Legendary Perfume Houses of Europe

Knowing the history behind particular perfumes enhances the experience of wearing certain fragrances for perfume aficionados. And as anyone who truly appreciates perfume knows, many of the most popular brands are linked to venerated families whose lives were devoted to the craft of producing the fragrances that are household names all over the world. Knowing this history helps build an appreciation for the dedication and devotion that is involved in what is really an art form. This is why we know our readers will appreciate a look at some of the venerated perfume houses of Europe.

    • Chanel: The Chanel brand was created in 1921 by perfumer, Ernest Beaux for Gabrielle Chanel and has become the greatest selling perfume of all time. Its No. 5 is iconic and is rumored to be what actress Marilyn Monroe wore. In fact, Monroe is known for once saying, “What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.”
  • Coty: Coty was created by Corsican born Francois Coty who later moved to Paris in 1900 and released his first perfume in 1904. Cody was a pioneer in the use of designer bottles.
  • Galimard: One of the oldest and most august perfume houses of France is Galimard. This historic perfumery was started back in 1747 by Jean de Galimard who supplied his perfume to the court of Louis XV. The House of Galimard uses Grasses flowers in formulating its fragrances just as it has done for 250 years.
  • Penhaligon’s: A British perfume house, Penhaligon’s was founded in the late 1860s by William Henry Penhaligon who became a perfumer to Queen Victoria. Penhaligon’s has stores all over England including Covent Garden, the Burlington Arcade, Regent Street, Mayfair, Kings Road, Islington and the Royal Exchange. It also has shops in Paris, New York City, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
  • Floris:  Founded in 1720, this house is one of London’s best known perfume houses. So popular is Floris in London that it is a necessary stop for any true aficionado of fine fragrances.
  • Houbigant: Founded in 1775 by Jean Francois Houbigant, this house had among its clientele Marie Antoinette and Queen Victoria.
  • Molinard: Founded in 1849 by Jeune Molinard, this house began as a small boutique in Grasse. Today the perfumery is run by descendants of Molinard.

These are just a few of the great perfume houses of Europe. They have endured where others have not due to their dedication to crafting the perfect scent through trial and error. They have created a following among the public and continue to grow their base. Many of the houses also make terrific tourist spots for those perfume enthusiasts who are determined to know more about the origin of these houses. Or, in the alternative, the fragrances from these houses are also available here at Lily’s Direct.

How to Tell if your Perfume has Gone off

Does something seem to be amiss about the smell of your favorite perfume?  Have you noticed that your favorite fragrance containing citrus notes that no longer smell as citrusy?  Well, if you’ve noticed either of these things then the answer to this mystery is quite simple – perfumes expire.  They go bad.  As much as we would like to think that our favorite fragrance is eternal, the bottle of perfume you buy is not.  This is because perfumes are a complex balance of many ingredients that work together to produce just the right scent we desire but that also, over time, change chemically.  For example, the natural oil in many perfumes comes from a long chain of substituted allyl aromatics which are susceptible to decomposition and bacterial growth.  This is a fact that many people are blissfully unaware of as they choose their favorite fragrance.  Moreover, the reality that fragrances do expire is obscured by the fact perfumes do not come with expiration dates stamped on them.

Tests for whether your perfume has gone off

The Nose Test:  Ultimately, then the best way to tell if your perfume has gone bad is the same way you chose it in the first place – smell it.  If it smells “off” it probably is.  If the smell is not one you are used to then toss it out.

The Color Test:  Color changes – getting darker for example – are not a normal process in colognes.  Color changes signify chemical changes and these changes mean that the fragrance has reached the end of its life.

Look at the label:  As stated earlier, perfumes do not come with a “use by” date stamped on them.  Still there are ways to tell if your perfume may have a particularly short lifespan by reading the label on the bottle before buying it.  Some ingredients are notorious for shortening the life of perfume.  (One example is listed in the first part of this article.)  For example, perfumes containing natural ingredients tend to last less time than those containing artificial ingredients.

If all this seems discouraging there are some ways to extend the life of your favorite fragrance.  First, know that many perfumes containing essential oils last 6 years on average.  Next, minimize the contact your perfume has with oxygen and direct sunlight.  Store your perfume in dark, cool place in order to extend its life.  Finally, minimize your perfume’s contact with heat which is another natural accelerant to the aging process of fragrances.  Try these tips and you may spare yourself the disappointment of watching your favorite fragrance go to waste.

Perfume-Solids vs Spray

Every woman wants to get the maximum utility from her fragrances.  This is regardless of how many she may own.  This is in part why a small controversy has brewed since solid perfumes first came on the market.  Countless sites contain testimony from women who swear their allegiance to one or the other and even women who use both together.  For those who have not solidly (no pun intended) come down in one camp or another, here are some pluses and minuses of wearing solid perfumes vs. sprays. 

