Solid Perfume Balms are the latest offering from Providence Perfume Co, and they are fantastic. They are smooth and sensual, smell gorgeous, and the best part is that they are very reasonably priced. $36 gets you a 1/2 ounce jar of this shea butter based balm whose fragrance lasts throughout the day with an impressive sillage. There are four scents to choose from: Chiffonade is an earthy orris based fragrance, Moon Flower is a spicy, indolic jasmine with a soft sandalwood drydown, and Jazmina is a romantic melding of jasmine and rose laced with a touch of nutmeg for intrigue.
But it’s Lilium that really won me over, which was not my expectation. According to the Providence Perfume Co. website, Lilium is comprised of stargazer lily, almond, rose, geranium and spice. All of those notes are winners in my book, save for that darn stargazer lily. She and I are are decidedly not friends. Not even close. When given stargazers in a bouquet, I’ll admire their beauty for a moment, but then quickly ditch them into the compost as I find their fragrance to be overwhelming and headache inducing.
So you can imagine that I approached my trial of Lilium with more than a little trepidation. In fact, I almost passed on it entirely. But Charna Ethier, creator of Providence Perfumes, was very kind to send me samples of all four, so I felt like I should give Lilium a go.
Thankfully, Lilium does not possess the smothering scent of the stargazer lily. To be sure, it dances on the edge of the piquant aroma that the stargazer emanates, but Charna explores the spicy side of this quality via her stargazer accord.
Lilium’s spicy blend is gorgeous. It reminds me of a dense and rich carnation based perfume with loads of spices like cardamom, clove, and pepper. Rose and geranium give Lilium a foothold in the floral category and almond lends a bittersweetness, but the warmth from the spices gets all of my attention.
I’ve been looking for a carnation perfume to love for several years now. I’m pleasantly surprised that Lilium is where my search comes to a beautiful end. I can wrap myself in Lilium’s rich and exotic drapery, amidst its mystery and comfort, which is much needed for the chilly months ahead.
Image: Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John SInger Sargent at artmagick.com