I actually ordered this solid (after sampling it first in liquid form) back in January, just before I started my no-buy February. I don’t know about you, but prior to 2020, I felt USPS offered reliable and timely service for packages and letters. However, since the start of the pandemic, every letter or package that goes in the mail from me or to me feels like a spin of the roulette wheel. I’ve had three items that just straight up disappeared in the mail, multiple items that took a very long time arrive even with upgraded service (like, more than two weeks for an item that was sent as 2-day Priority) and multiple items that were returned to sender as undeliverable, even though the sender had my correct address and had put enough postage on the letter or package.
I appreciate that USPS have been working under difficult circumstances these last 14 months, or probably longer. If I’ve learned nothing during the pandemic, it is patience. Also, to always have a Plan B. I pivoted to other content while I waited for my Lilac Wine perfume to arrive.
The perfumer’s lead time and shipping time were good, but once it got into the hands of USPS, the package crawled slowly to a Philadelphia distribution center before quietly dropping off the face of the earth. When it became apparent that the package was lost in the mail, perfumer Dawn Stewart of Organic Perfume Girl actually reached out to me to see how she could help. She maintained great communication with me, tried to open a case with USPS for the missing package (I had already done so, but I appreciated her efforts) and in the end, she just sent me a brand new package, full of love and goodwill and perfume samples. The scent finally reached me mid-April.
I’m so grateful to Dawn for the excellent service, and I’m so pleased to report Lilac Wine was worth the wait! I had some idea how the fragrance would smell, having tried a liquid sample already, but I think this fragrance is another case where the notes really shine in the solid format. Let’s take a closer look!
Organic Perfume Girl Lilac Wine Solid Perfume
Size: I purchased the 2 gram solid sample. Consider this a “travel size” like a 10 ml liquid. The perfume is quite intense and just a couple swipes will go a long way. It is certainly more than enough fragrance to evaluate for a possible full-size purchase.
Packaging: The 2 gram size is in a rubber pot with a paper label. (The full size solid appears to be packaged in a tin.) My Lilac Wine arrived with a samples bag containing two other solid samples (Halloween Spice–another love that will please fans of chai!–and sweet earthy Khus & Tonka, which also smells amazing and is not listed in the shop at this time, so a fun exclusive!), plus a liquid sample of Zombie Sundae, which I encourage any fan of sweet realistic gourmands to try. It literally smells like a banana split–an amazing accomplishment especially in a natural perfume. Everything was packaged in a beautiful decorated box, tied up with ribbons, nestled in lovely paper and fabric ephemera, with a hand-written note from Dawn on the samples bag.
Base: Organic candelilla wax, organic mango butter.
Vegan-friendly: Yes. Further, this perfume is free of alcohol, phthalates, parabens and is cruelty-free.
Color and texture: the perfume is a warm, emollient dark brown paste that spreads easily and takes a moment to soak into the skin.
Natural perfume or mixed media: Natural perfume.
Fragrance description and notes: From the official product listing on Etsy: “Have you ever been intoxicated from just a scent, a smell, an aroma? This is the closest you will get to that. Heady yet soft, tenacious but warm.
Lilac enfleurage for solid, tincture for liquid, Vanilla Bean Paste, Cocoa Nibs.”
Longevity: Looking back at my notes on the liquid, its performance was about two to three hours, which is decent for a natural perfume. In the solid format, I could still smell Lilac Wine on the back of my wrists five hours later–almost double the longevity of the liquid.
Sillage: This fragrance goes on very loud for a solid, but settles in about 30 minutes to intimate, noticeable a few inches above skin. It becomes a skin scent around the three-hour mark.
The experience: Although this blog is devoted to solid fragrances, I love and wear both liquid and solid perfumes and don’t consider one format to be superior to the other. Each has its merits and foibles. I’ve liked (or even disliked) a fragrance in one format, only to find I LOVE it in the other format. Occasionally, a fragrance just clearly shines in one format or another, and being open to both solid and liquid fragrances will give you a better chance of getting the fragrance experience you really want.
To my nose, Lilac Wine is one of those fragrances that expresses its fullest beauty in the solid format. In addition to the greater longevity that I noted above, there’s a special richness and depth offered by the solid perfume. I attribute this to the lilac enfleurage used for creating the solid (not familiar with this term? The Seed to Perfume blog offers an excellent overview.) I don’t know Dawn’s specific enfleurage technique here, but when a beautiful perfumed oil and wax can be used as a primary component in an oil-and-wax-based perfume, it stands to reason that something can get carried forward in that process that wouldn’t be possible if that substance were diluted in alcohol.
The solid exudes a lushness and decadence that is perfect for expressing the beauty of a lilac bush in full bloom. That hypnotic floral note is exalted by the sweetness of vanilla bean paste and balanced by the bittersweet chocolate of the cocoa nibs. In the solid, I pick up some facets I didn’t find in the liquid: a splash of cherry juice, a touch of almond, a sprinkle of powder.
I’ve never really found a synthetic lilac perfume that captured the aroma of the real thing. Lilac Wine, being a natural perfume that uses the actual lilac blossom as its source, is the closest I’ve come to the true lilac aroma. Then it raises this incredible floral to the next level with perfectly chosen supporting notes. I’m partial to the solid, but Lilac Wine in solid or liquid will please fans of classic lilac soliflore perfumes as well as modern gourmand aficionados. It’s such a unique fragrance that I daresay it’s unisex. I can’t sing its praises highly enough and I encourage any lilac lover to sample it (or even blind buy–you won’t be disappointed). It would also be a lovely surprise gift for fans of the song–Jeff Buckley’s version, Nina Simone’s, or even the version by Miley Cyrus.
Where to buy: Lilac Wine is available in liquid and solid formats, both in sample and full sizes, in the Organic Perfume Girl Etsy shop. (Please note: this perfume is listed as “Lilac Amaranthine” on Etsy–presumably due to some kind of Etsy restriction regarding the use of “wine” in the product’s name.)
All photographs except mail box by me.