This is perfect for today. After a morning of gorgeous dappling sunlight and a long bath listening to Joni Mitchell, I am now on the train to work smelling delicately of white and yellow lilies; ylang ylang, and vanilla. More natural than Vanille Galante, less musky and enveloping than Songes, this perfume is delightful; soothingly tropical and sensuous as the urban countryside goes by and I delve into Ian Buruma’s fascinating memoir, A Tokyo Romance: the life of a Dutch writer and photographer in the artistic underworld of seventies Japan. A different era: but so many echoes and essentialities of our own experiences here in this weird and wonderful land; he encapsulates much of what I feel but am sometimes unable to pin down. Fixated on beauty and aware of his own ‘othering’ of the exotic, Lys Soleia is a beguiling, heat-suffused softness in the backdrop of my solitude, and does nothing to detract from the intricate eroticism of his story.




Filed under Flowers

44 responses to “BALMY AND DREAMY :::: LYS SOLEIA by GUERLAIN (2012)

  1. Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

    Beautiful dreamer
    Can almost capture the scent
    The allusion to Songes is most apt
    Love to smell it
    I like the white flower face.

  2. Robin

    A sweet little confection to savour with my morning tea. Thank you, my dear.

  3. Robin

    Oh my god, Anthony Bourdain??!! Suddenly, my morning tea tastes vile. Damn it all. Damn. Damn. Damn.

  4. Tara C

    Very sad about Bourdain as well. Such a shame, he was smart, witty and human. Loved his work.

    Lys Soleia is my favourite of the Aqua Allegorias.

    • I have very conflicted feelings about suicide. In one way, it strikes me as the ultimate independent act.

      • Robin

        I’m all for it, myself. That’s how I envision my own death, I think, when I’m ready to go. I’d rather calmly and rationally take matters into my own hands (preferably with some compassionate medical assistance) once I’d tidied up all the loose ends of my existence and said my goodbyes than have my body dictate how and when. I’d like to have the final say after a long life, when my health is winding down and before I have to suffer. Canada has recently made this possible.

        But Tony’s suicide was not this kind of death, I’m sure. This was tragic.

      • Tara C

        I totally agree with you Robin. I am very glad Canada is moving forward on the legalization of assisted suicide, although I think they haven’t yet gone far enough (e.g. Switzerland). But Tony’s suicide was a tragic act of desperation.

      • Atherton

        Guess what…not about you today, Tara.
        This is a sad day for those who are grieving about the loss of an icon in the world of food.
        Your thoughts on the politics are not relevant at this particular point…


  5. Atherton

    Joni Mitchell writes “I think I understand, fear is like a wilder land…stepping stones or sinking sand. Rest is lovely peace Chef.
    Joni, a rose tea, a Bourdain book and a Lys…it would be almost perfect.


    • I suppose it is fitting that this post was about lilies, funeral flowers, even if my feeling while writing it was anything but morbid.

      I also personally probably might not support euthanasia: I don’t know, but I do think that Tara’s comment was completely relevant and unselfish given the context of the conversation.

      • Atherton

        Thank you, I will certainly look at my intentions around my comment to Tara.
        I am still struck by Chef’s death, perhaps my thoughts were focused on that sorrow…

      • Just say what you think : as I have.

        It’s strange that I have never heard of this man or read anything by him – it seems many people are devastated.

      • Atherton

        Once again, thank you for your observation. It seems that my ability to”just say what you think” is a bit too nebulous for you.

        If I may, please, about the ‘many people devastated’, to whom were you referring?

        It seems at this moment, we both are curious, no?

        Ma Griffe…thank you for your readings and your reminder of a very personal scent, that I had long forgotten.


      • Robin

        Ah, I’d missed this comment of yours, Neil. I am happy to see it. Case closed!

