Guerlain Muguet : New Perfume

Every year since 2006, Guerlain has been reissuing its limited edition Muguet perfume for the May 1st holiday. In France, May Day is associated with lily of the valley (muguet in French), a symbol of purity and a reminder of spring. The fragrance was originally created by Jacques Guerlain in 1908, although the current formula has been reinterpreted by Jean-Paul Guerlain and Thierry Wasser and features green notes, lily of the valley, lilac, jasmine, and rose.

muguet1

This year’s limited edition (only 1 872 numbered pieces will be made) is a bee bottle encased in an embossed white porcelain holder. The mold is created by the Parisian ceramic artist and painter Brigitte de Bazelaire, and it features a lily of the valley design. Elle.fr explains how the bottle is made and shows photos of the process.

Muguet will become available for sale starting May 1st at Guerlain boutiques and retail points. 125ml, 400 euros.

Via Guerlain boutique, Elle.fr

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104 Comments

  • Hannah: What does muguet mean, exactly?
    The German word is Maiglöckchen (Mai=May, Glöckchen=diminutive of bell/s). February 25, 2014 at 7:36am Reply

    • Victoria: I asked one of my French colleagues, and he said that it might come from an old French word for musk. I haven’t tried to research it further, so I’m curious if anyone else has other ideas. February 25, 2014 at 7:41am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Ha! I love this kind of questions.
        I consulted my Petit Robert and found:
        ”muguet, ancien francais muguette: altération de muscade, à cause du parfum”.
        So your collegue was in the right direction, but it has to do with nutmeg, not with musc. February 25, 2014 at 8:38am Reply

        • Bela: I had my hand on the copy of Le Petit Robert that never leaves my desk as I read this. LOL! February 25, 2014 at 9:21am Reply

          • Bela: Of course, (this has only just occurred to me), the word ‘muscade’ itself comes from ‘musc’. Le Petit Robert: ‘muscade: XIIe; ancien provençal muscada, de musc’. So V’s colleague was absolutely on the right track. February 25, 2014 at 9:56am Reply

            • Cornelia Blimber: Yes, he was right. February 25, 2014 at 10:01am Reply

            • Victoria: I love these kind of connections. Thank you, J! February 25, 2014 at 11:22am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: I have a vision of all the BdJ readers running to their Petit Robert! 🙂 February 25, 2014 at 9:58am Reply

            • Victoria: Many of us, myself included, don’t have one, which is why comments from people like you and Bela are so helpful. 🙂 February 25, 2014 at 11:22am Reply

            • Bela: LOL! Mine dates from the ’70s and I used it every day for many many years in my work as a translator. These days I use the online version (no more wasted time flicking through a large tome), but my Petit Robert is still by my side. February 25, 2014 at 1:13pm Reply

            • maja: I know it’s a dictionary but it really sounds like a name of some fancy French cookies. 🙂 February 25, 2014 at 3:55pm Reply

              • Victoria: *whispers* same here! February 25, 2014 at 4:15pm Reply

                • Sarah: Muguet is actually simply the french name of Lily of the valley. September 13, 2014 at 12:47pm Reply

                  • Victoria: Yes, I know. We’re simply talking about the origin of the word “muguet” itself. September 14, 2014 at 6:01am Reply

        • solanace: Abstract accepted, Cornelia! 🙂 February 25, 2014 at 1:40pm Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Solanace: Abstract? Is that the title of your paper? February 25, 2014 at 2:26pm Reply

            • solanace: LOL, the title is ‘Intertextual effects in Kepler’s Dream’. Thank’s so much for the super inspiration! I can feel that bottle of Chergui comming closer. 🙂 February 25, 2014 at 6:11pm Reply

              • Cornelia Blimber: Ha, that’s good! Impressive title.
                What did you mean by ”abstract accepted”? February 26, 2014 at 5:34am Reply

                • Solanace: It means I’ll be presenting it at a conference, in Athens. 🙂 Now I have to hurry and write the full paper, but that will be fun! February 26, 2014 at 6:48am Reply

                  • Cornelia Blimber: Wow, that’s great! Athens!! I hope you will have time to see everything there..but no, that’s not possible in a lifetime, only the National Museum easely takes 10 years. But at least you can go to the Acropolis, even these ruines are so impressive. Figure it out in full colour, bristling with life… meditate on that mysterious spot, the Erechteion..
                    Greek men are very obtrusive. This is how they go away: bend your head backwards and say: ”Ochi”. February 26, 2014 at 7:27am Reply

