Sandalwood in Perfume

It’s the second most expensive wood in the world.  The tree itself is treasured the world over for its warm woody, notes that are indicative of mid-winter.  For more than 5,000 years, it has been so treasured by ancient peoples from all over the world that is has been used not just for its warm, sophisticated notes but in various religious ceremonies.  The ancient Egyptians even used the wood for its supposed medicinal benefits.  We are talking about the prized Sandalwood tree which grows from Indonesia in the east to Chile in the west and from the Hawaiian Archipelago in the north to New Zealand.  Its oil is used in a variety of cosmetic, aromatherapy and pharmaceuticals products but is most often used as a base in perfumes.

What is Sandalwood?

Sandalwood oil comes from the wood and roots of the Santalum album which belongs to the family Santalaceae.  (It is also referred to as the East Indian sandalwood tree).  The finest quality of sandalwood oil comes from India where Sandalwood tree harvest is carefully protected by the government.  The main benefit of Sandalwood as it is used in fragrances – apart from its distinctive, milky, wood scent – is the that fact it combines well with other fragrances which is why its aroma can vary from citrusy, to floral and most other fragrances in between.  Sandalwood oil is extracted mainly from the roots of the tree by a process known at steam distillation.  Using this process super heated steam is passed through the wood.  Eventually this steam is cooled which gives us sandalwood oil.

Sandalwood’s use in Perfume

The use of Sandalwood as perfume goes all the way back to 700 B.C. particularly in the Eastern Indian Ocean region and the Pacific.  It was so valued in these places due to its use in religious ceremonies and because 16 different species of Sandalwood were once common to these regions.  While the East continued to use Sandalwood in incense and for its value in aromatherapy, the West began to use it chiefly in perfume when in the 1920’s the French began discovering its fragrance.   Today, Sandalwood is used in a variety of colognes and perfumes.  Some of the most popular perfumes that use Sandalwood include:

  • Hypnotic Poison Christian Dior
  • Waikiki Pikake Pacifica for Women
  • Samsara Eau de Parfum Guerlain for Women
  • Dior Addict Christian Dior for Women
  • OP Blend for Women Ocean Pacific

All these perfumes demonstrate not only how coveted Sandalwood is, but also how it mixes well with so many other notes.  For example, it mixes well with the middle notes – tuberose, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose, Brazilian rosewood, and caraway – present in Hypnotic Poison.  At the same time, it also blends in smoothly with the notes present in Samsara Eau de Parfum Guerlain for Women (iris, tonka bean, amber, musk and vanilla).  If you are looking for perfume whose aroma is as rich and vital as its history, you could not make a more sound choice than Sandalwood.

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.

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.


Perfumes of the World: Guerlain Fragrances Define Beauty Standards for Over 170 Years

Any perfume encyclopedia of the world will list the name Guerlain under the Classics of the Genre. Every expert in fragrances will tell you that:  this purveyor of luxury fragrance and beauty products has left a remarkable print over the past 170 years by defining and reinventing the standards of beauty. With a portfolio consisting of no less than 700 fragrances, Guerlain is an enduring symbol of style and innovation in a very competitive world.

A bit of history

The story of Guerlain began in 1828, with Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain: chemist, explorer, incredible inventor and pioneer, the House’s founder was an all-round talent. He opened his first perfume store in Paris and, as a reputable chemist, his success was instant thanks to his revolutionary work, which led to many innovative products and accolades. Created as a family business, the perfume shop very soon became the most sought after place in Paris, also due to the creator’s core belief in quality over quantity. This dedication to creating scents that do not compromise on quality has brought Guerlain the patronage of high members of society. The crowning moment in the story of the House of Guerlain came with the creation of Guerlain Eau de Cologne Imperiale, in 1853. This legendary fragrance was created like an homage to Napoleon’s wife, Empress Eugenie. Pierre Francois was named the Official Perfumer of her Majesty the Empress, which brought him further fame and opened up new possibilities. Over the years, the perfume designer managed to create fragrances for Queen Isabella of Spain, Queen Victoria of England and other prominent royal figures.

 Today’s flagship fragrances

With 700 different perfumes being created throughout the years, the House of Guerlain remains one of the most prolific names in the world of beauty products. Two of the most important scents that have remained classics throughout the 20th century are still very much sought after today.

Who hasn’t heard of Samsara, the exotic pearl on the crown of the illustrious house? For anyone seeking classic perfumes, or for any real Guerlain fan, this is the definition of classic. Created in 1989 by Jean Paul Guerlain, this is one of the most sensual and sophisticated creations that are still adored by women throughout the world. The epitome of a “sensual date perfume”, Samsara tells a universal story about seduction and feminity. Starting from a juicy and fresh note based on lemon and bergamot, the creation develops into green scents of peach and ylang-ylang. At its heart, it blooms into an opulent symphony for the senses: jasmine, iris, violet and rose all in a seductive bouquet. The base notes re made of Tonka bean, amber and musk.

Another newer fragrance that has quickly turned into an unforgettable classic is L’Instant. Created in 2003, this was the first Guerlain perfume to ever contain magnolia among its top notes. Many perfume experts consider it a modern masterpiece created like a double olfactory pyramid. The creation opens with top citrusy notes with hints of mandarin and bergamot, giving way to white flower notes of jasmine, ylang-ylang and magnolia and later blooming into a sensual and mysterious componsition of musk and vanilla.