  6. Atherton

    And, as I follow you most interesting thread, I believe my question is answered.
    Many, many people are and will be devastated by Chef’s transition.
    I do hope that you get to know more about Chef Bourdain. He was a great Ambassador of Japan, culture and cuisine.
    Be well,

  7. Tara C

    Indeed, it’s not about me. It’s about people who are suffering but who have not been diagnosed with a « terminal disease » and thus who do not have access to assisted suicide and a means to exit this life in peace and comfort. Only Switzerland offers assisted suicide on demand without requiring a terminal diagnosis, to my knowledge. I hope more countries offer this in the future so it is not only accessible to those with the means to travel to Switzerland, like the 104 year old Australian man who recently did just this. His was an ultimate act of independence, using Neil’s words.

    And no, this has nothing to do with the sad demise of Anthony Bourdain, I was simply echoing Robin’s words because I feel similarly.

    • Robin

      And I was responding to Neil’s comments on his conflicted feelings about suicide and his mention of it being in one way striking him as the ultimate independent act. Unfortunately, Atherton failed to see this.

      This is one thing about comments like Atherton’s directed at and critical on a personal level of another person’s reply, in this case Tara’s. It’s fine to “say what you think,” but not that way: not at anyone’s expense and not without thinking carefully about what it is that you’re saying, why you’re saying it and the way you say it. “Guess what . . . not about you today Tara” is not the kind of comment I come hear to read. The world is nasty enough as it is.

      Neil, I expected that you would act as a moderator and respond to Atherton’s ad hominem comment on Tara’s behalf. None of us comes here to be belittled. At least, I don’t.

      • Atherton

        I am in agreement with you. My comment to Tara was unbecoming and thoughtless on many levels.

        This thread had been most though provoking for me, as I am new to this arena. I had been feeling that my words were not kind…I got it later!

        I was reacting to the death of Chef Bourdain and reacted with my computer, prior to thinking how my words might affect another human.

        To Tara, Robin, Neil and whomever I caused any unkindness…please accept my sincere apology.

        I have learned from this and I thank you all for that!


      • Robin

        Atherton, that is lovely of you, and kind and courageous. I accept your apology with gratitude and respect. I’m exceedingly uncomfortable with standing up for what I believe is right in that way, so your response is more welcome than you can know.

        I understand how reactive you were in hearing of Bourdain’s suicide. I was absolutely floored. A day later, I’m still trying to process it. I’d imagine that is why your response to Tara upset me to the degree it did, as I was already feeling so badly about the loss of a brilliant life with so much contribution still to make to the world of culture. As you were.

        Again, my thanks.

        Neil, I’d still like to understand your view.

  8. Atherton

    Thank you Robin…

    Is anyone familiar with Norma Kamali-Incense?
    Is there a location to still purchase this scent?

    • Tara C

      It is long discontinued and as rare as hen’s teeth. I found it rather overwhelming and unpleasant, but YMMV.

  9. I don’t feel like talking about suicide. This post was originally about a gorgeous lily scent.

    N E X T !!!!!!

  10. Just in case anyone is still reading this, I apologise for the seeming lack of compassion and general abruptness of my comments here. It was the end of the week; I was exhausted; I wrote the post, I hadn’t heard of Mr Bourdain, and was taken aback by it all. I hadn’t realised just how important he was to everyone, and should have taken the whole thing more seriously.

    I suppose also, as the writer of the Black Narcissus, I should reply to comments immediately, and often I do, but we are all in different time zones, and sometimes I am busy or not in the mood. I also don’t have rules about behaviour, bad language etc like other blogs do (which would have deleted certain comments immediately). I can’t bear to police things; if people want to talk among themselves, or argue among themselves, that’s fine by me. That’s why I didn’t ‘weigh in’ until later, and even then, it seems my comments went in the wrong place. This subject, contrary to what you might think from what I say here, is just too sensitive for me. Doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it. But I didn’t feel like talking about it. I have my reasons.

  11. Just watched my first ever Bourdain: in Rome, where I once lived. Strange to do this after the fact now that he is dead (particularly how much the programme, Parts Unknown, is so much about living in the moment and the pleasure of living). I can definitely see the appeal. How sad that he couldn’t have found a way to seek help in some way rather than such a horrendously violent and sudden ending. I feel for his family and Asia Argento – they seem like a really good couple in this episode. Such is life, though, I suppose – we can’t predict it nor ever really know what others are going through.

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