                    • Cornelia Blimber: Sorry, Erechtheion (!!) February 26, 2014 at 7:35am

                    • Solanace: Obtrusive men are the worst, thank you for the heads up.
                      My Greek professor had a book with pictures of the monuments and superposed plastic pages with their former colors revealed by X-ray analysis – or something. All those bright reds and greens, so awesome! This kind of trip is always too quick, but I’ll try to stay near the Acropolis, and I’ll spend as much time as I can in the National Museum. I can barely breath when I think I’ll see the Antikythera mechanism in person! February 26, 2014 at 11:35am

  • Jillie: Oooh – I think I’ll have two bottles at that price! But, seriously, it does look attractive.

    I have always wanted to smell this, but will have to content myself with my Diorissimo, Annick Goutal and Caron Muguets. I wonder how they would compare with the Guerlain – have you sniffed it? February 25, 2014 at 8:32am Reply

    • Victoria: Only two, Jillie? 🙂
      I know, the price insane, although the bottle is pretty.

      I tried Guerlain’s Muguet, and I thought that it was very pretty, but Diorissimo is good enough for me. February 25, 2014 at 10:55am Reply

  • george: I found it interesting reading about lily of the valley on Wikipedia because of the stark difference between all its positive perfumery and mythological associations and the downright chemical and biological nastiness of it, including the fact that it contains a non-protein amino acid that can cause deformities. Reading it is a bit like being Mildred Pierce when the musical coach gives his speech about coloratura sopranos. I’d love to be able to try this, anyway, just to see if deserves being so deliberately endowed with so many layers of myth. Have anyone experienced any of the previous editions? February 25, 2014 at 8:52am Reply

    • Ariadne: Indeed, that is quite a read in Wikipedia! I too appreciated the myth and lore mentioned there. For me it completed my appreciation of the ritual of the annual release of this Guerlain perfume. This post also reminded me of what is now sleeping under two feet of snow in the woods around my house…..a tiny wild version of Lilly of the Valley, Maianthemum canadense. I wait patiently for it. February 25, 2014 at 9:46am Reply

    • FeralJasmine: I love your perspective, and this is part of what I find so fascinating about the biochemistry of nature: it’s a potent reminder that nature is not there for our convenience and pleasure, and contains the most extraordinary array of both overt and insidious toxins imaginable. Loving nature with no element of respect and fear will lead us down a dangerous path. February 25, 2014 at 9:50am Reply

      • Clara: I love how you said it. February 25, 2014 at 11:39am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Yes, me too. February 25, 2014 at 2:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: I knew that it was poison, but until I read the Wiki entry, I had no idea to what an extent it could wreck us. But you’re right, there is something about that duality that makes it this seemingly innocent flower so beguiling. The scent, of course, is wonderful. February 25, 2014 at 11:03am Reply

    • Lynn Morgan: George, I absolutely adore you for name-checking one of my fave films noir! Joan Crawford ruled! But I bet she wore Robert Piguet… she seemed like a heavy tuberose kind of broad. February 25, 2014 at 6:13pm Reply

  • sandra: Have you smelled this?
    The bottle looks beautiful…
    The price not so beautiful… February 25, 2014 at 8:53am Reply

    • Victoria: I tried it and while I liked it very much, it’s not better than Diorissimo, especially at that price. If it were more reasonable (in a plain bee bottle, minus the porcelain sleeve), I would be much more tempted. February 25, 2014 at 11:04am Reply

  • Ines: I love the idea of re-issuing a perfume for may 1, and last year I was the naive idiot who never before saw the pricing of that bottle so I actually contacted possible shops in order to buy it.
    That was until I learned the price. 😀
    Ooopsie! February 25, 2014 at 9:07am Reply

    • Victoria: Guerlain has been doing some exorbitantly priced limited edition launches. This one is on the low end, believe it or not, 🙂 February 25, 2014 at 11:15am Reply

      • Alessandra: Haha yes, that’s true.

