Top Notes: Lily, Citruses.
Heart Notes: Lily.
Base Notes: Lily, Green Notes.
I wanted to explore more white florals as of late, especially lily-centric white florals. I was keen to try Lutens Un Lys, but given Un Lys's $300 price point for a 75ml bell jar, I decided to begin my journey elsewhere, specifically with Cartier Baiser Volé and Guerlain Lys Soleia. This review is specifically for BV, but I do compare and contrast the two fragrances to point up how their differ from one another in the white floral genre.
On the whole, BV smells exactly like its notes pyramid. I detect more citruses in the top notes than I do lily, but the lily comes through more in the heart and the base notes where it becomes creamy and slightly sweet. BV is also quite fresh and green. It is the sort of fragrance that one could easily to one's office, to school, to church, to a nice luncheon. It could easily be worn day or night. My guess is that it wears better in the Spring and Summer, but I see no reason why it could not be worn year round.
BV is nice enough. I want to test it out of doors soon to see how it develops in the heat and humidity before I pass final judgment on it, but at the moment, it is not something I would ever repurchase unless subsequent wearings impress me more than the first two wearings. I absolutely love the bottle, though! It is difficult to describe, but the bottle feels rather heavy and quite posh in my hand, and the overall design has a fine aesthetic quality that I almost never find in other contemporary fragrances. It is difficult to spray, but I am not sure if that may be a flaw in the atomiser on my bottle or not.
I had roughly four hours longevity from it last evening. By that time it was fading pretty quickly, but my skin was quite cool. Perhaps I would have greater longevity if my skin were warmer. Anyway, at that point I applied the LS over it. (The first time I have ever layered fragrances.) I do not know if the layering of the two was responsible or not, but I could still smell the LS this morning whence I awoke.
Whilst I like BV well enough, I am much more enamoured of LS, but this does not surprise me because Guerlain rarely disappoints me. Honestly, some may mistake BV for an air freshener whilst others may mistake LS for a B&BW body spray except that LS smells like a higher quality fragrance, better ingredients and better blended. The ylang-ylang in it is delicious--sweet but not at all cloying. It is so well blended that I cannot disentangle the ylang-ylang and the lily notes. It is as though they are two sides of the same coin. It is definitely a lovely fragrance for the Spring and Summer. I think it would work the rest of the year as well. It does not smell the same as Terracotta Voile dé Été, but it is in the same "style" if that makes sense. Both have a light sweetness and warmth about them and project mildly in wafts. I like the bottle, too.
It has now been twelve hours since I applied LS over BV, and I can still smell LS on my skin albeit faintly. I did not expect performance as good as this, so I am pleasantly surprised. My white floral lily-centric fragrance journey will not end with BV or LS, but they have given me a great start. If you wish to explore lily-centric fragrances, and if enjoy a fresh, green fragrances, one that is crisp and cool as opposed to warm and sweetish, then BV is a good place to start. If you think you would enjoy a slightly more complex and sweeter fragrance, one warm and more sensual, then LS is a good place to start.
On the whole, BV mainly rates a basic thumbs up for delivering what it promises to deliver. LS gets a more enthusiastic thumbs up for not only delivering what it promises to deliver but also for being beautifully blended, warm, and sensual. At the end of the day, both have a place in one's wardrobe if one wishes diversity in her lily-centric fragrance section.
A perfectly reasonable mainstream Floral/Citrus...Nowhere near as interesting as Mathilde Laurent's work on the early Guerlain Aqua Allegorias. Apparently the Lily is a notoriously difficult note to work with, and must be MIMICKED rather than represented straightforwardly. In comparison with the way grapefruit (another such difficult note) was represented in her Pamplelune for Guerlain this is wanting for creativity. Still, a perfectly fine alternative to the thousands of disgusting fruity florals on the mass market, which invariably smell of the disinfecting cakes one finds in men's urinals.
This review is for the EdP:
I don't hate the idea of mainstream perfumery. At all. I grew up in the era of going perfume shopping in department stores, back when there was still a lot to be excited about. I still enjoy making a trip to a good fragrance counter and shooting the breeze with a sales assistant.
Mainstream houses with talent, like Cartier, turn up gems like Baiser Volé more often than seems right. But Mathilde Laurent is just that good. What could have been a dialed-in flanker is, instead, a smart daytime fragrance that ticks all the boxes I assume it's supposed to for marketing purposes, and it stands on its own as a perfume worth wearing.
Baiser Volé is built in the clean, streamlined, contemporary style of late-model Jean-Claude Ellena--smooth, seamless, no edges--but it also contains a fizzing, bubbling center a là Francis Kurkdjian. These architectural features update what is, essentially, the most retro of retros: the soapy green floral, the prim Grace Kelly of perfumes. Once the machinery is set in motion, a bright lily-of-the-valley blooms up through a layer of soap musk and clover, before receding again into the background. It's a clever use of aldehydes
--a type of construction that's now being deployed to good effect in some perfumes and less successfully in others. (I'm trying not to grind this axe too often, but seriously--I'm seeing it everywhere).
The only disappointment is Baiser Volé's longevity, which seems to clock in at less than two hours. Everyone else has noticed it, too, but it's worth weighing in, for consistency.
Edit: I was wrong. It came back, and came back again. Total wearing time was probably 8 or 10 hours. Very, very nice.
03rd July, 2016 (last edited: 10th July, 2016)
A nondescript synthetic citrus note is about as dull and predictable as a scent can begin with. Then underlying green notes rise, followed by the emergence of the main player, a reasonable lily that a times gains in richness and depth and then is quite attractive. The base is as generic as the start.
I am getting soft sillage, but when I sampled the concentrated version the sillage was at least moderate and better than the Eau de Toilette that In sampled initially. The projection is all right, and the longevity is about four hours, but again the concentrée version lasted another hour.
The opening is green, slightly citrussy, with hints of shampoo and hairspray- as other reviewers have pointed out- a combination that could have put me immediately off and induced me to dismiss it as another generic mainstream offer. Fortunately, on skin in a warm day, the fragrance soon gets rid of this unexciting start and displays a fresh, spicy- clover mainly, not too heady lily note that gains structure and complexity as time passes. The heart of the fragrance is smooth, velvety, lightly creamy and softly threading towards a musky drydown where vanilla, woods and patchouli mingle harmoniously. The drydown shares, in a softer, whispered tone, some notes with a more recent Mathilde Laurent work, La Panthère- I personally love this stage in both fragrances very much, but here comes my only qualm about BV: its longevity is quite weak, after a couple of hours I can barely detect it.
Longevity issue aside, Baiser Volé is an elegant, masterfully composed and somewhat reassuring fragrance, versatile and perfectly unisex, in my opinion.
(This review is based on a sample of EdP. I see there are other concentrations that maybe prove more long lasting)
I tried this because I was hoping it was a lily I could like, but in spite of it's promising green notes and citrus, it was still strongly and unquestionably lily. Which is a note I just don't love. It always smells artificial in an airy, aquatic, sharp manner. It brings such a boatload of synthetic elements to a fragrance, that any supporting notes are rendered weak, ineffective... and artificial smelling.
I can tell this one has a nicely moderated personae, an easy wearability, so I hoped I might be able to accept it's somewhat hairsprayish personality, but I can't. Much too artificial on me.