May Lily opens with a nose-tingling aldehydic concoction, a slightly grubby citrus accord (probably a facet of the aldehydes), and a faint whisp of white florals - a bit of jasmine, lily and maybe a tad of powdery iris. It has a “fizzy soda” kind of vibe, but devoid of much flavour. Underneath all this there seems to be this sweet/sour animalic note that isn’t quite coming forward yet.
The opening has this strange, old-fashioned vibe to it but the base seems unusual. It smells as though there is a huge empty space between the aldehydic opening and the base notes. I can smell a rough leather that is slowly surfacing, a bitter almost green leather with a nutty castoreum paired with it. The empty space seems to be separating a fight between the soapy stain of the opening and the animalic leather trying to reach for the top. It’s quite uncomfortable to wear and I’m not sure which way the fragrance will favour – consistently clean floral or dirty dominance.
The florals fade considerably, well, they begin to completely disappear. The leather seems somehow muted, almost translucent, along with a growing labdanum note. They both seem somehow ethereal and bright, despite smelling completely bitter and rugged. As I said, there is a green-ness to the leather, but I don’t smell any vetiver or green notes. Tying together the labdanum, castoreum and leather is a slightly clean muskiness, that smells more old and dusty than actual musk.
May Lily, over the next half an hour, falls in favour of the base, and the clean, soapy stain becomes blackened and worn with the aging scent of musty leather, nutty animalics and “gummy” labdanum. Whilst it sounds all-powerful and brooding it somehow remains light and almost out of reach, and bizarrely familiar. Not too dissimilar from Boadicea the Victorious’ Complex, without the soil and violet notes.
*****Okay before I continue this charade, let me just add – I MADE THIS :’) Mwahahaha!!!
A long story short… On the 29th April 2012 I attended a fantastic Intermediate Perfumery Course hosted by Lila Das Gupta through Perfume Lovers London, and run by the lovely Karen Gilbert. I learnt absolutely loads and had a great time meeting like-minded interesting people all passionate about fragrance.
Please don’t take this post too seriously, but I tried to review my “fragrance” as though I hadn’t smelt it before (and this is the first time I properly have!), and don’t worry, I realise that it is probably the most un-refined scent in existence!
To be honest though: despite it being made in a mad, stressful afternoon rush, a hurried estimate of raw material measures and bulked up with a huge dose of Iso E Super, I’m thrilled with it! It represents exactly what I intended on it doing - a big mish-mash, slightly avant-garde, slightly classical yet just about wearable. It may not be the next Muscs Koublai Khan, but I’d love to get the opportunity to tweak it and make it perfect one day
The day in London was a huge dose of knowledge for me and the great opportunity to sniff plenty of raw materials and learn lots from other perfumistas, as well as get some basic hands on experience with fragrance creation. I have to say, I have come away with an even greater appreciation and understanding of the creation of the fragrances I love, and feel a great deal of inspiration particularly from the perfumers who create these scented works of art that give me so much enjoyment!
So yes, whilst it may not be the most polished EDT, I’ll happily send anyone a free sample if you drop me a line! I’d love to hear your thoughts