Confession: this was one of the first scents I bought when I was just beginning to get interested in fragrances. I was heading out on a flight to Rome and I happened to spray this one on, and liked it enough to buy it in the airport on the journey back. I wish I hadn't though. Not because it's not a nice scent - it is - but because it represents all the silly buying mistakes I made when I first started this hobby.
First of all, I bought it pretty much on the strength of the top notes - a gorgeous, extremely natural-smelling Casablanca lily - and, well, I know now that it is a mistake to buy a fragrance based on the top notes alone. Had I stuck around for the heart and basenotes, I would have discovered the steamy, tropical ylang ylang note, and I probably would have put it back on the shelf. For me, tropical, solar scents are problematic because they are suggestive of Hawaiian beaches and suntan oil, both of which are firmly not in my emotional, cultural, or practical repertoire. For not only did I grow up in a country that has zero need of suntanning oil thanks to the pathetic performance of what passes for a sun (Ireland), but I live in a hot, dusty city in the Southern Balkans and am unlikely to ever experience a tropical climate, flowers, and so on. So, for me, tropical = nice but utterly alien and alienating.
Second, I experienced the buyer's regret common to anyone who has bought a lot of designer stuff and then gets into testing niche and/or the great classics. Suddenly everything I had seemed boring and one-dimensional in comparison, and this was a prime offender. Don't get me wrong, this is still a good-smelling scent, and it is wonderfully creamy/luxurious feeling. But the utter roundness, creaminess and vanilla whiteness of this can weary you like no other, especially since it lasts forever and goes on pretty much in the same vein the entire day. As I gain more experience with how perfumes are put together, how form, texture, tones, different notes can all be combined to build a sort of architecture under a scent and give it legs, I start to see that Lys Soleia is kind of a boneless, creamy, sweet nothing of a scent that contains no surprises, no hidden shadows or sharp elbows, and I get quite bored with it.
That said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this scent if you are on the look-out for something that simply smells good, and creamy, and that lasts all day. It is not a cheap or silly fragrance at all. A point in its favor is that the lily top note is absolutely gorgeous and utterly natural-smelling. It's like sticking your head into a bowl of Casablanca lilies and inhaling. The heart and dry down are too tropical for my tastes, but they might be right down someone else's alley, who knows...
This came up as a total surprise for me. I bought a tester as I am preparing a Mothers Day basket for my mother. I went through the pyramid and could immediately recognise the tropical fruit accord, mainly a very nice and realistic not so ripe pawpaw. But that is only part of it. It opens like something very Guerlain, of course. There's a hint of L'Heure Bleue, than it turns towards Shalimar Parfum Initial. I mean, now the tropical fruit is well tempered with anise, plenty of it. Although the fruit IS tropical, the Parisian/French atmosphere is undeniable. Lys Soleia is a very sofisticated eau de toilette that can be worn in hot/warm weather without feeling one has to have an eau de cologne because it's hot. The florals smell a bit like a Chanel, in special No 5 Eau Premiere. The musk is very clean and comfortable. Citrus is very discrete. And the vanilla, well, that's pure Guerlain. I don't know if it's because I have been wearing Wonderwood and Encre Noire a lot these days, but I could swear there is some woods in the base. But maybe it is just my nose. Lys Soliea wouldn't scare anyone, even those a bit afraid of tuberouse. I am seriously considering either it is too feminine or not, so my mother would get only the soap and towel?
This sample came as a surprise from a fellow perfumista. This is a lyrical perfume, softly singing from the skin. The lily is not one of those flower shop lilies that overwhelm the senses after wearing for a while. Here the lily is tempered with tuberose and ylang ylang. Now neither of these white flowers are favourites, so I shall never crave a FB of this one, but for someone who loves the lily, but perhaps not enough to be surrounded by one of those 'flower shop' clouds, try this one.
The opening is a burst of pretty flowers, mainly lily & ylang, with a little hint of jasmine. The accord is creamy & slightly salty, & definitely reminiscent of sun-soaked skin. After a few moments, the vanilla becomes apparent, & ten minutes in, a warm, sweet lily blooms. The citrus notes are extremely subtle to my nose. The projection is good for the first hour, but after this it all settles very close to the skin. The base is a musky vanilla, just detectable after seven hours.
ln comparison to other lily fragrances l've tried; Un Lys is less sweet & more heady & creamy than this, while Lys Mediterranee is saltier & cooler in feel.
l'm giving Lys Soleia a positive rating because it really is a very pretty tropical floral, but l personally prefer these other two for my lily fix.
Casablanca Lily and ylang-ylang, my nose gets these two note in a very beautiful mixture.
I love casablanca lily, but unfortunately many lily-scented perfumes out there tend to go on the fresh side instead of this warm sweet casablanca scent, except Serge Lutens' Un Lys. When I heard Guerlain would do a lily scent, I was half hopeful and half worried. Hoped my beloved Guerlain would satisfy me with a real Casablanca lily.
And happily, my hope was rewarded on the first spray. This is warm and sweet, but not too warm for this season, and not too sweet to be offensive. and the ylang-ylang really is the perfect match for this lily.