After the enormous success of Stella McCartney’s scent L.I.L.Y, the designer has now launched Stella Absolute. Susannah Taylor spent an hour with Stella to talk black truffles, single note scents and what L.I.L.Y stands for.
What sparked the idea for the original L.I.L.Y. fragrance?
“This fragrance was a totally new experience for me. It was a story in my head that I wanted to make into a scent. I wanted it to reference my childhood of being outside on the farm, running around the British countryside.”
Why Lily of the Valley?
“Lily of the Valley is my favourite flower and it was something that I found was not really used in fragrance anymore. It’s so seasonal and special – there is one time of year that it comes out, and it’s so delicate. For me personally, it conjured up images of romance. It was my wedding bouquet - it was included in the overall design of my dress in fact.”
L.l.L.Y. Absolute is a bit more intense, a bit sexier. How have you created that?
“For Lily Absolute we decided to explore the root of Lily of the Valley and the woodland floor. I wanted to create something a bit darker and more sensual. So a key ingredient is black truffle – again I love truffle and find it a very sexy smell. Also, like Lily of the Valley, truffles are also seasonal, plus I love the weirdness they create, they give the scent a darker edge.”
Are there any other personal elements to L.I.L.Y.?
“I don’t know how many people know this but LILY was my father’s nickname for my mother – it stood for Linda I Love You. I wanted there to be a connection to real life.”
How do you wear fragrance?
“I don’t always wear fragrance actually, and if I do I don’t have the whole ‘fragrance for the morning and another for the evening thing’. I’m more of a fragrance all-rounder. There are very few fragrances I like on me.”
Do you have a muse in life like some designers do?
“I don’t do ‘muse’ much. Women inspire me in life… real women.”
If this fragrance were a piece of your clothing collection what would it be?
“Hmmm, it would be one of my white pleated pieces from the spring/summer collection with a block of colour. I like simplicity. It’s the same with fragrance - I don’t like lots of ingredients.”
The L.I.L.Y. Absolute bottle is enclosed in Forest Stewardship council (FSC) certified packaging and is available at selected department stores or online at www.johnlewis.com , £65 for 50ml.