‘Coral’ was feminine and sensuous, lingering and luminous. ‘Pink’ was tender and sweet. ‘Lily’ was sparkling and delicate.
An endless stream fragrances paraded past my nose. Each was subtly different from one another, but all possessed the same defining characteristic; with each inhale, I was consuming the island around me.
Perfume. Its sensual, intriguing and telling. You can learn so much about a person by what he or she wears. I have studied it enough to understand its composition (heart note, base notes, accords, yada yada)
Unfortunately, I’m no expert in the subject. I wish I had the scent palate of a perfumer (also referred to by the French as ‘le nez’). Identifying the scents around you make Bermuda that much more incredible.
I made my way to St. George Parish, now a UNESCO world heritage site, to check out what was known as the ‘Bermuda Perfumery. I was introduced to the infamous, but scarcely available perfume brand called “Lili Bermuda”.
It’s a small, white colonial house dressed with evergreen wood shutters and is run by the Perfumer, and artist, Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone. Inspired by the fresh sea air and the abundance of flowers on the island, her perfumes are an artistic reflection of Bermuda where each fragrance reflects the island’s inherent beauty.
This was the perfect opportunity to pick up a little gift to bring home. (If you can’t pack a boyfriend in your suitcase, pack a piece of the island and bring it to him.) I picked up a bottle of Somers, homme, aptly named for the explorer who settled St. Georges Parish. The fragrance overwhelmed me. The composition had notes of bergamot, cedar, suede, incense and amber. Unmistakably masculine. Strong, luring, durable, but delicate. Since the day I gave it to him, he has worn nothing else.
Lili Bermuda generally shies away from heavy leather and powdery notes. It opts for top notes that reflect Bermuda’s colourful botanicals, its soft sea air. An endless array of scents – what better was to capture the essence of a country than to bottle it?
Until recently, Lili Bermuda was not available to most countries outside Bermuda, lending to its exclusivity and uniqueness, but this is changing.
Americans and Canadians can now buy it online and have it shipped, at a premium of course (worth every penny though). Save the postage for your first experience… to really understand the depth and complexity of these fragrances, you need to see and smell Bermuda for yourself.