Tilly is the second fragrance from Rosie Jane; I still haven't tried the first fragrance, Leila Lou, but I recently came across a sample vial of Tilly and decided that this was a good time to try it, since Tilly is a perfume oil that "effortlessly captures the essence of summer" with notes of grapefruit, pineapple and tropical gardenia.
My experience of Tilly reminded me of my usual experience with the season of summer itself. On my skin, Tilly starts off like a freshly mixed fruit-juice punch — grapefruit and pineapple, yes, plus something like mango. It's fun, the way a summer cocktail should be. (Remember L'Artisan Parfumeur Ananas Fizz? That was a wonderful example of the fruity-cocktail-as-perfume genre.) Unfortunately, after I've enjoyed the sensation of that seasonal refreshment, with its promise of long days, festive evenings, cute floral dresses, you get the picture — things go awry for a while. There's a clash of coconut and a raw white floral that could be a low-quality jasmine; the effect is harsh and sticky and a little bit nauseating, like the portion of the summer that brings high humidity and sunburn and wilted gardens and (for me, at least) the desire to escape the crowds and be alone in a dark, air-conditioned room. Tilly's party is just a little too hot and crowded for me at this point.
Fortunately, the dry down of the fragrance is much more pleasing. About two hours after I've applied Tilly, I'm left with a smooth harmony of creamy gardenia, bright citrus and sweet coconut milk. This final phase reminds me of the scents in Sarah Horowitz's "Perfect" collection — it has a casual, cheerful attitude. By now, I feel like I'm savoring the final week or two of summer, when the temperature has dropped and an outdoor social gathering is an enjoyable occasion again, without the sweat and the blazing sun and the too-strong smells of mid-summer.
Will Rosie Jane eventually release an autumn fragrance, to follow springtime's Leila Lou and summer's Tilly? I don't think so; this brand seems to have a more sunny-weather approach to fragrance. It also seems to be aimed at women who prefer a lighter scent; in that case, they should apply Tilly with caution, since it's a perfume oil and it has more strength and sillage in its first hour or so than you might expect.
What fragrance "captures the essence of summer" for you? Feel free to share in the comments!