May Muguet Marathon: L.I.L.Y. by Stella McCartney

So what’s not to love about a fragrance whose name is based on the nickname that Beatle Paul McCartney gave to his late wife Linda? Their daughter, designer Stella McCartney, used the acronym L.I.L.Y., which was used in their family as shorthand for “Linda I Love You.” And in fact, I am coming to love this fragrance.

L.I.L.Y. fragrance based on lily of the valley or muguet, by Stella McCartney

L.I.L.Y. fragrance by Stella McCartney. Photo: http://www.boots.ie

L.I.L.Y. is not as green as many muguet fragrances. Its top notes are truffle and black pepper; middle notes are pink pepper and muguet; base notes are musk, patchouli, oakmoss and ambrette. So yes, it’s a lightly spicy muguet. I don’t pick up much patchouli at all on my skin. I get a nice light peppery opening with a just a hint of truffle, then the pepper notes segue into the lily of the valley, which is quite strong but much less “floral” than many perfumes based on muguet.

That is what Stella McCartney wanted. According to one interview, she explained: “It comes from my dad’s nickname for my mum: ‘Linda I love you.’ The name is also from the lily of the valley ingredient — I love it as a flower, and so did my mum — it’s delicate, feminine, innocent. It was part of my bridal bouquet. But I also wanted to explore its darker, more masculine side. It’s a woodland flower and I wanted to capture the roots and the earthy side of it.” I think perfumer Jacques Cavallier captured her wishes very well, although Victoria’s review at Bois de Jasmin described it as greener than I find it.

L.I.L.Y. lasts quite well on my skin although it is, as Victoria says, light and fresh. This is not going to blow anyone’s socks off but it is a surprisingly appealing fragrance and one that I find myself applying more often than I expected.

 

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