Cath Collins is an independent UK perfumer and is therefore a brand to be treasured. The “Indies” are the future of innovative scent: they provide a lifeline for consumers who don’t want to smell like the crowd, and they also inject new and fresh ideas into the perfume marketplace.
Cath Collins kindly sent me some samples recently and as always, I was pleased to receive them. However I am in no way obliged to like them or praise them if I dislike them or think they are poor. Happily, there are no such fears here, since Cath Collins Lily Fandango is superb quality and thoroughly likeable from the very first spray.
Here’s the official description from the website:
Sizzling citrus and green notes whisk you on an olfactory dance through passionate white lilies, jasmine and cassis bud to the rich and intriguing oriental base of cedarwood, patchouli and oakmoss. Be seduced.
Here’s my take on it: The very first spray made think of Pink Grapefruit. Being a fan of citrus scents, this is by no means a drawback and I was pleased to find that it is a sharp grapefruit, not a velvety one like Guerlain’s Pamplelune. Very often I find Lilies have a celery, vegetal note, but I did not find that in this instance. The Cassis comes through loud and clear, which may be the Grapefruit smell I thought I could discern. The opening phase lasts a good hour without fading or changing, and the middle phase leads nicely into the Patchouli, Mossy base. The combination of zingy citrus and Moss makes this an excellent choice for anyone who likes Clarins Eau Dynamisante, Askett and English Essential, or even O de Lancome. (all of these have been reviewed by me elsewhere on this blog)
To be honest, either I’m not smelling the Lily or I am looking in vain for the celery note that I am accustomed to. It almost goes without saying that where perfume is concerned, the same note in a different context can smell completely different. One example of this is Iris: it can smell smothering and grey or bright and floral, depending on what it is paired with. I think this is the case here.
Whatever the reason for my nose missing the Lily, Lily Fandango is a delightfully zingy and refreshing fragrance with good longevity that was just made for a hot summer day (if memory serves).
If you like Jo Malone florals, but are seeking something more niche, then Cath Collins is a brand worth looking into. Oh and check out the lovely soaps, elixirs and candles too. Lily Fandango is 39.50 GBP for a 50ml EDT bottle.