Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ineke Gilded Lily: fragrance review

Ineke Rühland follows a nifty idea concerning her niche brand: an ABC of fragrance so to speak, each new scent named after the next-in-line initial letter. So after some of her earlier work (reviewed here) and last year's Field Notes from Paris (click here for review), the latest fragrance is called “Gilded Lily” after G.

According to the press info which we had announced a while back: "When Ineke read about the scent of the Goldband Lily of Japan (lilium auratum), she felt compelled to order a few for her garden to study their fragrance. This note became the heart of Gilded Lily.[...] Gilded Lily’s "fruity chypre" structure opens with sparkling top notes of pineapple and rhubarb followed by the goldband lily, and closes with patchouli, oakmoss and amber".

I admit that as far as I'm concerned, Gilded Lily doesn't conjure a fruity chypre in the manner of classic Femme, Diorama, or Mitsouko to my mind (or even a contemporary fruity chypre like Esteban's Modern Chypre, YSL Yvresse or Chypre Rouge by Lutens), but rather a rather unisex floral demi-fougère. The former are peachy-plummy symphonies of creamy millefeuilles and golden light getting deflected from a window pane at the 6th arrondissement on a bright autumn afternoon when chic tailleurs are thrown in haste on a heap on the parqueted floor and ties are used as impromptu blindfolds... Gilded Lily is a cool blonde walking the streets towards the museum of Modern Art in New York City, her arms getting goosebumbs from the cool air holding a white lily with frothings of retro greenish shaving cream on its heavy petals in a papier-mâché vase, a Magritte-worthy scene.

What I mean: Although advertised as a lily chypre fragrance, I get no big lily bouquet, the kind of thing that I was used to receiving while giving piano recitals in my university days. Those were engulfing, very floral-spicy affairs and ~if inhaled too much~ they tended to give a migraine, despite their uncontested beauty. Nor do I get the dark mossy autumnal forest floor that I associate most with chypres. Gilded Lily needs no gilding in fact, nor is it particularly embellished. It's neither sweet nor too floral, but rather after a short floral-fruity top note (which is NOT like most of the mainstream swill at stores right now, thank heavens!) goes straight for a woody liqueur-like clean patchouli drydown of modern proclivities which would have men notice it and claiming as their own, even though it's touted as a feminine.
After seven fragrances Ineke emerges as possessing a distinct style of her own, a sort of "signature", which one either loves or dislikes; there's no in-between. Gilded Lily is certainly very much within that style and shares elements with other creations of hers. Fans will be pleased and the rest would know what to expect.

Gilded Lily is available as Eau de Parfum and along with the rest of Ineke's line (After My Own Heart, Balmy Days & Sundays, Chemical Bonding, Derring-Do, Evening Edged in Gold and Field Notes from Paris) are sold worldwide at the stores listed on her website,

Painting Les Amants by René Magritte


  1. Hi,
    Thank you for an interesting blog!
    To me Gilded Lily is just a smoother version of Jean Patous EnJoy. I really enjoy :) Inekes work (After My Own Heart is brilliant) but also her 2009 creation Fieldnotes from Paris is to close to another (well crafted mainstream) fragrance, Burberry Brit for Men.

  2. P,

    I agree about AMOH, which is very well made. I'm not sure I catch the comparison of this one with EnJoy (which lacks the after-shave and five o'clock shadow) but you've got a point about Burberry: I think you mean London for Men? That's the one I recall having the tobacco-woody notes. (Could be wrong myself, need to recheck BfM!!)
    Ineke is poised someplace between the easy acceptance of a good mainstream and the conviction of a personal route of a legit niche, I feel.

  3. Hi again,
    Yes, I mean Burberry London for Men the tobacco-infused one, Brit is more of a lime - sandalwood scent as I remember it. London is also a bit sweeter than FNIP. Regarding EnJoy - GL I think it´s the pineapplenote and the modern fruity chypre vibe that is similar. When I tested GL i couldn't get EnJoy out of my mind.

  4. Ah, thank you!!! I wasn't perfectly certain and wanted to make sure lest I make a mistake in my reply to you.
    I need to retest EnJoy with GL on my other wrist one of these days. Thanks for introducing the idea to me.


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