Lys Soleia - An olfactory snapshot of summer air
Lys Soleia – An olfactory snapshot of summer air

Good lily fragrances are hard to find and I can only think of two that are really worth considering, both of which are at the far end of the price spectrum; there’s Frederic Malle’s Lys Méditerranée (über pricey) and Donna Karan’s Gold (cheap as chips). But now there’s a new kid on the block, a lily created by Guerlain meaning that it’s a high quality piece of fragrant art that you’re going to love.

Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria line was created in 1999 and is intended to be more accessible than the rest of the Guerlain collection thanks to its much lower price point. The Aqua Allegoria fragrances each take inspiration from nature and in true Guerlain-style they showcase some of the best quality ingredients that money, and serious Guerlain-klout can buy. Being the fool that I am, up until two weeks ago I had pretty much ignored the entire Aqua Allegoria line, which is particularly stupid when you think about their attractive price point and good reputation. But that soon changed when I stumbled upon the line’s latest addition “Lys Soleia”.

Lys Soleia is a damn good interpretation of one of nature’s most vocal flowers, the lily, and it manages to perfectly capture the scent of the flower in an addictively gorgeous fragrance. Guerlain describe Lys Soleia as “The spirit of nature. The spirit of lily” [1] but it is so much more than just the spirit, it is an olfactory snapshot of summer air, captured in an instant and saved forever.

Last week I was in the mood for discussing the subject of celebuscents, a topic which many would possibly call “the scorn of the perfume industry”. The poll asked you whether you think celebuscents are “yay”, “nay” or simply “meh” and the results show that the majority of you (43%), myself included, think that on the whole they’re pretty dire but there are a few good ones that go a decent way in offering some redemption for this much maligned genre.

Anyway, enough talk of celebuscents and on to this week’s poll…

The Poll

This week I would like to hear what you think of perfume gender bending. Do you wear any kind of fragrance, regardless of the ‘gender’ or do you like to stay firmly within the categories of ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’? Are you not entirely sure about where you stand? I want to know your thoughts. Register your vote and let me know your thoughts in the comments box below!

Granny and I
Posing runs in the family…

Things have been a bit hectic here at Candy Perfume Towers, last Saturday I became an uncle (OMGMYNEWNEPHEWISSOCUTE) and I have exams coming up in the next couple of weeks which means that posts will be sporadic, if at all (booooo to exams). Also, next week is my grandmother’s 80th birthday and we intend to celebrate in style, meaning that most of my time will be spent with party prep and the painstaking task of scanning hundreds of photos for a celebratory slideshow, not to mention the fact that I need to shop for a suitable present – this is where you come in.

After lengthy discussion with my mother it has been decided that Nigel and I will be buying my grandma a perfume for her birthday because she deserves something indulgent for such a landmark event and she does really enjoy her perfume. The problem is that I just cannot decide which one to get her! I want her to have a perfume that is special, something she can treasure but use with abundance, something ephemeral that she can enjoy whilst it lasts.

Insolence

“This extreme freedom, indifference to commentary, spontaneity and even her excesses make her magnificent. She is who she is; she is irresistibly set against prejudice and convention and is unafraid to be unreasonable. Her motto: whoever loves me will follow!”  [1]

One thing that I absolutely pride myself upon is that when it comes to perfume the subject of gender means absolutely nothing to me. I’m as happy rocking YSL’s ‘so masculine it’ll put hairs on your chest’ M7 as I am splashing on Robert Piguet’s oestrogen-fuelled Fracas. But there is one perfume so feminine that even I, yes I with the pink stripy blog think twice about before spraying on. That perfume is Guerlain’s Insolence.

I’m not saying that I don’t wear it, that would be silly and against everything I have ever said about perfume and gender, but I do really have to be in the mood for it and there have been times when I’ve felt just a little self-conscious/Candy Perfume Girl-ish whilst wearing it. Insolence is unapologetic in its femininity, and why should it apologise? Insolence is a girl that knows what she wants and most importantly she knows how to have a good time.

Insolence, which was created by the great Maurice Roucel no less, was released in 2006 and is a fruity floral with a difference – it actually smells good. Roucel presented Insolence as an essay on Guerlain’s L’Heure Bleue, taking the classic anisic gourmand iris and giving it a modern twist. The result is an intelligent, yet ridiculously ditzy (how’s that for an oxymoron?) perfume that smells current whilst giving a firm nod to Guerlain’s esteemed heritage.

Sunshine

“It is in the summer when I truly feel happy and at peace.”

The weather has been more than a bit funny during the last couple of weeks. Firstly it was unseasonably warm for a couple of days, and over here the first hint of sun and warmth sends us Brits into a shorts, t-shirt and flip-flop wearing frenzy even though it still it isn’t quite warm enough for all of that malarky, and then as if it couldn’t quite make up its mind the weather changed quite considerably.

Following the unexpected warmth there has been a just-as-unusual-for-this-time-of-year spell of cold weather, with heavy snow in some parts of the north. This tease of summer which was quickly clawed back by the cruelness of winter has left me craving the sun, I am a June baby after all and it is in the summer when I truly feel happy and at peace. Another reason I love summer is that it’s the perfect time to rock my favourite florals, but that’s beside the point, the main reason that summer is so good is because its the time where we really get to enjoy the outdoors.

To celebrate the summer season, each year Paul Smith launches a duo (one masculine and one feminine) of summer fragrances called the Paul Smith Sunshine Editions, the scents remain the same every year however the bottles change. Both fragrances “express the end of a sunny summers day” and the masculine edition that I shall be reviewing today certainly leads me to think of warm, sunny days where the soul feels energised and care-free.

Last week’s poll focused on the age old debate of spraying vs dabbing. Unsurprisingly, due to the fact that is the most commonly available application method, spraying won the battle with a total of 73.5% of the vote. What I found particularly interesting about the results was the fact that 20% answered that they didn’t care how the perfume was applied and a number of comments stated that it actually depended on the perfume as to whether they sprayed or dabbed, with dabbing being the preferred method of application for pure parfum/extrait and spraying for Eau de Parfum or Eau de Toilette.

The Poll

This week’s poll moves on to a completely different subject, that of perfume genres. Tastes in perfume tend to be fairly eclectic and most fumeheads own a number of bottles from a variety of fragrance families, but most will also have a favourite, and I want to know what yours is. Register your vote and let me know your thoughts in the comments box below!

AngelWhat can I say about Angel that hasn’t already been said? Angel isn’t just your typical perfume, she is a legend, a legend in exactly the same way that N°5 and Shalimar are legends. She’s also not just a legend, she is a fierce vixen and a complete diva.

Created in 1992 by Olivier Crisp and Yves de Chiris for avant-garde fashion designer Thierry Mugler, Angel is inspired by Mugler’s childhood memories, he wanted “to make a perfume that could have a common resonance for everyone, something close to tenderness, to childhood.” [1] The childhood memories that Mugler chose to recreate in Angel were those of the fairground.

The very first time I smelled Angel, right at the beginning of my perfumista journey, I was shocked, appalled and disgusted all at once. Who would want to wear this? I thought. But I kept finding myself coming back to Angel, there was something about her, she lured me in and wouldn’t let me go, I was helpless. I became obsessed and after many sniffs I finally bought a bottle, wore it with pride and didn’t look back.