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…  But many varieties – the Madonna lily (named as a nod to the purity of the Madonna), the Casablanca Lily and the Ambrée/Stargazer Lily most definitely are, and their subtly different scents are all caaptured in perfumes:  intoxicating, heady, rich and sweet, reminding us of jasmine or tuberose.  (‘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:

Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs
Cartier Baiser Volé
Crabtree & Evelyn India Hicks Island Living Spider Lily
Dior Diorissimo
Estée Lauder Pleasures
Estée Lauder Sensuous
Fragonard Fragonard
Frederic Malle Lys Mediteranée

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