Seven Days of Eric Buterbaugh*:
Eric Buterbaugh is a well-known floral designer based in Los Angeles. Last year, he launched a line of perfumes, Eric Buterbaugh FLORALS, inspired by the medium he knows best – flowers. The Noses work with Firmenich, creating many of my most-worn perfumes from designer to niche. I’m dedicating a week to reviewing this line because like Eric Buterbaugh, I too love florals.
Lily of the valley is a note that I’ve always appreciated but rarely wear. The plants themselves are so small, delicate and fragile. The first time I ever smelled lily of the valley was in the Appalachian mountains as a child. I couldn’t believe that something so small, so delicate could envelope you in its invisible, aromatic presence. My grandfather told me that these small little things were highly poisonous and this only piqued my fascination with the fairy-sized bells. I’ve spent over twenty years trying to find a lily of the valley perfume that reminded me of those little blossoms growing so close to the forest floor. Most of muguet soliflores smell chemical or too sterile. None of them have displayed the disparity of the flower’s confidence and fragility. In theory I adore muguet soliflores but none have really connected with me. None, until now.
Virgin is a cool, crisp floral with greenness. It opens as a sparkling neroli, like a chilled shot of orange blossom water. The sets the tone for the best lily of the valley perfume I’ve ever worn. The muguet is crisp yet heady. It has a metallic peculiarity that’s like delicate little bell blossoms next to a wrought iron fence in a shaded garden. The fragrance starts to warm up becoming a heady lily with a mineral quality that is either like skin or warm tears, I can’t tell. And either can be interpreted as rather romantic in their own way, right? And if not romantic, both are rather symbolic when we speak of a muguet perfume. This heart is airy and smooth as silk. The dry-down is the sort of musk that smells like a breeze bringing in the aroma of clean laundry that has dried in the sun.
Out of all the muguet-centric perfumes I’ve tried, Virgin is the one that I relate to the most. It smells like the space around blooming lily of the valley. The mineral element (reminiscent of skin and tears) grounds this airy scent, also adding essential symbolism. It’s a gorgeous scent that wears like a dramatic (and sheer) floor length dressing gown that reminds me of all of my favorite Old Hollywood starlets. It’s a floral that ethereal, but carnal. And that, to me, perfectly represents muguet AND how we perceive divas and feminine icons.
Notes listed include orange flower water, bergamot, rosewood, muguet, ylang-ylang, amaryllis, sandalwood, ambrette seeds and clear musk. Launched in 2015. PERFUMER – Pierre Negrin
Give Virgin a try if you like lily fragrances or white florals. Or if you like perfumes like Donna Karan Gold EDT, Cartier Baiser Volê EDT, Serge Lutens Un Lys, Malle Lys Mediterranee and/or DSH Perfumes Madonna Lily.
Projection and longevity are average.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Silky, ethereal lily. In my opinion, it’s a perfect lily.
*The brand has eight perfumes but I’ve only tried seven and seven makes for an entire week of reviews!
Want more reviews? Try…
Perfume Posse – Review of them all.
Basenotes – Member reviews
Brooklyn Fragrance Lover – Interview with Eric Buterbaugh
The Scented Hound – More info on the brand.
LA Times – More info on the brand and the man.