Maison Crivelli is fast becoming one of the most intriguing niche perfume houses out there. I’ve said before in reviews that they seem to have the visual aesthetic down, with a simple, luxuriously-executed presentation that is rich in texture and elegant design, but most importantly, they also have novel, high-quality perfumes to match. So I guess I don’t need to say that again but I’ve already typed the words out so….. Anyway, in summary, Maison Crivelli make beautiful smelling things that look equally as gorgeous, and I am always curious to see what they are up to. So yes, big fan.
Lys Solaberg is Maison Crivelli’s tenth addition to their (rapidly expanding) collection. As with all of their perfumes, its inspired by an encounter with materials, specifically a hidden field of lilies during a night hike through a Norwegian fjord. Maison Crivelli collaborated with independent perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer (who also created Absinthe Boreale for the brand) to create Lys Solaberg, and the result is an intriguing, yet understated fragrance that brings an unexpected, woody touch (and dare I say a little bit of gourmand) to a fjord of fresh, blooming lilies.
Midnight sun, a delicious cascade.Maison Crivelli
A fjord in flower, candied quince.
Smoky iridescent lily. A verdant vault.
A granite bridge, peat mantle.
Casks of grilled oak.
Lily Flower, Quince, Calamus Essential Oil, Gaiac Wood, Ambroxan, Oakmoss Absolute, Cedar Essential Oil, Torrefied Oak Chips Absolute, Tobacco Absolute and Cistus Labdanum Essential Oil
Nathalie Feisthauer (Independent)
How Does it Smell?
Lys Solaberg opens soft and fruity. Initially, it presents a juicy, sweet squeeze of quince, but the impression is not vivid or mouthwatering, it’s much more subtle (I’m going to be using that word a lot throughout this review, just a heads up). This fruity squeeze doesn’t last long before the lily joins the party, which is a good excuse to move on to the subject of lilies. So let’s talk lilies for a second – these big, flamboyant flowers often crash the party, bounding in with their salty, sweet, fleshy, and almost meaty character, dominating all things, but Lys Solaberg is a unique lily, because never once is the lily allowed to take over. This is actually a rather subtle (there’s that word again) take on nature’s show off flower.
It’s important to consider the setting of this lily. This is not a field of lily flowers, it’s one lily flower. This bloom is surrounded by woods, resins and maté, all gently placed around it, almost like offerings made up to the lily gods to request, nay beg, them to behave (which they kindly oblige on this one occasion). This is a lily warmed by smoke and oak, where the soft fleshy character of its petals and the sweetness of its pollen are merely hints caught in these wisps of wood and smoulder.
The most interesting aspect of Lys Solaberg lies in the base and in the woody warmth therein. There is a beautifully malted, almost-caramelised take on wood here, that is accented by sweet smoke and the rich, savoury and roasted facets of oak. It brings to mind the image of wooden beams stained in a rich, chocolatey brown. There’s a beauty in this subtlety, there really is and it’s the perfect accompaniment to the sweet, spicy, fleshy quality of the lily. But these two themes (fleshy lily and malted woods) don’t exist in silo, they feel as if they melt into each other, blurring the lines of where each element starts and finishes completely. Lilies melting into smooth, malted woods doesn’t sound bad at all, does it?
Lys Solaberg stands out from some of Maison Crivelli’s most recent work in the sense that it doesn’t have that immediate wow factor (that sounds like a backhanded compliment, but it isn’t, bear with me). Both Osmanthe Kodoshan (one of my favourite 2021 launches) and Iris Malikhan are impactful, novel creations that stop you in your tracks, and Lys Solaberg isn’t that. It’s not going to make you exclaim “wow” when you smell it, because its beauty is much more subtle than that. It’s somewhat of a slow burn but with time, those unusual nuances shine through. This is a soft, woody take on lily that pushes the malted facets of oak front and centre, creating the image of a lily seen through sweet smoke – a lily slowly smouldering in an isolated log cabin. It’s not my favourite from the brand, but I do think it’ll be the perfect comfort scent come autumn. I’m looking forward to rocking some chunky knitwear with a good few spritzes of Lys Solaberg, that’s for sure.
Lys Solaberg is available in 30ml (£75) and 100ml (£170) Eau de Parfum.
Images are my own. Sample (full bottle) provided by brand for review. This is not a sponsored post.