The Candy Perfume Boy's Guide to Lily
The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Lily

The Candy Perfume Boy’s ‘Guide to…‘ series is an award winning fragrant exploration of the individual notes that make up the vast and multi-dimensional spectrum that is the world of perfume. In each episode, we take a detailed look at a particular ingredient, analysing its odour profile and the ‘must sniff’ perfumes that serve as reference examples within the genre.

Last time we took a look at the humble Violet, and other excursions in the series have seen us delve into the worlds of; the vampish Tuberose, the dreamy Lavender, the prolific Oud, the delicious Chocolate and the incandescent Orange Blossom. If you have any suggestions of what notes or genres you would like to see next then please let me know in the comments box below.

For this latest instalment in the ‘Guide to…’ series, we will be exploring the universe of the lily. I have always felt a great sense of warmth towards lilies – they’re a flamboyant flower, decked out in unmissable colours and usually exuding a ‘knock you off your feet’ volume, and range of smell. These are flowers that demand to be noticed and thrive off attention. They share with you their beauty and all they ask in return is that you sit up and take notice.

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Candies 2012
The Candies 2012

I can’t believe it but it’s the end of 2012 already, which means that it’s time for us perfume bloggers to put together our lists of the very best and very worst perfumes of the year, honestly, where did the time go?! This year I’m affectionately entitling my awards ‘The Candies’ as a short, punchy alternative to The Candy Perfume Boy Awards. Neat huh?

Across all genres there have been many interesting, exciting and unique perfumes unleashed on to the market along with the usual amount of celebrity dreck, dud flankers and down-right-bizarre niche offerings. All-in-all it’s been a busy year with over 1,300 launches. Impressive but exhausting!

Below you will find my awards for Best Masculine, Best Feminine and Best Unisex Fragrances for both niche and mainstream houses. In addition to this I’ve also included awards for Best Flanker, Best Celebrity Fragrance and Best Ad Campaign. But we’re not just celebrating the very best of perfumery in 2012 here, no sir, we’re also highlighting the very worst with the Sour Candy Award, reserved solely for the naffest perfume of the year.

So I hope you’re wearing your very best frock (or tux for the boys, or frock if you prefer, it’s up to you really) and sipping on some fine Champagne as The Candies 2012 are underway…

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.