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Stella McCartney's sweet smelling tribute to her mom

L.I.L.Y. by Stella McCartney

Illustrations by Carrie Cockburn / The Globe and Mail/Illustrations by Carrie Cockburn / The Globe and Mail

The scent

L.I.L.Y by Stella McCartney

The back story

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This is McCartney's follow-up to her widely successful eponymous scent from 2003. L.I.L.Y was the nickname that her father (Paul, if anyone needs reminding) gave her late mum, an acronym for "Linda, I love you." Yes, we awww'd, too.

What it smells like

Playing off the name, the scent bows to lily of the valley, an ambiguously spring-like white floral. Its wabi-sabi twist comes from Périgord truffles (the mushroom, not the chocolate) and a grounding note of oakmoss. But the truffle's funk is played down in favour of sweet, unobjectionable lightness.

The nose

Jacques Cavallier is an industry hotshot whose CV reads like a duty-free shop's bestseller list: Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique, Bulgari's Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc, both the men's and women's L'Eau d'Issey scents from the early 1990s, Elle from Yves Saint Laurent and the original Stella.

The look

There is a Vitruvian Man aspect to the bottle, which boasts a silver metal oval-within-a-rectangle frame. The faceting resembles a stylized pineapple and the sculpted, panelled cap looks like a mini architectural model. The media materials declare it "a meeting of glassware and modern art."

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The face

Photographed in the English countryside by David Sims, the print campaign features a naked Malgosia Bela (who, refreshingly, is 34, not 18). With her parted lips, bedroom hair and hint of boob smushed against her thigh, she renders any of the background landscape irrelevant.

Who It's For

Picture an art history lecture. There's the young woman who brashly speaks at every opportunity, not caring that she's confusing Tintoretto with Titian. And then there's the student who has sketched the Venus of Urbino in her notebook but never once raises her hand. L.I.L.Y, of course, is what the latter would wear.

Cachet Factor

Stella McCartney introduced her titular fragrance two years after launching her clothing line, before she had married. Now she designs Olympic uniforms and is a mum herself (to four kids, no less). Her story resonates enough to give the scent broad appeal, even if its ultimate impression is a tad L.I.G.H.T.

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Where To Buy It

Holt Renfrew and select Bay, Sears, Sephora and Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique locations. Price $90 for 50 ml, $115 for 75 ml.

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