Before I talk about Lily & Spice, I have to talk about the difference between 'Lily' and 'Lily Of The Valley'. It recently occurred to me that there is in fact a difference in the smell of the two. When I was buying Lily & Spice, they didn't have a tester in store and the lady at Penhaligon's counter gave me a tester of Lily Of The Valley to try instead. LOTV smelt nothing like my memory of Lily & Spice. The two were different fragrances. At that moment I had a mental flash of every lily and LOTV perfumes that I had ever smelt. I realised that lily is in fact different from LOTV. I am a bit slow to realise it. Better late than never, I guess. Read more about LOTV here and Lily here.
I am familiar with the smell of lilies (from smelling the flower directly). I have never smelt the LOTV flowers. It has got a lot to do with the fact that I grew up in the sub tropics and LOTV is mostly found in temperate climates. But I have experienced LOTV in a lot of perfumes. My reference perfume for LOTV is Guerlain's Muguet. LOTV in it smells green, fresh, a little soapy and very feminine. It is a fresh outdoor smell, like the smell of spring meadows and flowers, very English Countryside-y. Lily on the other hand, smells closer to the 'white floral' smell. It is delicate, creamy, vanilla-like white floral smell. Then there are different kinds of lilies like Tiger, Stargazer, Easter, Ginger and I don't know how different they are from each other.
Lily & Spice is gorgeous! It begins with the creamy white floral note of lily. It is very soft and gentle. I'll cautiously use the word aquatic because it is neither 'wet' nor it is 'marine' like FM's Lys Mediterranee. It is light and cool but not transparent enough to miss the presence of the beautiful flower. There is greenness but not that soapy greenness of LOTV but a fresh and rounded greenness. The spice is not that distinct and ii is a part of the floral smell. The spice actually brings the lily to life. The lily is balmy and creamy but quite fresh and feminine. It stays true to the flower throughout on my skin leaving a light musky drydown of pure gorgeousness.
It is very cold outside and no sign of spring yet but I am craving for this perfume everyday. I generally am drenched in heavy ambers and vanillas in the winter but the fact that I am attracted to Lily & Spice so much says a lot about my changing tastes. I am loving florals these days, lighter the better.