        Before I forget, congratulations on the 9 years of your spectacular blog, Victoria! Many more to come, I hope! 🙂 February 25, 2014 at 1:34pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you very much. 🙂 February 25, 2014 at 3:45pm Reply

  • rosarita: In the words of that famous Frenchman Pepe LePew, le sigh. The bottle, packaging and scent are so pretty and sharpen the longing for spring, which still feels very far away. February 25, 2014 at 9:11am Reply

    • Victoria: The pale green color is so pretty! I’ll join you in admiring it from afar. February 25, 2014 at 11:16am Reply

  • briony: Is it still the same perfume as last year? I seem to remember that they used to tinker with it a little to change it slightly every year , but I think they stopped doing this. February 25, 2014 at 9:18am Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried last year’s, or I smelled the reissue from a couple of years ago. Without comparing them side by side, it’s hard to say how they were different, but this year’s version is recognizable as Muguet I tried. February 25, 2014 at 11:19am Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: Wow, the bee bottle, the porcelain holder and the colour of the juice, they all look very beautiful! I’m just wondering about the number 1872. It’s not 1828 when Guerlain was founded so what significance does 1872 have?

    Reading this post makes me wonder what happened to my bottle of Diorissimo. I received it as a high school graduation present. I didn’t like it very much when I received it as I found it too prim and lady-like but now I really want to find it. I hope that I didn’t throw it away with old cosmetic bottles… 🙁 February 25, 2014 at 9:47am Reply

    • Victoria: I just thought that maybe it just had to do with the amount of porcelain they ordered, or budget, or some other boring, practical reason. 🙂 February 25, 2014 at 11:20am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Maybe, it’s just that! 🙂 I should stop reading too much into things. Sometimes, it’s just the way it is. February 25, 2014 at 12:35pm Reply

        • Victoria: Please don’t! You approach things like a true scientist. I can recognize it, because my husband is very much the same way. 🙂 February 25, 2014 at 12:47pm Reply

          • Anne of Green Gables: Thanks for being understanding. BTW, your comment on the jasmine post really cracked me up. Have you tried spraying A La Nuit on your husband? February 25, 2014 at 2:50pm Reply

            • Victoria: Oops, I forgot! I just asked him, and he said, fine, he loves jasmine, so he’s game to try A La Nuit. 🙂 February 25, 2014 at 3:50pm Reply

              • Anne of Green Gables: Aren’t you lucky to have such a cool husband! 🙂 I’m watching Umrao Jaan (the 1981 version) at the moment and this time, I’m definitely not going to watch the whole thing in one go. February 25, 2014 at 4:38pm Reply

                • Victoria: He’s an easygoing guy! 🙂

                  How are you liking Umrao Jaan? February 26, 2014 at 6:28am Reply

                  • Anne of Green Gables: I watched half of it. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed. It’s really slow-paced and I don’t think I’m appreciating the beauty of all the poetry. I hope that the second half will be better. Rekha has such a seductive voice. February 26, 2014 at 7:55am Reply

                    • Victoria: Yes, it sure isn’t Devdas! 🙂 Hope that you like the second part better. February 26, 2014 at 10:57am

              • Lynn Morgan: Swoon- I love A la Nuit… it’s instant femme fatale in a bottle! February 25, 2014 at 6:14pm Reply

  • Leah: Greetings Victoria and congratulations on nine years! I am sure I speak for many when I say how grateful we are for your presence in our lives!

    I am supremely fortunate to have a vintage Guerlain Muguet. I smelled last year’s Muguet and sadly it pales in comparison. It made me appreciate my Diorissimo immensely, which I do allow myself to wear. The vintage Muguet is too precious! February 25, 2014 at 11:17am Reply

    • Victoria: Leah, thank you very much! And the feeling is mutual. 🙂

      You’re so lucky to have vintage Muguet! How does it compare to Diorissimo to you? February 25, 2014 at 11:29am Reply

      • Leah: The Diorissimo smells more like a living breathing plant, stems and all. It is nearly photorealistic. The vintage Guerlain is more elegant and subtle – almost like a fantasy of Muguet. I always imagine it to be the scent of hundreds of May Day bouquets smelled from afar in the warm Parisian sun. February 25, 2014 at 8:37pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you, Leah. Your description is just so lovely. February 26, 2014 at 6:31am Reply

  • Ashley Anstaett: Oh, it is very expensive, but the bottle is beautiful. I’m very content with Diorissimo, though, and have been hitting my little decant hard pretty recently, in an eager anticipation of the arrival of spring.

