Lily of the Valley : May Day Flower


For me, May 1st, May Day holiday in Ukraine and other European countries, is always associated with lily of the valley. Its scent is notoriously difficult to capture, and in fragrance, all lily of the valley accords are recreated through the combination of natural and man made materials. From Christian Dior Diorissimo, the gold standard against which all lily of the valley fragrances are judged, to Hermès Eau des Merveilles, this floral note can be found in a variety of compositions.

Today I am wearing the incomparable Parfums de Nicolaï Odalisque, which I will review tomorrow. Meanwhile, please see my article Spring Flower Bouquet ~ Lily of the Valley on lily of the valley and some of the best fragrances on this theme.

Image credit: lily of the valley bouquet via Red Loft Studios.



  • Uella: I’m wearing Guerlain Le Muguet 2011 edition, it’s lovely and pretty but not as outstanding as the original version of Diorissimo. I tried the latest reformulation of Diorissimo currently sold at Saks (the new packaging is very nice), it’s very thin in edt but still softer and less harsh than previous reformulations, the parfum is well-done. May 1, 2011 at 10:37am Reply

  • Victoria: Did you try the Eau de Parfum in Diorissimo, which is Francois Demachy's own interpretation of the original? I am curious about it. May 1, 2011 at 11:14am Reply

  • sweetlife: LOTV in Eau de Merveilles? No kidding. Never would have thought, but I will concentrate the next time I wear it. May 1, 2011 at 5:42pm Reply

  • Mapelina: Hello, Victoria,

    I love this May Day article, as I have adored lily of the valley my whole life, for its unique fragrance and its role as the herald of spring. Having worn Diorissimo for a decade two decades ago, and missing LOTV in my fragrance life, I am going to try the perfume you are wearing today, the PdN Odalisque. I am so far behind in responding to the wonderful postings here, as I am somewhat overwhelmed with work, but I wanted to make sure you saw the article in this week’s New York magazine on Christopher Brosius, “The Invisible Scent”. I don’t know his work at all, but he sounds like an interesting character–as are most perfumers, it seems! May 1, 2011 at 10:13pm Reply

  • Uella: Victoria, when I was there they only had the tester of the edt which despite its weak sillage I liked because it felt more delicate than other reformulations of the last decade. Since it might be the last time Dior launches Diorissimo in parfum, I thought I had to blind buy a bottle (I don’t think they’ll ever have a tester of the extrait). The parfum is truly beautiful and posseses that timeless restraint elegance we love so much in perfumery, to a certain extent it retains the true nature of original Diorissimo with animalic green, floral and woody notes. May 1, 2011 at 10:32pm Reply

  • mals86: Wearing Diorissimo with a light overlay of Idylle edt today, just to be perverse. It is definitely muguet-centric, but a little different. I think I like this combination. May 1, 2011 at 8:51pm Reply

  • Yelena: Lily of the valley is also on my mind every May 1st. Recently, my go to scent has been Van Cleef’s Muguet Blanc. Although it pales before the Diorissimo that I wore as my first scent eyars ago. May 2, 2011 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: VC&A’s Muget Blanc is divine. It’s Springtime in a bottle! I think I’ll go put some on now. It just sounds so lovely! May 2, 2011 at 8:19pm Reply

  • Victoria: It gives it a luminous, airy feeling. A welcome facet, given how rich is the rest of the composition! May 2, 2011 at 9:50pm Reply

  • Victoria: You know, it actually sounds very interesting! I might have to try it. May 2, 2011 at 10:30pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you very much! I am glad that you are enjoying it. I love lily of the valley too, although I admit that even Diorissimo cannot capture the beautiful scent of blooming lotv.

    I am about to read the article! May 2, 2011 at 10:32pm Reply

  • Victoria: Uella, thank you! I will stop by the boutique to see if they have a tester of the EDP.
    I agree with you on the extrait. It is truly amazing! May 2, 2011 at 10:33pm Reply

  • Victoria: I’ve smelled it only once, but since you like it, I now know that I need to revisit it. May 2, 2011 at 10:33pm Reply

  • Victoria: Oh, another vote for Muguet Blanc. It is definitely on my to-sample list now. May 2, 2011 at 10:34pm Reply

  • Musette: LotV = Diorissimo in my addled brain. I am going to hunt up the extrait! I have some vintage Coty Muguet des Bois edt – the top notes are shocking bad, alas, but once it dries down it’s a beautiful reminder of how Coty Did Muguet Right.

    I passed by VC&A twice last week, intending to stop in and sample the Muguet Blanc – sigh. I’ll be in shortly and will make a note to revisit.

    Gorgeous photo, btw.

    xoxoxoA May 3, 2011 at 10:51am Reply

  • Victoria: I wanted to mention that Coty, but the last time I smelled it at some drug store, it smelled cheaper than a window cleaner. You are right about the vintage though, it smells fabulous!
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile May 3, 2011 at 12:12pm Reply

  • Uella: Victoria, the edp is sold out at Saks 5th Ave, they still have the parfum. The SA told me you can order the edp on the website, it might still be available and in any case, they only have edt testers. EdP and Extrait are blind buys. May 5, 2011 at 12:39am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, so helpful! I wonder about the Dior boutique, if they might have a tester of the EDP? May 5, 2011 at 11:23am Reply

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