The first thing to know about the solid vs. spray colognes is that they can of course have the exact same scent and be from the same designer but here is often where the similarities end.  Solid perfumes are oil based as opposed to sprays which are alcohol based for the most part.  Other differences are:

Pros of Solid (Oil based perfumes)

  • No spillage or risk of leaking
  • Has a longer shelf life
  • Less likely to cause skin reactions
  • Non-flammable
  • Easy to apply and to desired areas

Cons of Solid Perfumes

  • Can be sticky and leave residue
  • Lasts 2-3 hours
  • Strongly scented

Pros of Spray Perfumes

  • Stronger but light scent
  • Last longer than solids

Cons of Spray Perfumes

  • More is wasted when applying since it is a mist
  • Prone to spilling or leaking

Solid Colognes Brands

We all know the usual suspects when it comes to spray colognes.  They have been around for ages.  However, if you decide that the pluses of wearing a solid perfume outweighs the minuses or if you just want to experiment then some of the more popular brands include:  34 Boulevard Saint Germain solid perfume (Diptyque), Limited Editions Precious Jewels Perfume Compact (Estee Lauder), Quelques Fleurs ‘L’Original’ Solid Perfume Compact (Houbigant Paris), Epic woman solid perfume compact (Amouage) and Lucky bay solid perfume stick (Le Soft Perfume)

In the end, the choice comes down to measuring the personal against the practical.  No one intends to buy any product without thinking of how they can best utilize it.  Perfume is no different.  That is the reason this controversy continues between women who swear that they get the best use from one or the other.  Whichever choice you make, Lily Direct can accommodate you with our wide selection of the most popular fragrances for men and women.

What You Need to Know About Men’s Cologne

Let’s face it.  When it comes to picking out fragrances men tend to be less savvy than women.  For many men knowing which brand to buy, how to apply it and when too much is being used is pretty much guesswork.  On these points let’s give women their due.  However, even though men generally aren’t as adept at choosing and applying colognes are women are at applying perfume, doesn’t mean that we can’t strive to learn.  Here is some information about men’s colognes along with tips on choosing the right one for your body chemistry and applying fragrances so that they do not overwhelm the people around you.

The first thing to note about men’s cologne is that it is not simply perfume for men.  It is in general not as strong as women’s perfume.  In fact, the concentration of fragrance oil in most men’s colognes is typically 8% and 12%.  For perfume it is 15% or more.  Also, men’s fragrances tend to stress darker, warmer wood, spice, or amber “notes,” or the aromatic ingredients that comprise a fragrance.  Finally, men sweat more than women do on the whole.  These facts alone mean that men have to choose and apply their fragrances by a different set of rules than do women.

Choosing the Right Fragrance

Each man’s body chemistry is different as is the case with women.  A man’s fragrance is an unseen part of man’s style.  The best way to choose cologne is to use the tried and true method of spraying the scent on each wrist or on the inner elbow and to then walk around a bit in order to refresh the palate before smelling the fragrance again.  (The recommended areas to apply cologne are the lower jaw, neck, shoulders, chest, the inner elbow, the forearm and the wrist.)

How to Apply Cologne the Right Way

As a rule, when wearing cologne less is more.  You want to wear cologne not marinate in it.  Other tips are: 1) Apply to skin not clothing, 2) Apply after you dry from a shower, 3) Start light, 4) Apply your cologne to “heat” areas of the body.  Those “red zones” include the shoulders and the neck.  Next, men with dry skin should apply cologne more often; men with oily skin should apply cologne less often as oil holds scents longer.  Also, don’t clash with the scents you are already wearing (aftershave, soap, lotion, etc).  Finally, designers of men’s colognes know all the tips and tricks of wearing their fragrances.  Now you can be one step ahead of the next guy by following these tips when choosing and applying your cologne.  Remember, if someone can clearly identify the cologne you are wearing chances are you are wearing too much.

Success in a Bottle?

Did you ever wonder what makes a great man or woman great? Was he just born that way or is there an external force determining his greatness? Certainly greatness stems from multiple factors coming together in just the right way, but here at Lily Direct we like to think that scent is definitely one small factor that makes up that elusive greatness mixture. And when one perfume house has perfumed an extensive collection of history’s greatest names, and continues to perfume contemporary greats alike, you have to stop and ask yourself, is it something in the spritz?

The Creed perfume house has created a legacy of unrivaled scents, both commissioned and worn by a host of global royalty, politicians, movie stars and first ladies. It’s rumored that it Remarkable letters from King Geoge IIIall started with a bottle of ‘Royal English Leather,’ commissioned by King George III.

