Happy May Day : Lily of the Valley Fragrances

Muguet card

Happy May Day! In France, May Day is associated with the lily of the valley (muguet in French), a symbol of purity and a reminder of spring. If I were about to spend 9h on the plane, I would wear Christian Dior Diorissimo, the most perfect lily of the valley fragrance. Or perhaps, vintage Coty Muguet des Bois. Nonetheless, I would like to mention a few of the lily of the valley related articles on Bois de Jasmin as well as to offer a list of more than 40 fragrances dominated by that note.

Spring Flower Bouquet ~ Lily of the Valley discusses some of the most quintessential lily of the valley fragrances and offers several suggestions, from classical to modern. It includes links to lily of the valley fragrance reviews.

Lily of the Valley Fragrances:

I marked with an asterisk some of my favorites

Amouage Silver Crystal
Annick Goutal Le Muguet*
Avon Always
Calvin Klein Eternity Summer
Carolina Herrera Flore*
Caron Muguet du Bonheur *
Christian Dior Diorissimo*
Christian Dior Lily Dior
Christian Dior Remember Me
Comme des Garcons Leaves Series Lily*
Coty Muguet des Bois*
Crabtree & Evelyn Lily of the Valley
Elizabeth Arden Eau Fraiche
Elizabeth Arden Pretty Elizabeth
Etat Libre d’Orange Don’t Get Me Wrong Baby
Floris Lily of the Valley
Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lilia Bella
Guerlain Muguet*
Jessica McClintock Jessica McClintock
Jessica McClintock New Victorian
Matthew Williamson Collection Warm Sands*
Molinard Muguet
Morgane Le Fay Morgane Le Fay
Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley
Rosine Le Muguet de Rosine*
Santa Maria Novella Mughetto
Santa Maria Novella Colonia Muschio
Serge Lutens Clair de Musc
Slatkin Muguet
Taylor of London Lily of the Valley
Woods of Windsor Lily of the Valley* (esp. soaps)
Yardley Lily of the Valley
Yves Rocher Wild Muguet* (accessory line)

Image: a scan of German vintage postcard (I cannot make out the year on the back,) it is a Happy Birthday card, but I love its innocence and sunny optimism so much that I decided to share it anyway.

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22 Comments

  • Lavanya: Happy May Day, V!

    I just received my bottle of Diorissimo from fragrancenet, so I am wearing that..I sprayed liked crazy but still can’t smell much. However, if I sniff my wrist hard enough I can smell tiny white petals!! (I also have some Un Lys on my right wrist which smells very lovely!!) May 1, 2009 at 1:05pm Reply

  • Lavanya: I meant sprayed ‘like’ crazy May 1, 2009 at 1:05pm Reply

  • ScentRed: Without even knowing the lily-of-the valley connection with May Day, here I am wearing AG Le Muguet. It is a fragrance that fills me with sunshine and happy childhood memories. I love it, but use it sparingly as I have only have a small sample and have yet to find another source for this discontinued gem :-( May 1, 2009 at 2:10pm Reply

  • divinemam: Thank you for the article and the list, V. Would you consider Amouage Ubar to be a Lily of the Valley scent or just a fragrance that includes the Lily of the Valley note? Either way, I love it!

    I am happy to see Amouage Silver Crystal on the list, as I have some on its way to me. May 2, 2009 at 11:39am Reply

  • Veronica: What is your opinion about Novaya Zarya Landysh scents?
    I have their bath line and find it quite allright, but I don’t have any frame of reference.
    For years I neglected the scent of lily of the valley because it reminded me of vospitatel’nicy/teachers in school. I don’t know what they used to wear. Diorissimo? Landysh serebristy? I was a child then. But the smell just awokes bad memories and I can’t find mouget I like. May 3, 2009 at 7:30am Reply

  • mijita: I am so happy to see you writing here again; and I am really looking forward to your wedding perfume musings. I am sorting through this now myself, and find it an interesting challenge! MJ May 3, 2009 at 11:56am Reply

