Oh, it’s spring. It really doesn’t feel like it here in the Pacific Northwest. Things are budding and blossoming but the weather is rainy and reminds me of fall. I’m still wearing the same clothes that I started wearing in October. Ugh. The weather is messing with my fragrance choices. I’m wearing more rose-incense perfumes when I know that I should be wearing happy spring perfumes like Penhaligons Lily of the Valley.
Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley is a delicate spring lily-of-the-valley soliflore. It’s a simple fragrance that easily tricks me into thinking that it is a cool, damp spring morning with sun peeking through the clouds. Everyone that I know, from experienced perfumista to those that can’t tell a difference between a lemon or a lime note, will say “Oh, lily of the valley” after sniffing this soliflore by Penhaligon’s. This fragrance has done a great job of emulating lily of the valley (using other flowers with citrus). Like I said, it’s simple. It isn’t complex and like all soliflores, it exists to make you smell “good”.
The opening of Lily of the Valley is a floral citrus, reminding me of that natural citrus or lemon aroma that living roses may have. There’s a floral spice there too reminding me of lilies and once again, damp roses. But, Lily of the Valley smells crisp and “white” thanks to citrus-fied jasmine and ylang-ylang. The overall effect is lily of the valley with dainty little white bells. There’s a subtle dewiness to this green-floral soliflore. It really does remind me of spring.
There are many lily of the valley soliflores out there, many from old-school English lines, but these other ones don’t last as a long as Penhaligon’s. The EDTs by Caswell-Massey, Taylor of London, and Yardley are pretty but seem to lack the sophistication of Penhaligon’s version. And they vanish very quickly. Growing up, these EDTs were used as linen sprays instead of personal fragrance because they were merely fragrant waters. That being said, Penhaligon’s isn’t long wearing, but I wouldn’t use it as a linen spray 😉 It’s an EDT and I get about 2.5 hours wear from it.
Penhaligon’s is no Diorissimo, a lily of the valley for a classy lady. And it’s much more laid-back than the 80’s lily, Jessica McClintock. Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley isn’t an “intellectual” fragrance. One doesn’t have to think about it. You wear and you smell good. I see Lily of the Valley better suited as a candle or soap for me. I’m not wild about soliflores because of their simplicity, but I do appreciate their beauty.
Notes listed include bergamot, lemon, geranium, lily of the valley, rose, ylang ylang, jasmine, oakmoss, and sandalwood.
Give Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley a try if you are looking for a lily of the valley fragrance. You should be happy with this one if your only criteria is “lily of the valley”, “muguet”, or “springtime fragrance”. Penhaligon’s reminds me of the awesome vintage formulations of Coty Muguet des Bois.
The 1.7 oz EDT retails for $80 and is available at Beautyhabit. Samples are also available for purchase.
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