Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Penhaligon's Lily & Spice

Before I talk about Lily & Spice, I have to talk about the difference between 'Lily' and 'Lily Of The Valley'. It recently occurred to me that there is in fact a difference in the smell of the two. When I was buying Lily & Spice, they didn't have a tester in store and the lady at Penhaligon's counter gave me a tester of Lily Of The Valley to try instead. LOTV smelt nothing like my memory of Lily & Spice. The two were different fragrances. At that moment I had a mental flash of every lily and LOTV perfumes that I had ever smelt. I realised that lily is in fact different from LOTV. I am a bit slow to realise it. Better late than never, I guess. Read more about LOTV here and Lily here.

I am familiar with the smell of lilies (from smelling the flower directly). I have never smelt the LOTV flowers. It has got a lot to do with the fact that I grew up in the sub tropics and LOTV is mostly found in temperate climates. But I have experienced LOTV in a lot of perfumes. My reference perfume for LOTV is Guerlain's Muguet. LOTV in it smells green, fresh, a little soapy and very feminine. It is a fresh outdoor smell, like the smell of spring meadows and flowers, very English Countryside-y. Lily on the other hand, smells closer to the 'white floral' smell. It is delicate, creamy, vanilla-like white floral smell. Then there are different kinds of lilies like Tiger, Stargazer, Easter, Ginger and I don't know how different they are from each other. 

Lily & Spice is gorgeous! It begins with the creamy white floral note of lily. It is very soft and gentle. I'll cautiously use the word aquatic because it is neither 'wet' nor it is 'marine' like FM's Lys Mediterranee. It is light and cool but not transparent enough to miss the presence of the beautiful flower. There is greenness but not that soapy greenness of LOTV but a fresh and rounded greenness. The spice is not that distinct and ii is a part of the floral smell. The spice actually brings the lily to life. The lily is balmy and creamy but quite fresh and feminine. It stays true to the flower throughout on my skin leaving a light musky drydown of pure gorgeousness. 

It is very cold outside and no sign of spring yet but I am craving for this perfume everyday. I generally am drenched in heavy ambers and vanillas in the winter but the fact that I am attracted to Lily & Spice so much says a lot about my changing tastes. I am loving florals these days, lighter the better. 

30 comments:

  1. This sounds like something I might enjoy even with the floral. I have a limited experience with florals, because, as you know, I tend to hate them... so I don´t try them very often. In real life I have smelled both lily and lotv and while I can´t quite remember the smell of lilies I do remember that I hated the smell of lotv... it was just too typically floral.. Th florals I enjoy are either sweet and creamy or spicy.

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    1. I am a bit like you, Nadja! But I love florals of a certain kind (jasmine, ylang ylang, champaca, white florals, etc) and I am picky about those I like too. It has taken me a while to figure out what I like.
      Lily and spice is supposed to have saffron in it, though I can't pick it up strongly on my skin. That must tempt you about this perfume :)

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    2. I do love spices, saffron in particular, so yes, that is tempting! I can handle almost any floral as long as it is covered in spices! (Btw, new favorite from your lot today, Vixen smells absolutely awesome on my skin!)

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    3. Oh Vixen, I haven't tried it yet. I have another sample which I'll give a go soon :) Glad you like it!

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    4. On me it doesn´t at all smell like orange blossom or ginger... I get patchouli drenched in honey and something slightly medicinal, lavender perhaps... You might like it, because of the honey, or it might do something equally strange on your skin... ;)

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    5. I think I'll love it! I will test it out as soon as I can (as soon as I find a place to live!)

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  2. Never heard of Penhaligon before, but it looks and sounds amazing! Do any stores carry them in the US? Also, I'm probably the only person in the world who LOVES lily of the valley...although I feel like most perfumes don't do it justice and just end up making me smell like an old lady :P

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    1. Penhaligon's is an English brand and they make lovely scents. It is a sister company of L'Artisan. I don't know where in US they are available but check the website www.penhaligons.com
      Lily and Spice is discontinued but keeps reappearing during sales and on eBay. There is a LOTV scent that is very lovely and still available :)

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  3. It sounds lovely! I've read that lily of the valley is poisonous...but it looks like a lovely flower. I do like regular lilies, though.

