Liquid Illusion opens with such a lush, fruity almond note that we instantly picture Marie Antoinette wearing it, giggling with girlfriends as she nibbles on pastel-colored petit fours. It’s over-the-top delicious. Heliotrope, the tiny purple flower that smells like cherries and marzipan, ramps up the nutty gourmandise of this opening, but also ushers in a tart floral freshness that breathes air into the rafters.
But Liquid Illusion is not just a fluffy gourmand delight (although it’s certainly that, too). After a while, you become aware of the scaffolding beneath, with its complex system of cantilevers designed to keep those almond topnotes aloft. In particular, iris absolute, its shy aroma strengthened and made incredibly diffusive by irone and iracine (iris root oil compounds), casts a berried, violety forcefield around the scent. Tuberose absolute shows up, but comes armed with a girlish bubblegum nuance rather than its usual full desk of indole and rubber. The mix of all these floral and fruit elements is irresistible because it teeters on the line between innocent and seductive, girlish and come-hither. Benzoin imparts a gritty, brown sugar texture to the base that will make you want to bite your arm, but the real stars are the creamy tonka bean and musks, back-up generators of real balsamic warmth. Liquid Illusion is just the thing for when things just feel really bleak; a floral that skips the usual arm’s-length froideur of flowers and offers you delicious, seductive warmth instead.