You know that things are dire when I choose to spend several days in a perfume named "Lemon". But the weather is atrocious and even I crave something light first thing in the morning. Add to that knowing the work of Mary Greenwell as a world famous makeup artist (have a look at one of her guest appearances on Lisa Eldridge's channel). She even did makeup on Princess Diana!
The first perfume released under Mary Greenwell's name was Plum, an ambery white floral. Nice, but doesn't quite measure up to others in the genre or to the expectation I had from the name and the creative mind behind it. I can't say I waited with bated breath for Lemon, because, honestly-- lemon? But I had a sample, and this has been an especially cruel summer, so I gave it a shot.
Mary Greenwell's Lemon is not the second coming of Eau d'Hadrien. But it's a soft take on lemon blossoms surrounded by other citrus rinds that lead into a delicate bridal bouquet. Soft is a keyword here, as the official note list doesn't really deliver on the chypre-ish promise. Lemon blooms and fizzes quickly on my skin; now you smell it, the next hour you don't, with nothing but a faint memory of a light amber accord and whitewashed woods left behind. Lemon lives longer on clothes, though, and I like to wear a soft cardigan scented with it (the problem is that cardigans are a bit pointless these days).
I don't smell any oakmoss in Lemon, and the greenery has a watercolor quality. I was looking for a Chamade-worthy hyacinth (not to mention having Lutens Fleur de Citronnier in my summer rotation), so I admit to setting myself up for a disappointment. There's no hook or bite here, just sheer blossoms here and there scattered on a watery surface. It's easy to wear, but I'm left completely unsatisfied and even a little bored. Mary Greenwell's Lemon is a pleasant little perfume but far less impressive than her makeup work.
Notes: Lemon, Mandarin, Lime, Bergamot, Bitter Orange, Narcissus Absolute, Clary Sage, Hyacinth, Jasmine, Muguet, Precious Woods, Oak Moss, Tonka, Amber .
Mary Greenwell- Lemon ($110, 50ml EDP) is available from Luckyscent. A 100ml bottle ($150) can also be found on parfum1.com.
Image: A Stella McCartney orange and lemon dress from a photoshoot designed by Helen Seamons for The Observer, 2011.