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.

Tips for Blending Fragrances

As everyone who uses perfumes, colognes and similar products knows fragrances shopping is a very personal experience.  You are, after all, trying to find a scent that is special and uniquely you.  Well, the best way to achieve this kind of customization is by mastering the art of blending fragrances in order to create something truly unique.  But what are the essentials of fragrance pairing?  What does one have to know about this science/art?  Here are some tips to help you create your own fragrance blends.Blending Fragrances

Define the kind of scent you are trying to create:  There are scents that are floral, fruity, masculine, sweet, etc.  Once you have made this determination begin to choose scents that are in the same category and begin to experiment.

Learn how to identify essential oil notes:  Blends are comprised of top, middle and base notes.  Top notes are the strongest most noticeable aroma; middle notes last longer than top notes but are not as strong and finally base notes last the longest.

Know the basics of essential oil blending:  As pointed out above, scents can be woodsy, minty, spicy, based on oriental ingredients, etc.  Learn the fragrances that blend particularly well together.  For example, floral blend pair well spicy, citrusy and woodsy essential oils.

Consider the strength:  Each fragrance you add to your blend will most likely vary in intensity.  One fragrance should not overwhelm the other.  If it does then you need to go back to the drawing board so to speak and continue mixing until you have a greater balance of the fragrances.

Use an eye dropper:  You will want to use an eye dropper in order to be more precise when creating your blend.  This will help later when you are trying to make adjustments to your fragrance.

Label your blend:  Once you have blended your new fragrance place it in a separate container and put it aside.  You may also wish to write down how you achieved your new blend so that it can be more easily replicated.

At Lily Direct we have many aromas for you to choose from.  You can begin your experimentation with a variety of the most popular fragrances on the market including essential oils, etc.  We’re sure that aided by these tips and a visit to our store you will create a blend that is deeply personal and absolutely distinctive.

 

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.

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 3

Most know the scent No.5.  Everyone recognizes the name Chanel.

 Born in Saumur, France; Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was born to an underprivileged family in the Loire Valley. Because of her humble beginnings, she was inspired to pursue a radically different lifestyle, first on the stage, where she acquired the nickname “Coco,” in later years she was a milliner.

With the help of one of her male admirers, who provided financial assistance and social connections throughout her career, in 1913 Chanel was able to open her first shop in Paris.  Soon after, Coco was able to open a second shop in the resort town of Deauville. With limited finances at her disposal, Chanel used jersey as her main fabric. Before Chanel, Jersey was used as the primary fabric for men’s undergarments. For the first few seasons, the Chanel line was limited to exquisite hats and a select line of garments, attracting dedicated patrons.

Her style was simple, yet elegant. And jersey was the perfect fabric to compliment her bravura. Inspired by the the world around her, Chanel created uncluttered outfits, with boxy lines and shortened skirts. During the First World War, the Chanel line allowed women to leave their corsets behind and freed them for the hands-on activities necessary to support the war effort. Soon after, she repositioned her couture house in Paris to 31 Rue Cambon, still the center of operations for the House of Chanel today. Chanel continued to create tasteful looks for women throughout the 1920s and ’30s.

Following the war, Chanel returned to fashion in 1953. Although not immediately popular, Chanel spent the subsequent years rebuilding her clientele and polishing her designs.

The Chanel suit became a status symbol for a new generation, made of solid or tweed fabric, with its slim skirt and collarless jacket trimmed in braid, gold buttons, patch pockets, and—sewn into the hem—a gold-colored chain ensuring it hung properly from the shoulders.  Following Chanel’s death in 1971, her assistants continued to design the couture and ready-to-wear lines until Karl Lagerfeld took over control of the haute couture design in 1983 and in 1984, he started to design the ready-to-wear line.

