Well, the other day I was reviewing Neil Morris’ Flowers for Men series and was seriously kvelling over the lilac one. Our friend alityke (who is full of great ideas) mentioned Aerin and Lilac Path as being a lovely, true lilac. Me being a lemming I checked out the Aerin site only to find that although they do some of their scents in those cunning and useful travel sizes, they do not for Lilac Path and my days of dropping $150 or so bucks on something unsmelled are over. Unless of course it’s old-school Dior.
Luckily, Surrender to Chance came to my rescue, having samples of not only the lilac, but of their tuberose and gardenia. So I was off to the races.
Now, tuberose can be a difficult note. Some perfumers tone down it at the beginning with citrus, while some either just let it’s freak flag fly and amp it up with other indoles (I am looking at You Fracas, smoking in the corner and knocking back a singapore sling) or adding something else crazy like gasoline (You’re up Tubereuse Criminelle, zip up your rubber catsuit.) Tuberose Le Soir goes with the former, lulling you into a false sense of security with the bergamot opening. But tuberose will out, and this one is lovely, with the ylang-ylang and the woody base. It’s not the shiv in your back that Fracas is nor is it the Krav Maga Kick of the Lutens; it’s the Lizabeth Scott of Tuberose. A husky-voiced creamy blonde who’s deep trouble if you aren’t careful. I love it.
Lilac Path is the lilac of my memories. We don’t get them here in Southern California, or if we do it’s not in the profusion that I remember in Massachusetts, where you will encounter bowers of them. We had an entire wall of the garden at my parent’s house that was planted with them in purple and white and when they were in bloom you could smell it all through the house. While it’s been decades since I smelled the real thing this one captured what I remember like it was
1977 I mean 2007. It’s quintessentially lilac, with the crisp green stems and orange blossom adding the bright sunshine. It’s at Saks and I may have to order a small bottle. Just to keep the card open and running, you know.
Gardenia Rattan was nice- a different take on gardenia. I got heavy marine notes and something a little coconutty, like Coppertone. Aerin is based in the Hamptons I gather and maybe that’s what they were going for- the late evening scent of white flowers while you’re sitting on the chaise in the garden sipping something, the smell of your suntan lotion still on your tanned skin. It’s not my gardenia, but despite everything I would like to believe, not everything is about me. It looks like it may be discontinued so if it’s your gardenia. move quickly.
Tuberose is $260 for 1.7oz, Lilac Path is $145 for 1.7oz, and Gardenia Rattan is available at Saks for $180 for 3.4oz. (It may be discontinued elsewhere- the former two seem to be available at more places.) My samples came from Surrender to Chance.
Photos: My iPhone and Pexels and Wikimedia Commons.