Lisa Hoffman Beauty: Madagascar Orchid. The velour pants of perfumery.

Sometimes you just need a hug. And sometimes a perfume doesn't have to be groundbreaking and blow your mind with its weirdness. Sometimes it's enough to just be good and comfy. Lisa Hoffman Beauty's Madagascar Orchid is such a scent to me.

Obtaining this perfume to try was a trial. The PR folks who sent it to me are lovely (this is no PR rant!), but somehow my address was input incorrectly and the package never came - in fact it went elsewhere, got turned away, and was eventually returned to the sender, damaged. Oy. Then, when I got this lovely bottle on the second try, I was thrilled--- however, I thought I was testing Lisa Hoffman Beauty's fragrance jewelry, which looks really interesting. Instead, I have a bottle of the (liquid) edp.

So... since I thought the fragrance jewelry concept was cool, and I thought that was what I was going to be reviewing here, I'll talk about it briefly, then tell you my impressions of Madagascar Orchid edp. Sound good? Well, then let's dive in...

Fragrance Jewelry"It's perfume. We just reinvented the packaging."

This clever idea consists of some pretty, very wearable jewelry. The bracelets, necklaces, and earrings are all outfitted with scented beads which emit their fragrance without touching the skin. Since it's jewelry, you can simply slip it off if you find yourself in a situation where perfume is inappropriate - or if you just desire a scent change.

A round filigreed "cage" charm holds the small round beads which, by the way, you can order as refills when the scent of the original beads fade (each product comes with some extra, btw). The bracelets are composed of round beads with accents in metals and a pop of color  (the type of bead varies, depending on the fragrance you select). The charm hangs off the bracelet allowing your scent to waft as you move your hands. For the necklaces, the charm hangs on a 22-inch bead chain. The earrings are hoop-and-post style that dangle the charms nicely - not too long! - and are perhaps the version that most intrigue me, though they all appeal. 

This system, with its "proprietary bead-scenting technology", really interests me thanks to its apparent versatility and because it seems like it would allow women with contact-allergies to wear perfume without issue. Clearly, women who are allergic to smelling perfume will likely still have issues, but we can't solve all of the world's problems in a day, can we?

For me, the downside to this system, and perhaps a deliberate marketing manipulation, is that the charms themselves come in pre-arranged scent + jewelry combos. In other words, if you buy Tunisian Neroli, the jewelry is gold-plated. Like Tuscan Fig? Your jewelry will be rose gold-plated. Madagascar Orchid equals "brushed gold-plated", Japanese Agarwood is antiqued bronze-plated, and French Clary Sage is an oxidized silver tone (plated). Seeing how I don't wear yellow metals (they make me look sickly), I could be "stuck" purchasing a scent that might not be my first choice ($65 for each jewelry style), dumping out the beads, and buying the refill scent beads at $20 a pop - all just to have the color and scent combo I prefer. That, to me, is unacceptable. I would think selecting the charm color would be easy enough for Lisa Hoffman Beauty's website to manage (hello dropdown menu) and for their order fulfillment to handle (grab box of the right type of jewelry in the right color, grab box of scent balls - voila!) (hehe, I said "scent balls")

Anyway, the idea is great, if incomplete. Wish I could tell you how they waft, but I can't. So let's get back to what I can describe...

Madagascar Orchid edp
Available in an edp spray ($65),
2 vials of perfumed oil ($55),
bath and body products
and, of course, the jewelry.
Let's get back to that "cozy" concept, shall we? I mean, I don't know about you but after the stress of the missing and delayed package and the strain of the jewelry metal selection process (or lack thereof), I need some cozy up in here! Luckily, Madagascar Orchid delivers. 

The soft, sensual notes of Madagascar Orchid inspire feelings of romance, femininity, and true love. A modern bouquet of Sheer Jasmine, Ylang Dew, Mimosa Mood & Pink Peony perfectly frame the exotic, unforgettable aroma of Madagascar Orchid.