Possibly Chanel’s greatest contribution to fashion is the iconic fragrance, Chanel No.5. In 1921, Chanel set out on a quest to revolutionize fragrances, and create a scent that embodied the modern woman. Her quest began after the summer of 1920. While on vacation with her then beau, the Grand Duke Dimtri Pavlovich, Chanel learned of an ornate, daring perfumer named Ernest Beaux. Beaux was a skilled craftsman, who was willing to tackle the challenge of creating Chanel’s signature fragrance. After months of toiling, Ernest returned to Paris to present Chanel 10 sample fragrances. Numbered 1-5 and 20-24, Chanel was given the easy task of picking her favorite.

She picked No. 5.

Chanel later described the scent as what she “was waiting for. A perfume like nothing else. A woman’s perfume, with the scent of a woman.”

 

Scent Memory

In honor of Memorial Day, let’s talk poppies.

Remembrance poppies are used to commemorate soldiers who have died in war.

You may see people wearing small artificial poppies on their clothing or you may notice poppy wreaths laid out on war memorials; so why not add wearing a poppy fragrance to the remembrance poppy tradition?

Nothing can trigger one’s memory quite like scent can, so the idea of honoring a day of remembrance with the crisp, fresh scent of poppies is quite lovely.

Here at Lily Direct we will certainly be wearing our favorite poppy scents to all of our Memorial Day BBQ s this weekend.

Check out our Coach Poppy Flower Perfume and Coach Poppy Blossom Perfume

Choose your favorite and start a new remembrance poppy tradition of your very own.

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.”

Today Coty has over 30 recognizable brands: ADIDAS, ASTOR, BALENCIAGA, Image result for chloe perfumeBEYONCÉ, BOTTEGA VENETA, CALVIN KLEIN, CERRUTI, CHLOÉ, CHOPARD, DAVID BECKHAM, DAVIDOFF, ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, GUESS, HALLE BERRY, JENNIFER LOPEZ, JIL SANDER, JOOP!, JŌVAN, KATY PERRY, LANCASTER, LOVE2LOVE, MANHATTAN, MARC JACOBS, MISS SPORTY, NAUTICA, NYC COLOR, OPI, PHILOSOPHY, PLAYBOY, RIMMEL, ROBERTO CAVALLI, SALLY HANSEN, STETSON, VERA WANG, VESPA

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

Mother’s Day

Lily Direct provides a wide variety of beauty products at wholesale prices and with Mother’s Day less than a week away, here are some of our last minute gift ideas. Order now to take advantage of our free shipping.

Very Irresistible by Givenchy: Feminine fragrance created with five rose variances (Centifolia, Peony, Fantasia, Passion and Emotion), infused with star anise, and verbena leaf.  We carry the 2.5 oz spray, 1.7 oz spray, 0.13 oz mini splash and 6.7 oz Body Cream.

Daisy Eau So Fresh Sorbet by Marc Jacobs:  A delectable spring treat.  A reinterpretation of Daisy, fruitier and bubblier it transports you to a place that is exhilarating, happy and fun.  It is a mixture of natural raspberry, grapefruit, pear, violet, wild rose, apple blossom, musks, cedarwood and plum. We carry both the 4.25 oz and the 2.5 oz spray.

See by Chloe: An addictive floral fruity fragrance that captures the personality of a young woman fully embracing life.  It is a mixture of bergamot, apple blossom, jasmine, ylang-ylang, vanilla, musk and sandalwood.  We carry 3 piece gift set consisting of a 2.5 oz Eau De Parfum Spray, 2.5 oz body lotion and a 2.5 shower gel.

Prada Candy Perfume by Prada: A myriad of floral notes coming together to create a scent fully of life, vitality and flirtatious. It is a mixture of sparkling cedrat, bouquet of cosmos, benzoin, caramel and white musk.  We carry the 2.7 oz spray.

Flower in the Air by Kenzo: A modern fresh, airy and ultra-feminine scent.  The fragrance inspires a person to follow their dreams.  It is a mixture of bergamot, pink pepper, rose, cedarwood and musk.  We carry this scent in both the 3.4 oz and 1.7 oz spray.