Today, over 200 years later, First Lady Michelle Obama has said she is a devoted fan of Creed perfumes. Over the last two decades and beyond a wealth of famous names— Winston Churchill, JFK, Frank Sinatra, Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Madonna and Julia Roberts…just to name a few—have either commissioned or worn Creed scents.

The list of famous Creed wearers is seemingly never ending: In 1920, at the request of Winston Churchill, ‘Tabarome Millesime’ was created; a take on the original ‘Tabarome’ fragrance, Churchill’s version contains notes of tobacco.

JFK is said to have worn ‘Vetiver.’

‘Spring Flower’ is said to have been commissioned for Hollywood starlet Audrey Hepburn in 1951. Since King George III there have been a plethora of European royals said to have commissioned scents from the Creed perfume house.

Don’t worry too much if you are an ordinary person who cannot commission a personalized scent, Creed has plenty of exquisite scents on the market. Many of the scents that were originally commissioned are later available to the general public. You can find great deals on Creed scents such as ‘Original Vetiver’, ‘Love in White’ and many more right here on the Lily Direct website. With so many great names wearing Creed scents, isn’t it worth it to see if you can find success in a bottle?

Great Perfume Houses Part 2

We continue the bi-weekly presentations of the perfume houses from around the world.  The first presentation was about Guerlain, this week we present Coty.Image result for coty logo

Founded in 1904 by Francois Coty (born, Joseph Marie Francois Spoturno), a businessman and French perfumer.  The name Coty is a more French variation of his mother’s maiden name, Coti.  He followed a friend’s advice and got himself admitted into the perfumery school run by Chiris, one of the oldest and also largest of the Grasse perfume homes.  In the early 1900’s he was not initially successful, but in 1904 his creation La Rose Jacqueminot, a scent with rose absolute, changed his fortune. He followed this creation with L’Origan in 1905, Chypre in 1917,

Emeraude in 1921 and L’Aimant in 1927.  70 years later, L’Aimant was still one of the top selling perfumes in Britain.

Francois Coty earned millions from his perfumes, but it was his business savvy that made him France’s first billionaires.  He conceptualized the idea of gift pairing a fragrance with a cosmetic.  He recognized a scents success was also attributed to the shape of the bottle.  He collaborated with ceramist and jeweler  Rene Rene Lalique, who designed bottles for many of Coty’s early scents.  The bottles were in shapes of nature, flowers and female figures. Coty also recognized perfume was not only for the rich and famous.  He sold perfumes in smaller plainer looking, but still conveying luxury and prestige, bottles and they were targeted to the mass markets around the world.  It is important to note Francois Coty became a billionaire selling perfume during the years before and after World War I, a time of European economic hardship.  His business approach:“Give a woman the best product to be made, market it in the perfect flask, beautiful in its simplicity yet impeccable in its taste, ask a reasonable price for it, and you will witness the birth of a business the size of which the world has never seen.”


Lilydirect carries several of the Coty Brands at very reasonable prices, visit the site for many special offers!

Polo-A Scent For All Time

My two youngest children were ready. My husband would be ready in a few minutes, but I still had to straighten my hair and then get dressed. Normally I am the first one ready to go anywhere, marshaling the rest of my lagging troops. But today was different…my firstborn son Jim, was graduating from high school. Memories of his childhood flitted around my mind, slowing down my usually prompt ablutions. Pausing in my pursuit of sartorial grace, I sighed and thought about just how quickly 18 years had passed.  I remember when Jim was just born- he was so small…so beautiful…so loud!

We tried to have our children a few years apart, but nature does not always go along with your plans.  Our second, Edward was born 7 years later and then our third child, Henry 2 years afterward.  So Jim had a chance to experience many firsts. The first car, the first apartment, the first home and then the 2nd car. He was the first to ride the family bicycle with training wheels and the first to break a bone; and thankfully he only broke one.  He was also the first to use his father’s cologne, Polo.

In 8th grade for his graduation he asked his father if he could wear some of his Polo cologne.  There was going to be a dance after the graduation ceremony and he wanted to smell good.  My eyes teared because my boy was fast becoming a man, or maybe because Jim decided (like most boys) that if a little smelled good a lot would smell better! We managed to tamp the smell down a bit, but it really proved fortuitous that the lovely girl Jim was escorting had a rather bad case of hay fever…and couldn’t smell a thing!

Polo became a mainstay in our household.  Jim tried different scents but he always came back to Polo because it reminded him of an important father son bonding moment.  Jimmy didn’t just borrow his father’s Polo in 8th grade; he also received his first shaving lesson.  That moment always stuck with Jim, Polo was forever linked with his first steps on the road to adulthood.

Back to the present day and we are all rushing out the door, but Jim is already at the ceremony with his friends. I wonder at the new friendships he will make as he continues on to the next phase of his life, College.  Jim will be attending the Naval Academy, and what a fine Officer he will make; he will do a wonderful job of leading men. He has been leading his younger brothers for many years and they look up to him every day. Both his father and I could not be more proud and I know that when he leaves in the fall, his luggage will contain a bottle of Polo cologne.