  • figgylulu: I remember having my appendix out in a Paris hospital at the age of 17 (several years ago) and my French class mates visiting me with bunches of muguet. I remember how the scent lifted my spirits and the perfect waxy white of the flowers. I am going to seek out one of the perfumes you mention…. May 3, 2009 at 6:05pm Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Lavanya, that is strange, because Diorissimo while light is not a weak fragrance. Perhaps, the bottle is old ?
    Or did it get better when you wore it on its own? May 15, 2009 at 10:46am Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: ScentRed, I love Le Muguet too, and since Annick Goutal sometimes reissues their discontinued fragrances, perhaps it will be reissued as well. May 15, 2009 at 10:47am Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Divinemam, I would say that it is a fragrance with a lotv note, but the note is quite pronounced. It makes the composition soaring and airy. May 15, 2009 at 10:49am Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Veronica, I find them too harsh, to be honest. The older version seems to contain more natural notes, which of course makes the fragrance smell more expensive. Muguet is a difficult note, because being used so much in functional scents, it has that association.
    Of course, nothing at all beats the scent of real flowers. May 15, 2009 at 10:53am Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Mijita, I am looking forward to sharing thoughts with you! It is a challenge, to be sure, but it is fun. May 15, 2009 at 10:53am Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Figgylulu, what a lovely memory it must be. When in Kiev recently, I loved seeing ladies near the metro stops selling big bunches of muguet. By contrast, I spotted tiny bunches at the local florist in NYC today, and well, the price was scary. To top it all off, the bunches were mostly leaves–I had to open them up to see any flowers. May 15, 2009 at 10:55am Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Rose, I agree, the card is gorgeous! In person, it is even more breathtaking. May 15, 2009 at 10:56am Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: D, thank you! May 15, 2009 at 10:56am Reply

  • Lavanya: V- I’ve recently been wearing it directly on my clothes instead of my skin and it seems to last long enough for me to enjoy it..:)
    (I think what I meant when I said I can’t smell it- is that after the first few minutes, I can’t really catch the notes on my skin- It moved from a strong, slightly harsh smell to a faint almost nothing )..I am not sure if it is an old bottle. Is there a way to find out- I bought it very recently. May 15, 2009 at 1:22pm Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Lavanya, hmm, seems like they have reformulated Diorissimo even more than I remembered. It should definitely not be harsh, but have a soft, citrusy opening leading into a leafy green and then floral petally accord. I have a very old bottle of Diorissimo (from the time of its launch,) and even that old fragrance does not have any harshness, despite some deterioration of the top notes.
    My favorite version of Diorissimo come in houndstooth decorated bottles. May 15, 2009 at 2:31pm Reply

  • Lavanya: I tried it again this evening so I could more accurately describe it to you…Initially the harshness is more like a strong ‘isopropyl alcohol’ smell-..I am not sure I am describing it accurately. I did get the slight citrusy beginning and the beautiful middle..And today it seems to be actually lasting longer on my skin (yay!) I think I saw the houndstooth bottle Diorissimo on ebay..I am curious about the older formulations as well as the parfum and how these compare to the one I have..will probably order some samples from theperfumedcourt. May 16, 2009 at 1:21am Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Lavanya, just be sure that the juice is not too dark in the older bottles you see. Otherwise, it is sure to have turned.
    You have inspired me to put on a drop of my parfum. May 24, 2009 at 10:18am Reply

  • Irem: I am not familiar with many of the perfumes on your list, except Diorissimo. I have tried it countless times over the last six-seven years – always from store testers. I always wanted to like it, but it did not happen. I liked it less and less every year, the downfall of the composition is almost palpable. After so many reformulations I do not even visit it anymore.
    Now I have a better source for my muguet fix: a dense patch of lily of the valley growing in my backyard. The previous house owner has planted it, and it was a big surprise the first spring we spend in our new home. The scent is intoxicating. Nothing in a bottle can compare to it. Today I will pick a big bouquet and bring it inside in celebration of a new season. Happy May Day! May 1, 2012 at 10:36am Reply

    • Victoria: That’s by far the best muguet fix! I can’t imagine anything that can rival a bunch of fresh lily of the valley. :)

      Happy May Day! May 1, 2012 at 1:51pm Reply

  • Domestic Goblin: I am tempted to try the EDT by Woods of Windsor as a more affordable alternative to Diorissimo. September 29, 2013 at 4:35pm Reply

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