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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Three Days of Lily Perfumes. Day Two: Jill Stuart, Crown Perfumery, Yves Rocher, Donna Karan

Today I am focusing on the lily scents that are more to my liking than the ones I discussed yesterday, but, with one exception, don’t quite reach the level of full bottle worthiness. In other words, close but no cigar.

Jill Stuart Night Blooming Lily aka Stuart’s answer to Lutens. In my opinion, Night Blooming Lily strives to achieve the same soft, velvety effect as Un Lys and ultimately fails, simply because it overloads on vanilla and caramel, which take the emphasis from the floral aspect and push the scent into the realm of gourmand. While at the beginning the lily note is very apparent (and very pretty), it soon becomes overwhelmed by the vanillic sweetness. Not even the piquancy of carnations can cut through the sweet fluffiness of the foody accord. Don’t take me wrong, this is a lovely, extremely wearable scent, but caramel and vanilla make the potentially so very elegant lily note smell…for the lack of a better word…common, and I find that disappointing.

Crown Perfumery Alpine Lily. I couldn’t decide whether to talk about this scent during the lily of the valley week or to include it into the lily days. The muguet, which is declared in the notes, is quite strong, but alongside its cool floral verdancy I also smell a stronger, high-pitched, colder – and “whiter” - flower, which I can’t help but think of as white lilies. Dabbed on, Alpine Lily is refreshing and airy, absolutely non-sweet, a welcome break from the many vanilla and/or fruit laden lily renditions. In the heart, I smell slight booziness of roses, which adds a little bit of warmth to this chilly composition; the base is woody and dry. When sprayed or over-applied, however, the scent becomes sharp and dusty. Still, it is a beautiful, refined take on lilies (and lilies of the valley), and I might eventually get a bottle.

Yves Rocher Pur Desir de Lys is a bargain of the bunch – if you can manage to obtain it that is, because it seems that the American branch of Yves Rocher does not carry it or perhaps it has been discontinued altogether. The scent is uncomplicated, fleeting but very pretty, a fresh, green lily rendition, which too seems to include a good dose of muguet (noticeable in the very beginning) and quite a lot of green, grassy notes. A small amount of vanilla softens the sharp accords but does not add any sweetness to the blend, which is a plus. Pur Desir de Lys is a little too simple for my taste, but I find it much more appealing than some of the overpriced, overly sweet lily scents out there (yes, I am talking to you, Calypso St Barth Lily).

Donna Karan Gold. Karan is famously enamored with Casablanca lilies and uses them in her scents as often as she possibly can, and Gold is built around the intoxicating aroma of these heady, nectarous flowers. My relationship with the scent evolved from the acute desire to, following the application of Gold, crawl out of my skin and run away shrieking in horror to the yearning for a full bottle. In fact, Gold’s inclusion among the OK But Not Stellar lily scents is unfair and I would like you to consider it as the prelude to the Friday’s Lilies to Die For. I actually think that it is a composition of rather magnificent beauty. In fact, I want to use this opportunity and to applaud Karan and the perfumers, Yann Vasnier and Rodrigo Flores-Roux, for creating a scent that is – gasp!- neither fruity nor aquatic nor gourmand, but, in our puerile and politically correct times, is a rare species indeed – a luscious, sophisticated floral blend. The fragrance of Casablanca lilies, enhanced by cloves (which underscores the spicy aspect of the lilies) and amber, balsam and acacia (which add a warm, resinous undertone to the composition) is so opulent and somehow effervescent, it makes me giddy. The dry, slightly earthy patchouli in the base is an unexpected and welcome twist…it is like a lecherous gleam in the eyes of a regal beauty dressed up in a magnificent dress of dazzling white and shining gold…Unapproachable and majestic by day, she sneaks out at night to dance naked under the light of the full moon…and to generally get up to no good. There is most definitely a bottle of Gold in my near future.

Where to find the scents discussed today: Night Blooming Lily at Beautyhabit, $62.00 for 1.7oz; Alpine Lily at First in Perfume EUR89.00 for 3.3oz; Pur Desir de Lys sometimes on eBay, inexpensively; Gold at Saks, $95.00 for 3.3oz.

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Blogger tmp00 said...

I wondered where Gold would fit in: I have to write that Donna has some of the most laudable, fearlessly out there commercial fragrances available. Clearly she makes what she loves, and if you love it, great. If not, okay. Love that.

10:31 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I've been afraid of lily perfumes because in the flesh lilies can have such an overpowering aroma. Somewhat lightness-free. Maybe I'll work myself up to try a human-made lily fragrance someday.

3:09 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Of all of these, I have only tried the DK--once. And I got stuck on the "I want to crawl out of my skin and die" stage. It made me feel sorta ill. I guess I could give it another try. But I'm not running to the store. . . .

6:30 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Haven't tried the Yves Rocher, but can't say I'm a fan of any of the others. Your description of Gold almost mesmerized me into thinking I needed to head right over to ebay and get a bottle (also love that bottle design), but then I managed to come to my senses long enough to realize you said it was effervescent and suddenly all the terrible memories of sampling it came rushing back. If something is effervescent or sparkly, that's basically the kiss of death for me and on me Gold was definitely effervescent.

7:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree. She does what she wants, more or less, and kudos to her for that. But I must says that Be Delicious series are tragically out of place in her otherwise very original collection.

8:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

We will start you gently. Try Lutens Un Lys and Goutal Des Lys. They won't overpower, I promise. :-)

8:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I was a whiteflorallilies-hater then. But you never had those kinds of issues, did you? Or is just too strong? It is strong for sure. One of those scents that, if over-sprayed (i.e. 1 big spray instead of 1 tiny one), I can actually taste not just smell. :-)

8:10 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Effervescence is usually a no-no for me too. With, I think, 2 exceptions, Goutal Le Jasmin and Gold. Apart from them, sparkly stuff is not something I can bear. Pamplelune! Baby Doll! In Love Again! *shudder*

8:11 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

No, I always really liked white flowers, although I'm not really sure about lilies. There was something in this, though, that made me queasy (which is not something that usually happens with perfumes). Perhaps I just oversprayed.

8:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

With the fervor of a new believer (in Gold :-)), I am going to insist that it is gorgeous and you have to re-try it :-D It did have absolutely the same effect on me the first time, just like you describe.

8:21 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Gold sounds perfect! I love a floral with a certain twist in the base. Pure soliflores bore me a little. But, I must await your reviews on Friday to see which are the creme de la creme.

8:36 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I feel bad about it. I should have put Gold among The To Die For. It's head and shoulders above the others I talked about today and yesterday.

8:41 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

OK, will do! And I will report back when I do:)

8:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

*fingers crossed* :-)

8:48 AM EDT  
Blogger StyleSpy said...

Hurried over here today to read more about lilies!

I love DK Gold, too. I teeter on the brink of buying a bottle --sometimes I think I will, sometimes I decide it's enough like Lys Med that I don't need it. I do wish there were just a skosh more amber in it. But oh, that bottle is so wonderful, isn't it?

Can't wait to see what's up tomorrow, M! Squirming a little in anticipation!

9:57 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

What evil is afoot in the world when you are praising DK Gold? Have aliens taken over your body and mind? Must remind you of your comment to my review of Gold:

"This will not come as a surprise to you at all. I hated it. I felt that if I don't scrub it off, I will suffocate. Never cloying or heavy, eh? Well, not for your EFT :-)"

LOL -- so much for EFTs! Next thing you know, I'll be raving about Kolnisch Juchten or something ;-)

10:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

tomorrow is Tom's wonderful post (not about lilies). The last lily day is on Friday.

PS. I was admiring The Dodos on your blog yesterday. They are...ah! Congratulations!

10:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

LOL. Yes, well, see, that's what happened to me. Possessed by a white flower demon or something. I am just glad I haven't wrote a super-negative review of Gold then, now I'd have to eat my I will have to with Carnal Flower *sigh*
But please hold strong. If you start raving about Kolnisch Juchten, the end of the world will really come. :-)

10:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Donna Karan Gold really is of the most unique florals to come out in mass market and dare I say it is above head shoulders a great deal of niche florals. I have a sample of it and really do love it for the sheer beauty of its true floral scent; I don't want a whole bottle but a decan would be great.

12:07 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree! As for the bottle, I see they have 1oz size at Sephora. That is the size I want.

12:10 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Gold, because I adore EnPassant(Actually EnPassant better). I think these two are very similar. Unfortunately, I am going to have a bottle of Gold, because it is cheaper.

4:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Barbara said...

I am definitely *not* a fan of white florals, but Gold is magnificently well crafted. While I wouldn't wear it (enjoy lilies in a bouquet, but wouldn't want to smell like them), I definitely appreciate it. A must have for any white floral lover.

10:57 AM EDT  
Blogger sangkae said...

I just tried the Gold edp and I'm impressed with the fresh and sweet lily top note. I love that indolic quality. comparing to Un Lys, I find this fresh, bright and captivating, while Un Lys is smooth velvet dry vanillic floral to my nose. I think I prefer Gold. However, it's just the top note that I like cause the edp dries down to something quite oriental which is not my taste, maybe the powdery amber and leather note that make me slightly nauseous. I think the edt may suits me more since I love something in the Diorissimo category..pure, fresh white floral with the sharp green opening. But it seems like most reviewers hate the edt so I just hesitate to buy the bottle unsniffed... Is the edt that bad? Give me more opinions!

12:51 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE GOLD! It's amazing! It's not subtle (who wants subtle when subtle costs money?) I want SMELL. I want it to accompany me and I don't want to have to breathe deep to smell myself. This gold accompanies me like a friend. We are together. If that, for you, is cloying then don't get Gold. This one surely envelopes you, and stays - it waits for me in the bedroom at night after saying goodbye in the morning. It is an incredible find. And for me, Casablanca lilies were always Christmas in New Zealand and with the amber combined it's just my "cuppa tea".

4:47 PM EDT  

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