    What I really can’t wait for is to start seeing those beautiful little white flowers and their droopy heads on my walk to work! February 25, 2014 at 11:21am Reply

    • Victoria: Me too! There is a little patch of muguet not far from my apartment building, and I’ve been checking it on regular basis. Plus, on May 1st they’ll sell little bouquets at the florist shops around Brussels. February 25, 2014 at 11:31am Reply

  • monsieurguerlain: I don’t know why elle.fr stated 2006 – the scent has actually existed since 1998. February 25, 2014 at 11:47am Reply

    • Victoria: Not sure. Perhaps, the yearly reissues started only in 2006? Because there was a relaunch of Muguet first in 1998, then in 1999, and then there was nothing till either 2006 or 2007. February 25, 2014 at 12:01pm Reply

      • monsieurguerlain: I think you’re right! I hadn’t noticed that hole between 2000 and 2005! Thanks for the heads up. February 25, 2014 at 1:06pm Reply

        • Victoria: All of these reissues are confusing, though. I wish Guerlain made Muguet a permanent part of its collection and just created limited edition in special bottles. February 25, 2014 at 3:44pm Reply

  • Deborah: I am getting married on May Day and the inspiration for the decor and flowers was lily of the valley. Am now seeking my perfume so when I saw this I thought “yes”! Then I saw the price and realized “no”:( February 25, 2014 at 12:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: For the perfume alone that price is definitely too much. You can find many other excellent muguets, starting with Diorissimo. DelRae Debut is another beautiful one. February 25, 2014 at 1:01pm Reply

      • Mel: I am wearing Debut today. I always save it for the arrival of Spring but since we’ve had no winter here in SoCal I’ve started ignoring the calendar altogether. February 25, 2014 at 1:42pm Reply

        • Victoria: One might as well create their own spring, right? Debut makes it easier with its springlike vibrancy. February 25, 2014 at 3:46pm Reply

          • Deborah: Thank you! I will try them both out. February 25, 2014 at 4:06pm Reply

    • solanace: You can always get a decant. Either Surrender to Chance, The Perfumed Court or The Posh Peasant should have it. February 25, 2014 at 1:39pm Reply

  • Caroline: Victoria, have never sampled vintage Diorissimo (on my bucket list!), but how does it compare to Odalisque? Think the PdN is the most intensive LOTV I own. February 25, 2014 at 12:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: Muguet is closer to Diorissimo. Odalisque has so many other elements going on, whereas Muguet is more like a solifloral. February 25, 2014 at 3:31pm Reply

  • Deborah Anne Oney (Annie): I wish we could all get together and buy a bottle and split the cost and the parfume. I resent something that only the elite 1% get to partake of- especially because for us it isn’t just an afterthought, but an adventure. “Le sigh.” February 25, 2014 at 12:39pm Reply

    • Victoria: I agree, you can get a decant or a sample just to see what it’s like. Part of the value of this perfume is the bottle itself. I don’t think that fragrance alone is worth that price. February 25, 2014 at 3:32pm Reply

      • Deborah Anne Oney (Annie): There is only one true bee bottle for me and that is the one made for Empress Eugenie for her marriage. Has anyone ever see that personally? February 26, 2014 at 2:57pm Reply

        • Victoria: I’ve seen only photos in a Guerlain catalog of bottles, and it’s really impressive. February 26, 2014 at 3:00pm Reply

  • Tony: Omg!

    I love Guerlain Muguet perfumes, I honestly can NOT wait to get this one.

    I hope it matches my skin chemistry. 🙂 February 25, 2014 at 12:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: Hope that it works for you, Tony. February 25, 2014 at 3:42pm Reply

  • Alessandra: I always adore the Guerlain muguet editions, even though they get more expensive every year. I wonder when I will be able to buy a bottle! 🙁

    I wish they had a ‘normal’ version in the exclusive collection, at a much lower price 🙁 February 25, 2014 at 1:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: Same here! I was just saying the same thing to Monsieur Guerlain before I saw your comment. February 25, 2014 at 3:45pm Reply

      • Alessandra: Fingers crossed for the future!!! February 25, 2014 at 4:24pm Reply

  • solanace: This bottle would look perfect on my (and anyone’s!) vanity, but ouch, that price! February 25, 2014 at 1:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: Even if–and that’s a big if–I were willing to spend 400 euros on perfume, it wouldn’t be on this one! February 25, 2014 at 3:47pm Reply

