It's the end of lilac season, I know, but the lilacs in my backyard have always been underachievers and refuse to bloom until late May or early June. It doesn't make their fragrance any less wonderful, and I wait for them eagerly every year. My relationship with lilac perfumes, though, is not as easy. Lilac in perfumery has several facets that do not agree with me, mainly the watery cucumbery one. There's also a relationship between lilac and muguet that doesn't work on my skin, making me run for the hills whenever I smell some classic floral perfumes. But there are a handful of these spring flower perfumes that even I can wear or at least adore when I smell them on others. These are the lilac perfumes I enjoy in one way or another:
Puredistance- Opardu. a musky floral, too pretty for its own good, by perfumer Annie Buzantian who's an expert in making delicate beautiful perfumes.
JAR- Jarling. Almond and lilac. I can only admire from afar, but on the right skin Jarling is a dream come true, a beautiful and fragile princess with a naughty streak.
Frederic Malle- En Passant. This Olivia Giacobetti creation is a spring afternoon in the French countryside, complete with the scent of freshly-baked bread.
Ineke- After My Own Heart. Romance and warmth, silk and lace.
Roja Parfums- Lilac Extrait. Straight from the garden yet more complex than I expected, there's a richness here that's straight out of classic perfumery.
Jean Patou- Vacances. A perfect summer and a perfect perfume. If I could only have one lilac perfume that would be it, which makes the fact that it's been discontinued for decades so heartbreaking.
Jo Malone- White Lilac & Rhubarb. A limited edition from 2012. At first it smelled to me like a silly little fruity-floral, but I can't deny that it was modern, cheerful, and actually very well-made with a realistic lilac note that soared to high heaven.
Diptyque- Jardin Clos. Lilac and hyacinth growing by a bubbling brook in the back of an English cottage. Too watery for my own skin, but a joy to smell on others.
Phaedon- Rue Des Lilas. The musky wood makes this a more unisex choice than most other lilac perfumes. It's also incredibly realistic with its green stems and leaves surrounding the lilac bouquet.
Soivohle- Lilacs & Heliotrope. An almost gourmand-animalic floral by perfumer Liz Zorn who makes wearable yet very avant-garde creations.
Do you wear lilac perfumes? What are your favorites?
Art: Lilacs in a Window - Mary Cassatt, 1880.