The Black Narcissus














When you think of them, do you think of purity, death, religion?


Tumbling down from the pillars of a church, delicately imbued with the lucent breath of God?



Or are they sexual narcotics, their ochre-pollened stamens beckoning, and trembling, with powder?









Some lilies, like the stargazers, are the latter, their fragrance drowsy and ineluctable.


And Penhaligons – usually the epitome of propriety – have here released one of the best lily perfumes I have smelled.


It is stunning: a life-like portrait of living, breathing lily, spiced with clove and saffron, and with a well thought out erotic richness I wasn’t expecting.









The cool breath of lilies and the casket. Crimson…

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Filed under Flowers

2 responses to “FOUR LILIES

  1. Oh dear, Ginza, the sad thing has happened. I got a little decant of Penhaligon Lily and Spice, and it is my dream wear-a-lily-to-work fragrance. Low-key, enough spice to be interesting, enjoyable for every single one of my perfume-averse colleagues as well as for me. The reason this is sad news is that there doesn’t seem to be any more of it to be had. I am really sorry that Penhaligon d/c’d this one.
    As far as the quality of the scent, it is a dialed-way-down version of the fragrance of some trumpet lilies that I used to grow before I lived in the desert. I believe they were called Lilium regale album, and when that patch bloomed I did not doubt the existence of heaven because I was there. Their scent was strong and thrilling beyond words. The perfume is soft, wispy, like a barely remembered dream of trumpet lilies. Thanks for the memories, and do let me know if you ever see a bottle in somebody’s car boot…

    • Oh.

      I am really glad you like it and can totally see how it could be wearable-to-work as well. As soon as I smelled it I thought wow this is actually really nice and then – they discontinue it, proving yet again that I am never going to be at one with the herd.

      I will keep my eyes open.

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