemnets pretty much arent great either- Treufitt and Hills shaving creams have been on St Jphns palaCE rd in Lopndon socn e1805- you can always find a Lord or a British Politician gettign a shave here and their "original "scents such as Traflagar and Mens Club and East India Lime are actually pretty wretched- im terribly intirgiued by the tar shampoo minue the tar but as a blonde i thibnk its a dumb idea , they tell me Tar bases shamppos were teh first ones-in E$ngland for teh upper classes- there is one Truefitt an dHill afterhsave other thanthe throuroughly modern Sandlewood Lavender and rose- wich is called Grafton. i dont speak nose though illbe sure to start learning from you as i certaonly know my essential oils backwards- and am currently writing a televisiobn synopisis for an episodic televsion show about two womnen whop loathe each other in teh cosmetics world- one an aerin lauder heiress and the other a poor girl who started out Green and Aveda but soons tyarted experimenting ala Biolique Recherc he( teh stinkiest most effective skin care on earth made of Sulfur, Yeasts, Embryo of allsorts the most un pc stinky smelling stiff available online only ubless yoru near the champs elysee- teh P50 and the oh what is it? its the most ssemmlly horrific mask ive ever used and it stays on like tar or honey for 20 minutes but it leaves you witha bout 20 pores,,,, i used to thgink until i got the Diamond Nutrisse box tonight and did teh Glycolic and etc biut this isnt a creams site sorry) anyway so this is the best of the perfum,e sites i have foudn for alot of rersaons? i bvring up Boie de Paraqdise cos i had never heard of it and i dont know thsi indie perfume underground asnd am very intrigued can you top Fracas down there?
as for Annick GouTAL SICNE SHE PASSED I THINK TEHRES SUCH A MASSIVE ARRAY OF SCENTS i just get confused- i have some of hder eua de Chjarlotte(* sic) wich just reminds me of teh South and staying in Stlanta and the Passions one wich i stillhave somehwere very verty iver the top and by the way what Elizabeth Taylor ACTUALLY wears is Annick Goutal the really heavy Gardenia one i belive that is passions, however ive been won overi bathe in bluebell, waft in it obsessively put it onive ev3en used the soap and body lotion becaiuse Penhaglipn perfumes werent meant to last so one must keep dashing it on because what it does to the atmosphere your in is absoulioutly magical. truly. i just spritzed it on bioth wrists im gong to try Cristobal l;ayeribng on one and Arpege ( i feel i shouldve ought Alber Sanchezes new parfum in Paris) ugh this arpege bluebell mi is scary - the milk just curdeled- let me try thde other arm Cristobal-mmmmm,,,oh my what a man eater that balanciaga perfume is!
i went to get some in London and found my favopurite store on Monmouth street overrun with kbnowlegable WAGS- WAGS buying Dries! and they had one bottle of Cristobal left at Koi Samui - so o bought it however in the same week i went to Parisian fashion weeek abnd Lanvin is like a hoiuse of Worship i was grabbing absoulitly everything in that store every piece of jewelry every teal and mustard and marigold simple cut gown i spent more on a dresss than i ever have on my life- theres allegedly only ONE but i think they mustve made three of four- its not total COUTURE! but Lanvin i had just not fallen in abasoulioute complete and utter love with yet although now- other than my favourite desogner rick owens= and Ricardo Tisci( Givenchy) and hios genius- i could just wallow in Lanvins greatnerss an dthe great majestic makes youw ant to overspend Arpege.
but back to bluebell, its simple, i havent told many people about it til now , this christmas and I feel all alone wearing it that is unless im spem pace Miss Moss just was inw ich case i get told " boh you two smella alike" she also apparentlyw as quite the Fracas junkie- too. funnily enough in the States they only sell Bluebell( along witha scary strabnge and brilliant Dutch lingerie designer AMarlie Dekkers) at the Wynn in Las Vegas- its pretty dosgusting they also sell "Blenheim Bouquet" and "Victorian Posy" pretty sophomoric scents by Penbhaglion, i believe theyre pribabluy tryign to lull me into believing theyve been open 100s of years i thnk irts a mere ten but i bought every pill holder- every jewerly box all my friends are being inundwted by the specialness of Penhaglions scope of wierder fragrance samples ) scoops of them) and Bluebell. itxs utterly wondrful = buthen i read iof abn actual hyacinth smell on the home page aqnd ondered if i wasnt being sediuced by teh hysacinth taste and topnotes and what does real perfumed Hyacinth feel like- i also lkiuke teh bottlinga nd packlaging wich i fi nd perfect= its also a very very beautiful blue and it smells as good as it looks. any commenbts n thsi intruder mistress in my life- trust me knothing willever get me to leave my Fracas- that os MY pink cloud in my towns honey! ( oh wait i do cheatr deliberatly with Diorissimio- buthats just for business meetings)
okay sorry to be off topic i just feel like you smell people ar e3MY people- check out D and L - he makes the most amazing rare botanic als as wellas his newest line Modern Alchemy - i bought a friend i thinbk every one of his items it wa steh most expensive gift of the season! hos candles are so insanely priced- but that origami pacakging? that lovely black knive pleated paper opening up to Lady Rhubarb or Thorn Apple= mmmmmm,,any other D anbd L or Bluebell fans? given my history any scent om
missing? ta

miss cat

4:40 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uh....miss cat, what exactly is your point?

12:07 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this article by doing a search for lily of the valley perfumes, and the most amazing thing is what inspired me to do this search: a bottle of Lesnoj Landysh that I inherited from my grandmother. I agree with you that it's a wonderful scent and I was looking for something similar, since my grandmother's bottle has long turned...Thanks for the list of other recommended LVs!

1:09 PM EST  

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