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    1. Oh I didn't know LOTV is poisonous! Well, some pretty things are I suppose :) I do think I like regular lilies better than LOTV smell wise!

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    2. I remember being told when I was little not to drink the water from a vase of LOTV. Whyever you would think to do that, I don´t know... ;)

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    3. LOL Nadja, you must have been a very naughty little girl ;)
      Just read up about LOTV, looks like it has many toxins!

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    4. Su, can you please give me your email address, please? :D

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    5. Don't what happened there but my email to you bounced back! Here is my email: sdr.aus@gmail.com

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    6. Thanks! I didn't get to this in time, but now you are on Twitter! :D

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  4. That's interesting about Lily and LOTV smelling so different. I don't think I've ever smelled either, but I sure would like to! I love discovering new scents and notes I've never smelled before :D

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    1. I thought I was the only one who didn't know the difference! Those articles explain it so much better. It sure is interesting :)

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  5. Ohh this sounds perfect! I love white flowers so much! I had lilies and lily of the valley in my small garden once and I loved their scent but I haven't find a perfume to smell close to the original flowers yet. I have to buy some decants to do same serious sampling!
    I have visited a Penhaligon's shop once in France and I loved their Blubell scent. It reminded me Hyacinth so much. I have to buy it some day!

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    1. Oh, so lucky that you had those flowers in your garden! Penhaligon's LOTV is pretty. If you are sampling, do try Guerlain's Muguet (ultra LE released for only a day on May 1) but it is overpriced.
      Bluebell sounds lovely. I need to try it next time. I also like Jo Malone's Wild Bluebell, so delicate :)

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    2. Only for one day? That's crazy! I don't have luck with Jo Malone's colognes. They have no staying power on me but I haven't try this one.

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    3. Yeah, it is released every year on May 1, labour day which signifies summer and lilies. The bottle is super expensive and only limited number are produced.

      As with Jo Malones I find the same with staying power, very weak. For that price, I would expect so much more. If I could buy one though, it would be the bluebell one :)

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  6. I was in heaven when I stepped in Penhaligon's in Singapore. My friend's husband was so impatient with us, lol. I don't remember if I smelled either of the Lilys - the only ones I remember are an earl grey tea candle (came in a giant size and was too expensive and heavy to buy) and Endymion, which I have a sample of and should test properly.

    Easter season is coming up. I'll sniff all the lilies then. :)

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    1. I haven't seen their candles but now I'm keen to go sniff them out! I think you'll like either or both of the lily scents :)

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  7. Lily of the Valley smells more 'old lady' to me than Lily. I like both, though.

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    1. Haha, I may slightly prefer lilies over LOTV for the same reason :)

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  8. Penhaligons is my favourite perfume house and I adore their LOTV. They had a limited edition 500ml bottle and I very nearly bought it but just didnt have the funds back then. Never smelt L&S but am intrigued! Not sure if you have tried it but another favourite of mine of theirs is Ellenisia - jasmine and gardenia - a very creamy white floral.

    Now I'm off to search for L&S on ebay!

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    1. I think of you every time I go into Penhaligon's :) How awesome that bottle of LOTV sounds! I have not tried many Penhaligon's perfumes but Ellenisia sounds awesome. Shall try next time.

      L&S would surely be on eBay. From the price point, I paid ₤34 for 50 mls at 50% off Xmas sale (RRP ₤68). I hope that helps you get a good bargain on eBay because I see many listings for a lesser price :)x

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  9. I also find lilies and LOTV different. LOTVs smell brighter, higher pitched and sometimes have notes of rubber or even plastic. Lilies smell fuller and more animal (Luca Turin says in his book that what sets them apart from the smell of other white flowers is a note of smoked ham). I'm not sure I personally agree on this but there sure is something carnal about the way they smell ;) I do love them both!

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  10. How interesting! I had no idea about the 'smoked ham' note. Makes it less graceful perhaps :) but I will pay attention next time!

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