Perfume of the week… Gilded Lily by Ineke
One of the first niche perfumes I purchased was Gilded Lily, a chypre perfume that combines many of my favorite notes like lily, elemi, oakmoss and labdanum but as I started wearing it more each time it revealed a different character altogether.
Gilded Lily is named after the famous phrase from Shakespeare's King John:
"Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp,
To guard a title that was rich before,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish..."
The meaning of the verse is "to perfect the perfection," which is exactly what Ineke has done in this occasion. The perfume revolves around the lily which is a particular species, the Goldband Lily of Japan. The other notes include, pineapple, rhubarb, grapefruit and elemi in the top and woody notes of patchouli, oakmoss and labdanum in the base.
The lily in this perfume is presented like a beautiful woman dressed in precious gowns in layers, very much like geishas and as the different layers are put on a different aspect of their beauty appears. The scent introduces itself with an explosion of sweet lemon, juicy pineapple and jammy rhubarb, notes that shouldn’t work together, but blended with the aromatic elemi elevate the precious lily to another dimension. Soon the sparkle subsides to a deeper, more aromatic blend and the lily takes center stage, lush, full and very floral still enveloped in the aromatic woodiness of elemi. When the base notes make their appearance, another layer appears and now rich, velvety oakmoss, warm palliative labdanum and rich elegant patchouli dress the lily in gold thick gowns. It’s a very warm comforting and deeply aromatic chypre perfume of unique character that lasts quite long on the skin and works perfectly in cold weather. Still, after many years it remains one of my most worn winter perfumes and part of my top 10 favorites.