Fabulous Gift Sets

No matter what the occasion is or who it is for, a perfume or cologne gift set is the perfect present!

At Lily Direct, you can find great bargains on popular brands of perfume and cologne sets.

With deals up to 90% off and free shipping on orders over $100, you can shop your heart out. All perfume and cologne sets are featured on our website are the authentic fragrance. No replicas, no gimmicks-simply a great selection at a wonderful price.

Just in time for Mother’s Day we are have dozens of designer gift sets. Some of the lovely fragrances we are featuring include:

Beauty by Calvin Klein a 2 piece set and is 35% off for only $45.15

Little Kiss by Salvador Dali a 3 piece set at 70% off making this deal only $26.75

Tresor by Lancôme a 2 piece set at 38% off for only $50.79

Provocative by Elizabeth Arden a 2 piece set at 50% off- this amazing gift set is only $27.09

Chloe by Chloe a 3 piece gift set at 46% off. Originally $145.00, this classic scent is only $77.44!

Only at Lily Direct will you find such low prices on such high end perfumes!!

But don’t worry gentlemen, we haven’t forgotten about you! We have plenty of amazing deals on our cologne gift sets for you to choose from.

Boss # 6 by Hugo Boss a 2 piece set at 28% off now only $56.15

Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent a 2 piece set is 28% off for only $53.75

Mont Blanc Legend by Mont Blanc a 3 piece set at 34% off making it a steal at only $50.91

Play by Givenchy a 3 piece set at 29% off. Originally $85.00, this perennial favorite is now just $59.99.

We have a vast array of scents to choose from, so visit our website- LilyDirect.com and find the perfect gift! 

Perfume And Cologne Minis!

Looking for the perfect gift? A perfume or cologne mini is just what you need! Instead of giving an entire bottle of a scent that you hope your friend or family will like, giving a mini size will allow them the chance to try a few different ones!


Also, having a mini cologne or perfume is great for travel and putting in your purse! This way you can smell good on the go! When you shop from Lily Direct you can get the best in designer fragrances. They feature perfumes such as Provocative by Elizabeth Arden, Valentino, and Pure by Katy Perry! Our featured colognes feature scents such as the Curve by Liz Claiborne, wings by Ed Hardy and much more!


Since Lily direct always offers the lowest prices for colognes and perfumes out there, you won’t believe the prices for our minis! Our Izod Cologne mini by Phillips Van Heusen is 87% off and is only $2.57! This is a great steal! Also for the amazing designer Givenchy, we have the Givenchy Pour Homme Cologne Mini by Givenchy for only $4.79 and  Christian Audigier Cologne Mini by Christian Audigier for only $4.20! This is great to stock up on for every man’s birthday, graduation, holidays, or any other occasions that you need a gift for! Men are hard to shop for and we just made it a whole lot easier!


Our perfume mini selections is where you can finally have all the scents you have always wanted in your collection for a low low price! We have the Marine Groove Perfume Mini by Escada for $6.89, Tommy Girl Perfume Mini by Tommy Hilfiger for $5.85, Salvatore Ferragamo Perfume Mini by Salvatore Ferragamo for  $4.17, Tous Touch Perfume Mini by Tous  for only $4.45!


All of our minis are amazing gifts, and a great way to make your perfume or cologne collection grow with out spending a bundle! Check out our website for all of our minis! http://www.lilydirect.com/mini-fragrances.html

Best Sellers!


Check out what our best sellers have been this week! We always make sure we are well stocked in your favorite fragerances. Of course all of these fragrances are at an amazing price and make great gifts!


Our best sellers at the moment include brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent, and Vera Wang. Light Blue Perfume by Dolce & Gabbana is 42% off and is only $27.39! This is a great everyday scent and can be worn from day to night! Paris Perfume by Yves Saint Lauren EDT spray is 46% off and is only $50.99! This is an amazing price for such a high end product. This is a luxurious scent that makes you feel like a million bucks! Vera Wang is a very popular designer and the Vera Wang Cologne is at a very low cost at the moment! It is 70% off and is only $16.09! That is an offer you can not pass up! Another best seller is the Burberry London Perfume by Burberry which is 67% off and only $28.29. As well as the True Religion Cologne by True Religion is 75% off at only $18.99!


On our website you can find all of our bestsellers under our bestseller tab, as well as our clearance, new arrivals, gift sets, and bath and body. Every week we have new scents and new sales! We also offer free shipping on all orders of $100! Remember Lily Direct for your next fragrance purchase or when you are trying to find the perfect gift! No gimmicks, no games, no coupons, just low prices!