Gift sets for Mother’s Day

Beauty by Calvin Klein: Is a fragrance representing beauty, maturity and self-esteem.  We carry a 2 piece gift set consisting of a 1.7 oz Eau de Parfum spray and a 3.4 oz Luminous Skin Lotion.

Caesars by Caesars World: A warm fragrance combining orange flower, musk, sandalwood and rose.  We carry a 3 piece gift set consisting of a 4.0 oz Eau de Parfum spray 3.4 oz body lotion and a 3.4 oz bath & shower gel.

Live by Jennifer Lopez: A combination of fruity and floral scents designed to add a spring to your step.  We carry a 2 piece gift set consisting of a 3.4 oz Eau de Parfum spray and a 6.7 oz body lotion.

Relieve stress after a long day with a skin soothing bath.

Juicy Couture caviar bath soak by Juicy Couture: A lush mish of watermelon, mandarin, passion fruit, apple, tuberose, caramel brulee with woods and patchouli.  We carry a 7.5 oz bottle.

Lily Direct carries an extensive inventory of scents, lotions and creams.  Go to our site and see many more selections available for delivery just in time for Mother’s Day.

The Great Perfume Houses Pt. 1

Welcome to our new series of bi-weekly presentations of the perfumes houses from around the world.  The first few weeks the focus will on the houses from Europe such as Coty, Guerlain, Galimard, Chanel, Molinard and Houbigant.

                                          Image result for guerlain logo

Founded in 1828, Guerlain is one of France’s and also Europe’s oldest perfume houses. A doctor and chemist, Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain opened his perfume store on 42, rue de Rivoli in Paris and enjoyed immediate success thanks to his revolutionary work.

With the help of his two sons Aimé and Gabriel, Pierre-François was able to compose and manufacture many innovative products and custom fragrances. Receiving accolades and patronage from members of high society allowed Guerlain to enjoy increasing numbers of clients, leading to the opening of the flagship store at 15, rue de la Paix in 1840.

In 1853 Guerlain created a fragrance for Empress Eugénie, Napoleon’s wife, for her wedding. The fragrance was named Eau de Cologne Imperiale and Guerlain was given the prestigious title of being His Majesty’s Official Perfumer in France. The title gave him an international name and he created perfumes for Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Queen Isabella II of Spain among other royalty.

Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain passed away in 1864 and his two sons Aime and Gabriel Guerlain continued the fragrance business with Aime becoming the master perfumer.  The position of master perfumer was handed down through the Guerlain family and held lastly by Guerlain’s great grandson Jean-Paul Guerlain, who held this position until 2002.

Since its foundation in 1828, Guerlain has created over 300 signature fragrances.  Some of the most famous include:

The classic cologne Eau de Cologne Imperiale, created in 1853, it is composed of rich lime and lime-flower notes. Truly a fragrance fit for a Queen…or Empress.

Jicky, created in 1889, is heralded as the first “modern” fragrance, to incorporate synthetic odorants (vanillin and coumarin).  The fragrance is known for its main notes of lavender and vanilla. Over 120 years later, Jicky is still being sold, making it the oldest fragrance in continuous production.

Shalimar, which means “temple of love” in Sanskrit was created in 1925.  It was the first oriental fragrance for women.  It incorporates large amounts of vanillin and shades of other notes such as bergamot, lemon, mandarin, rose, jasmine, orris, vetiver, heliotrope, civet,Image result for guerlain antique shalimaropoponax, vanilla, Peru balsam, benzoin, tonka bean, and sandalwood.

Samsara, created in 1989, is an oriental fragrance featuring notes of jasmine and sandalwood with shades of ylang-ylang and tonka.

All of the Guerlain scents evoke a sense of luxury and tranquility. Imbued with a world-renowned ethos of elegance and sophistication, these luxurious fragrances echo Guerlain’s long history of innovation and excellence.

 Glamorous, Prestigious, Peerless… Guerlain.