Ineke Gilded Lily is a splendid representative of a perfume genre currently in decline: the classic fruity chypre. The most famous member of this class of perfumes, Guerlain Mitsouko, has been reformulated so as to be a mere shadow of its former self. Other members of this class include Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse, which is still around and in good shape; and Rochas Femme, which was reformulated but has managed to keep its integrity in tact, at least as far as I'm concerned (there is some debate about this, however).
The current, far more common, "modern chypre" category is filled with perfumes featuring above all patchouli and at least a modicum of sweetness, but still enough of the classic chypre elements to make the name seem acceptably accurate. With Gilded Lily, Ineke has managed to create a fruity chypre in the classic tradition, albeit apparently without violating any of the IFRA restrictions cited as the cause for so many reformulations of once classic perfumes.
The oakmoss and patchouli are woven together into the characteristic mesh texture unique to chypre perfumes, and the rich fruits here (though I cannot claim to be able to identify them individually) offer a perfect counterbalance to the dark lily flower. Although it was launched only in 2010, Gilded Lily amazingly captures the beauty of fruity chypres in the grand tradition, and I was at once relieved and delighted to have discovered the existence of this excellent perfume.
I completely love this composition, which has great longevity and fairly big sillage. Gilded Lily comes in a beautiful red bottle with black and gold accents, is topped with an attractive matte black cap, and is housed in an equally appealing box. Every time I get depressed about reformulations, I reach for Ineke Gilded Lily as reminder that all is not lost, and that great perfume is still being made today.
It goes without saying that those who dislike the aesthetic of classic chypre perfumes such as Mitsouko need not apply. But for fruity chypre lovers, Gilded Lily is a winner!