Fragrance ingredient of the week: Lily

Intoxicating, heady, rich and sweet.

There are over 100 species of lily and it always slightly breaks our heart to buy a bunch and discover they’re not always scented.

Many varieties – the Madonna lily (named as a nod to the purity of the Madonna), the Casablanca Lily and the Stargazer Lily – most definitely are and their subtly different scents are all captured in perfumes. Headspace’ technology is usually used to capture the scent:  the air around the bloom is analysed, and the aroma compounds flawlessly recreated in the lab.

Lilies have been used in perfumery since ancient times:  they were very well-loved in Egypt, as part of a perfumed ointment ‘based on the flowers of 2000 lilies’, while the ancient Greeks used Madonna lilies to make a perfume called Susinon.
They’re wonderful in the home, possibly the perfume-lover’s must-have bloom.  So long as the lily flowers you buy are indeed fragrant, they’ll pump their sweetness into the air without fading for a couple of weeks at a time…

Smell lily in:

Cartier Baiser Volé
Dior Diorissimo
Estée Lauder Pleasures
Estée Lauder Sensuous

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