Here's the big selling point on this scent: the thought-to-be-scentless Madagascar Orchid actually does have a scent! Luckily, the folks who make Lisa Hoffman Beauty's perfumes (OK - chemists who work for the perfumery) were able to capture the scent, released "just before the break of dawn", by hovering over the jungle tree canopy in a blimp. This process of catching the scent is called "headspace technology" and it has enabled chemists to "capture, analyse and reconstitute the plant odour molecules into ‘living' replicas of the previously unobtainable oils"[1]  without damaging the plant, which in some cases might be endangered, and in others might not stand up to normal perfume processing.

Madagascar Orchids

So Madagascar Orchid resembles the plant of the same name*. Ostensibly. I have to believe them, having never been in Madagascar (though the film is a trip, no?).

To me, Madagascar Orchid is a soft, fuzzy thing that reminds me of my favorite lazing-around-the-house pants. Yes, I wear velour sweats. What? 

When you tell me there's jasmine, ylang ylang ("dew"), mimosa ("mood") and peony in there, I nod in agreement. Yup, there is. I can smell them all. But the overall impression is a soft blend of all of these flowers, with none standing out in particular. Madagascar Orchid is gentle, fairly light, and very cuddly. I can't imagine a situation where it would offend - unless you're with someone who is enraged by soft perfumes! I have put it on my daughters without worrying that it was "too old", yet it's not childish. It's simply pretty and comfy.

By the way, each time I spray this I get the slightest "suntan lotion" vibe. It's just a hint, but it's there. Fair warning.

Madagascar Orchid isn't particularly long-lasting on me (I get maybe 4 hours of cuddling), but that kind of suits me well. After that length of time, I'm ready for a bit more spice or pizzazz. But if I still need more comforting, I can respritz without fear. I imagine it's impossible to overdose on this perfume!

All in all, I'm glad to have Madagascar Orchid in ye olde arsenal. It's going to come in handy a lot, bringing comfort like my favorite pair of velour pants. (Stop judging me!)

Now, if only I had some pretty jewelry to wear with those pants...

See? I told you. Cuddly!

This product was provided to me by the manufacturer or a representative thereof for consideration only. 

For more information on my review policies, please check this out

Devilscent: Lilith - A Quantum Demonology Scent by Neil Morris --- Thorny Business

[header art -beautiful isn't it? - by Robynn L.Gardner]

Do you remember me introducing The Devilscent Project awhile back? It's collection of amazing perfumes created by Primeval Forces of Perfume* (read: really amazingly talented perfumers) in celebration of the book Quantum Demonology, by my dear friend, Sheila Eggenberger.

(Seriously, if you don't remember you're going to need to take a stop here -
at my introduction to The Devilscent Project - everything is explained there!)

*The Primeval Forces participating in this project are all named here.

Well, today I'm kicking off my reviews of the scents created for this amazing and one-of-a-kind project. I have taken a hiatus from writing for personal reasons, but I'm thrilled to jump back in to writing about perfume by literally, without looking, sticking my hand in the bag holding all of my samples submitted by the Primeval Forces and coming up with one of my favorites: Lilith by Neil Morris. Huzzah! And so we begin...

Lilith, for those of you new to The Devilscent Project and the yet-to-be-but-certain-to-be-published book Quantum Demonology, is the wife of The Devil  (aka Satan, Lucifer, The Father of Lies, and so forth and so on) who is known by our unnamed heroine and protagonist simply as Dev. 

As our story progresses and the relationship between our heroine and Dev progresses, things get a little... complicated. OK, you probably assumed (correctly) that a relationship with the devil would be complicated anyway, but factor in his angry and jealous estranged-wife, Lilith, Queen of the Succubi, and we're really talking about a mess! 
"Lilith paced the floor in front of my chair and thought out loud, but I had already tuned her out. Four thousand years of marriage will do that. As she kept talking and pacing, I simply sat back and watcher her, watched that long, leggy stride eat up the rug in six steps, watcher her turn as elegantly as any runway model, blonde hair swinging, and pace back again. She was flawless. Flawlessly beautiful in that twenty-first century porn-star way that left no room for imperfections or doubts, and flawless bored me.
-Dev,  Quantum Demonology

Perfumer Neil Morris (Neil Morris Fragrances), has a devoted following of well-scented enthusiasts. There are plenty of reasons for that, including his skill with materials and beautiful perfumes (obviously) and also his reportedly gentle, kind, and friendly demeanor. That he can create a scent for The Queen of the Succubi is pretty impressive. In fact, he has created a small library of scents that really bring out the nuances of the book, Quantum Demonology. We'll get to the rest of them over the next few weeks, but my favorite (at least today) is this one, Lilith.

