The brand with the little crest is called Lily Bermuda and is (not so predictably these days) a Bermuda-based perfume house established in 1928. The people there are quite proud of the heritage, since they have been producing scents based on the essences that aromatize the air of the isles for a long time. The latest trio, reviewed here today, was conceived to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Bermuda: "Each fragrance was created to evoke a different time in the Island’s history since it’s beginning". I admit at least one of them had me murmuring tunes to myself under my breath with much gusto all day, so I am going to start with that and work onwards.
Petals is a feminine fragrance encased in pink packaging. If by "pink" you're left with the impression you'll be dealing with a Barbie-esque tutti-frutti cocktail from which is there is no escaping, think again. Surprisingly, upon sampling Petals, I realised we're dealing with exactly what the official information is promising: "a luminous fragrance, an alluring white floral bouquet, elegant and truly feminine".
Petals is feminine, no question about it, and although quite sweet, its tour de force isn't the sugar-tooth of bonbons, but the nectarous quality hiding in the heart of its white blossoms. Its appeal is like that of Natalie Wood at the time she was dating Warren Beatty. On me the citrusy fruit disappears almost immediately giving way to the rich flowers and the diaphanous base notes. In Lily Bermuda Petals the orange blossom is honeyed and layed on thick instead of fresh (think of the treatment in Fleurs d'Oranger by Lutens), the honeysuckle and oriental jasmine take on heady directions, yet the scent is not at all heavy although it wafts satisfactorily and lasts exceptionally well (all through the night on me and discernable upon waking up). Despite its "timeless" promotion, I feel it is instantly identified as modern, as it doesn't possess the dirtier (costus, real musk...) or earthier (moss, patchouli...) aspects upon which several classics were built decades ago. But it makes you want to break out a prom-like 60s dress and sing in front of the mirror "I feel pretty, oh so pretty; I feel pretty and witty and gay!" , which is rather priceless in its way, won't you agree?
Petals encompasses notes of: clementine, mandarin, night blooming honeysuckle, sparkling seringa, watery orange blossom, ylang ylang, jasmine sambac, white musk, white amber. Available in many sizes starting with 15ml/1oz (how utterly cute!)
Somers is a masculine fragrance in dark blue packaging. The name derives from a visit a long-time ago: "Sir George Somers taking his first step onto our fragrant Island and being enveloped in the natural odors of this picturesque paradise". Somers accordingly opens with refreshing notes of bergamot, Bermuda cedar and cardamon, wandering into delicious notes of licorice, black tea, nutmeg, coriander, geranium and sage. The finale is warm with gaiac wood, olivewood bark, incense, blonde suede and amber. Additional notes include grapefruit, orange blossom, ginger and vetiver. Cedar and licorice/aniseed form the main impression, which is interesting in its way, one contrasting with the other their austere and more sensuous aspects; nevertheless I was pining for that olivewood bark promised, which I so love due to my cultural heritage. It's a quite wearable and likeable scent and could be confiscated by women too as it has a cozy Lolita Lempicka vibe with a tad more woods and what smells like benzoin, but (perhaps because of that familiarity) not as distinctive as I would have personally liked. Somers is available in 100ml of Eau de Toilette.
South Water is a unisex fragrance in light blue packaging. Meant as a shared fragrance available in 100ml of Eau de Toilette to be splashed on for freshening up, it accomplishes that on the humid days we're facing still with the familiar, almost Pavlovian relaxing reflex of "suntan lotion smell"; that memory redolent of Coppertone, coconut rum and Cherry Cola with a spattering of sea salt right out of an ocean-dip clinging on skin still (Salty accents have formed quite a trend as we discussed previously). It's a bit more coconutty than I am comfortable with on a regular basis, but not to the point of it being sickening which is always a concern with that type of scent. I don't really smell fruits, nor is it too powdery as it would have been incured by the notes and I am sure it will be included in "beachy scents" lists in the future, I predict it will be popular.
South Water lists sun-drenched tangerine with ozone breeze, coconut milk, juicy guava, gardenia petals, cactus sap, sea salt and white musk. Additional notes include blackcurrant, aniseed, violet, orris, coumarine, vanilla and tonka bean.
The rest of the Lily Bermuda line includes~
For the ladies: Pink, Coral, Lily, Oleander, Jasmine, Passion Flower, Frangipani, Paradise, and Fresh Water (unisex), and
For the Gents: 32°N, 64°W (the topography of Bermuda obviously), Cedar, and Navy.
The fragrances (with some exceptions) come in various sizes starting with 15ml/1oz, making them especially handy to choose from! A Library sample box (samples are generously sized, I might add, allowing about three wearings easily) will set you back 25$.
You can see the selection on the official Lily Bermuda site which is very nicely designed and shop online.
If interested in sampling all three scents, drop a line in the comments and I will pick a winner!
In the interests of full disclosure, I was introduced to the line through a promotion. Natalie Wood pic via The art of staying up all night blog