      • solanace: Me neither. Muguet is a bit too ‘clean’ for me. 🙂 Today I went to the posh side of Sao Paulo and did some serious sniffing. Here, a Chanel Exclusif costs over 400 dollars. Perfume Mordor, I say. I’m so grateful there are decants, or I’d be doomed! February 25, 2014 at 6:19pm Reply

        • Victoria: That’s some markup! Ouch! February 26, 2014 at 6:30am Reply

          • Solanace: Perfumes are heavily taxed here as luxury items and I don’t see this changing any time soon, exactly because of the luxe stigma. 🙁 Brazilan women absolutely love beauty, though, and many will buy Sisley-priced ordinary stuff in 10 installments. If we had fairer prices, the market would catch on fire! February 26, 2014 at 11:38am Reply

            • Victoria: The local perfume brands are doing really well, from what I hear. Brazil is one of the few actively growing perfume markets right now. February 26, 2014 at 2:33pm Reply

  • Lauren: I LOVE the bottle…bottles are at least half responsible for my initial love of perfume. February 25, 2014 at 2:30pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s the first thing you see, after all! I love bee bottles. February 25, 2014 at 3:48pm Reply

  • Figuier: That bottle really is a work of art! I’m always worried about light damaging the perfume, so I never display my bottles. But something that beautiful probably *needs* to be shown off!

    I don’t actually enjoy lotv as a perfume, sadly, though the flowers smell lovely…here in the UK they don’t sell the bouquets on May 1 so I’ll have go find some living flowers to sniff! February 25, 2014 at 4:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve started to display some of my bottles, because in the end, perfume doesn’t last forever anyway and one might enjoy it. But I try to keep them out of direct sunlight. Some of my more precious fragrances are stored away, though. Apres L’Ondee parfum is just too cherished to risk exposing to light, but then again, I don’t have much left. February 26, 2014 at 6:27am Reply

  • Amer: with all that money they could throw in a diamond or two… February 25, 2014 at 5:14pm Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: Muget or Lily of the Valley is such a fresh, innocent youthful scent; it’s perfect for Spring because it’s so delicate and light hearted. I’d love to try this when it warms up (we’re expecting long-needed rain here in LA for the nest three days!). It sounds like a scent that would go nicely with crisp linens or a light sun dress. February 25, 2014 at 6:09pm Reply

    • Victoria: A nice way to describe muguet! I think I might wear some Diorissimo today, even if crisp linens and light sun dresses wouldn’t fit the weather well. February 26, 2014 at 6:29am Reply

  • Rowanhill: Indeed the packaging is lovely and the price prohibitive. But to enjoy that colour combination I am buying huge bunches of white tulips. At this time of the year they are ridiculously cheap, calling for overindulgence and filling each available vase. was it Mae Westisism that too much of a good thing can be wonderful. February 26, 2014 at 7:04am Reply

    • Victoria: I do too! My first thought was white and green tulips that are suddenly everywhere in Brussels. My husband and I are pondering making a trip to Keukenhof again this spring, since last year we had so much fun there. February 26, 2014 at 10:55am Reply

      • Rowanhill: Keukenhof is such fragrance and colour therapy. Early April is fantastic for the hyacinths and towards the end of the month all the tulip beds and cherry trees will be full of flowers, not to forget the fields of colours. This spring I am aiming my visit to around the 20th, as I did the early visit last year. February 27, 2014 at 6:28am Reply

        • Victoria: I don’t remember when we went last year, but we caught tulips and hyacinths. The problem is that by the time the weekends roll around, I’m too tired to consider anything but lying on the floor and reading. It’s been a very hectic winter. But I do need to gather myself together and plan a fun outing. February 27, 2014 at 8:06am Reply

          • Rowanhill: While waiting for Keukenhof to bloom, my choice for a lily of the valley fragrance will be Odalisque. It will remind me of a lovely day in Paris. February 27, 2014 at 10:38am Reply

            • Victoria: Odalisque is lovely anytime for me, and yes, it’s especially spring like and breezy as far as muguets go. February 27, 2014 at 12:21pm Reply

          • Rowanhill: Go on Saturday if you are feeling wiped out. Then there has been Friday evening to relax and still Sunday for total vegetation if need be. 😀 February 27, 2014 at 10:39am Reply

  • Alicia: Beautiful bottle! I’ll admire it from afar, while I wear Diorissimo and spray my linens with Coty Muguet du Bois. February 27, 2014 at 1:46am Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds wonderful, Alicia! 🙂 February 27, 2014 at 8:13am Reply

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