Like our Dev, the ultimate trickster, Neil has gotten a little tricksy with his participation in this project. He hasn't provided the reviewers with a list of notes for any of his submissions for Devilscent. So I'm flying blind, olfactorily speaking, and we know I'm terribly new and not-so-great at that. But we'll give it a go. My best hope is to describe the feeling and mood of this perfume**.

"Like her husband, she emanated a scent, and like her husband it was as unusual as it was distinctive. Floral and green, heady and earthy, with musky overtones and something else, something that smelled - poisonous, even tainted. It was very erotic and very domineering, cracking an olfactory whip at my nose."
- Quantum Demonology

[image source]
When I apply Lilith, I get a pretty, fairly feminine vibe. There are possibly some citrus notes, perhaps paired with stone fruit like peach, but only a hint. The opening is not bright and shiny, but more... velvety. It doesn't take long for a floral nuance to come to the fore. I get rose, but I'm not sure what else. Maybe a little lily, possibly a subtle touch of jasmine. Lilith has a garden-fresh greenness that, at some points is fresh and welcoming, like Spring, and at other points is just slightly more bitter. There's some muskiness in there that adds an earthy femininity without becoming a skank-bomb. The rose here is pink at first, innocent and flirtatious, but it deepens when you're not paying attention and become a sexy, rich red rose.

Neil Morris' Lilith is smooth and beautiful. She's mature but not cold and withdrawn. In fact, she's quite the opposite! She's welcoming... beckoning. Comely. She lures you in with her beautiful, soft, feminine wiles. But watch out: there's some bite in there! This rose has thorns.

She wanders about at night, vexing the sons of men and causing them to defile themselves -Zohar

From time to time, when I lean in close, I pick up some undercurrent that I can't quite pinpoint. It's the slightest bit metallic, or maybe a touch mineral in flavor. It gives Lilith a subtle edge. A warning, perhaps?

This seems incredibly appropriate, considering the perfume is a tribute to a gorgeous, stunning blonde woman who would just as soon kill you as romance you. Quantum Demonology's Lilith is a villainess for the ages, quite literally, as her marriage to Dev has rendered this once-human woman immortal. (Or is she?)  She woos men and women alike with her apparent wholesome good looks, and when they move in closely she happily makes her move. Whether that move is sexual or murderous depends on her whim. Lilith, the perfume, is equally two-faced and tricky. At first blush she's a typically pretty floral perfume, though clearly well-crafted. But this perfume is more. So much more. She's a beautiful date perfume, but maybe best saved for that third date!

"Lilith has it in for you, and you have no idea how dangerous Lilith is when she's pissed off."
- Dev to our protagonist, Quantum Demonology

I imagine this Lilith is quite the compliment-getter for everyone who wears it. I know that's proven true for me! But beware he who leans in too close...

Here's the sad news: this scent doesn't appear on Neil Morris Fragrances' site for sale. Maybe if we complain loudly enough this gentle gentleman will relent and sell us some?

**I read Quantum Demonology months ago, in the Spring. 
My memory is not exactly "photgraphic" and
 I'd forgotten what Sheila's description of Lilith's scent was.
 After I wrote my review today, I pulled the book up on my
 iPad Kindle app and found the description above. 
Whoa. Neil did great! What a hit the nail on the head move!

It's probably also worth noting that I do not usually
fall head-over-heels for rose-centric scents,
but this is the second rose perfume from Neil Morris Fragrances
that I have loved mightily, the first being Rose of Kali!

A note from Neil Morris:
"YES! We will be listing all the DevilScents for purchase on our site soon. In the meantime, anyone who'd like a bottle of LILITH - or any other non-listed perfume - can order ANY VAULT perfume and in the comments section at checkout, simply tell us you really want LILITH (or whatever you've chosen). That's it!" 

Also: Neil shared with me the notes list. No, greedy birdies, I am not sharing his secret, yet... When he and Sheila tell me it's ok - that is IF he and Sheila tell me it's ok - then I will share them with you. But not a minute sooner. ;)