February and snow are piling up on me this week, literally and metaphorically. I like winter, and I even like snow, now that I no longer have to drive in it or shovel my own walk, but in these darkest days of our winter of pandemic discontent, I’m feeling low on energy and my mood is down in the dumps. (I’ve also made things harder on myself by designating February 2021 as a no-buy month for perfumes, something I settled on before I realized how much I might welcome a little retail therapy this time of year. Fortunately, I have a few January purchases that are yet to arrive, plus a backlog of fragrances I bought in the last two months of 2020 that I haven’t had a chance to blog about yet.)
To cheer myself this week, I’m focusing on the Floral fragrances in my collection, for both my Instagram page and for this week’s blog post. Though I own, wear and truly enjoy fragrances from every perfume category, if I have a sure-fire fragrance family, it is definitely the Florals. Even a “bad” Floral is usually pleasant enough to merit wearing on occasion, and when a Floral is “good,” it’s often great! Florals are fantastic choices for Spring and Summer, but I also believe a bouquet of flowers is welcome any time of year, even if it’s in the form of a perfume.
The Floral I’m focusing on for this post was a blind buy, but an affordable one and from a company whose offerings are already well-known to me. Margot Elena‘s perfume and body care brands are beloved for their pretty packaging and youthful, crowd-pleasing aromas. They’re a respected independent fragrance company with a wide distribution and most perfumistas have tried and/or own at least one from her collections like Tokyo Milk, Lollia and Library of Flowers. Tokyo Milk released a few great scents in the solid format over the years, all now discontinued and going for a pretty penny on Ebay. The only solids currently available in the Margot Elena collection are the Library of Flowers Parfum Cremas, which are actually more solid-adjacent than true solid fragrances, but after trying them, I feel comfortable including them in the scope of this blog. Let’s take a closer look at the one I purchased, Library of Flowers Linden.
Library of Flowers Linden Parfum Crema Review
Size: 2.5 oz | 70.8 g
Packaging: A large, shallow tin (easily accommodates two or three fingers) with a screw-top lid, colorfully printed with flowers in red, white and shades of blue. There is a sticker label affixed to the bottom. The tin is reusable/zero waste. My tin was encased in a plastic seal that was recyclable.
Base: A mix of plant oils and waxes with skin-safe emollients: Water, carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) seed oil, fragrance, emulsifying wax, caprylic/capric triglyceride, glycerin, stearic acid, sambucus nigra flower extract, daucus carota sativa (Carrot) root extract, persea gratissima (Avocado) oil, butyrospermum parkii (Shea Butter), aloe barbadensis leaf juice, tocopherol, tocopheryl acetate, macadamia ternifolia seed oil, sodium polyacrylate, tetrasodium EDTA, aminomethyl propanol, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, hexylene glycol.
Vegan-friendly: Possibly. (I’m not a chemist but according to doublecheckvegan.com, Stearic Acid, Glycerine and Tocopherol can possibly have animal origins.)
Color and texture: The parfum crema is white and the consistency of the product is like Nivea or a thick body cream.
Natural perfume or mixed media: Mixed media.
Fragrance description and notes: From the Margot Elena website: “The Art of Perfume Delivery Reimagined. Eau de Parfum captured in an extra-rich crème base. A triple-scented perfume alternative, the Parfum Crema is a modern interpretation of parfum intended to be worn in place of traditional fragrance. Designed to capture fragrance & slowly release when applied, for long lasting perfume delivery.
“With three times the fragrance of our Eau de Parfums, a dab (or two!) of Parfum Crema can be worn alone as perfume. Customize your fragrance level: One dollop will do – but two or three will delight. Simply layer for day to night…”
Notes listed by the brand are a top note of Linden Blossom, a middle note of Narcissus and a bottom note of Clover Honey.
Longevity: Excellent at six hours or more.
Sillage: Big–easily arm’s length or greater, even with just a dollop or two.
The experience: “Parfum crema” may be a fancy way to say “perfumed cream,” but it might also be a way to distinguish this product from the typical body lotions and scented body creams on the market. In my experience, those products (think Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, etc.) are designed for layering with other scented products in the same line, to extend the life of a perfume, body mist, etc. They’re often strongly scented in the bottle and upon application, but the fragrance of the product on its own fades quickly and has minimal sillage after 30 minutes or so.
When I swiped a little Linden on the back of my hand just to test it, and the scent from that little swipe lasted through three handwashings and a small sink load of dishes, I knew this product was not a typical perfumed body cream.
It really is a perfume in a semi-solid–“cream”–format.
This is not a product you’ll want to apply all over your entire body as a moisturizer. (I mean, you could, but your sillage will project for several blocks…) I recommend applying a few dollops of the cream in the spots where you would normally swipe a solid or spritz with an atomizer: back of wrists, behind each ear, base of the throat. This fragrance is available in a liquid format and a hand cream, too, but there’s no need to layer the products to get satisfactory performance. A few dollops gives projection on par with an EDT (or for a few dollops more, an EDP) and lasts through the workday.
I’ve tried this one only in winter weather, and it works beautifully for this season, imparting gentle moisture to skin and hair (apply sparingly here) in this most drying of seasons. I look forward to trying it in hot weather, too, when the heat makes some perfumes evaporate from my skin faster than my own perspiration. The oils and waxes may very well anchor the scent to my skin better than alcohol. I’ll update this post if I notice a difference in performance during the summer.
The fragrance of Linden definitely highlights that lovely aroma, but this one is a little sweeter than my other (liquid) linden loves, Unter den Linden from April Aromatics and D’Orsay’s Tilleul. Library of Flowers Linden offers a bit of dusty, honeyed sweetness and just a touch of hay from the narcissus. The honey may be a base note, but it’s noticeable upon application and actually fades first from my skin. At just a few hours in, the fragrance becomes almost entirely the linden note. My husband sniffed me and said I smelled like a flower garden. It’s a clean, pretty, traditionally femme floral, not overly complex but not entirely linear. Linden would be a perfect office/daytime scent and would certainly perform well for evening, too, though I may prefer something more exotic or sexy for evening occasions (when we can have those again. Someday….)
Overall, I’m very impressed by the scent and its delivery in this format, and I hope to get a chance to try more Library of Flowers Parfum Cremas in the future.
Where to buy: Available from the official Margot Elena website; at Macy’s, Amazon, Ebay and at a healthy selection of local boutiques across the US–check the official website’s Store Locator and shop local if you can!
All photographs by me and all links ’cause I love.