Pretty and feminine, with an evocative edge.
Inspired by her youth, L.I.L.Y by Stella McCartney not only captures her memories of a childhood spent growing up in the countryside, but is also touchingly titled after her father’s nickname for her mother, ‘Linda I love you’. Coincidentally, its maternal backstory is relevant to me as I bought this fragrance for my own mother. I had wanted to find a perfume for her that had similar comforting warmth of Chance by Chanel, a perfume whose qualities are reminiscent of my childhood. As soon as I smelt L.I.L.Y I knew that I had found the fragrance that I was looking for.
Unexpected notes of black pepper and the merest hint of black truffle provide sharpness as this fragrance first opens, but are only present for a few minutes before the delicate heart note of lily of the valley begins to come through. Tempered by pink pepper, the lily of the valley heart is warm, delicate, and clean. For me, there is something reminiscent of the spring countryside in this scent. The dainty floral heart note contrasted by the edgier black pepper and black truffle is comparable to spring-time flowers not quite in full bloom, held back by the sharper snap of winter just passed.
The base is where I feel that L.I.L.Y really begins to conjure images and memories. Ambrette, oakmoss, patchouli and musk are combined to produce a fresh and earthy impression that is evocative of wandering through a forest on a bright spring morning. It’s clean and natural, yet there’s something incredibly comforting about it. The blend of warm oakmoss, patchouli and ambrette, combined with the powdery musk makes for an impression that is undoubtedly feminine, yet modern and sophisticated.
Housed in a bottle inspired by English cut-crystal vases, L.I.L.Y is a fragrance that is beautifully warm and elegant, and certainly not boring or generic. Its lasting impression is very delicate, innocent and clean – fresh sweetness with an unexpected masculine twist which provides warm earthiness. L.I.L.Y is an uncomplicated fragrance, one which evokes so much and has warmth at its core. If I were only allowed one word to describe it then I would say it was comforting. Just like my mum.