Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May 1st: A Lily of the Valley Tradition

The charming custom of offering lily of the valley on May 1st in France dates further back than one might think: it was Charles IX who first offered these tiny bell-shaped and deliciously fragrant flowers to his mother, Catherine de Medici, as a good luck charm. The custom stuck ever since.
Happy May 1st!

For those of you so inclined, you can read about Lily of the Valley (or Muguet in French) in detail, its history, role in perfumery as a raw material, ways to render a synthetic LOTV note as well as a list of fragrances celebrating this green floral note consulting my older article: Lily of the Valley as Perfumery Material and Fragrances with this Note on this link.

 photo via hannasform.blogspot.com


  1. I happened to smell vintage Diorissimo parfum, and it's sensational. Luca Turin claims that current IFRA restrictions make it impossible to do a good lily of the valley. A recent sniff at the Tauer makes me think that Turin is right (though the Tauer is a very good perfume if taken on its own terms). I've been wanting to smell some of the extravagantly priced Guerlain special editions, but something tells me they won't come close.


  2. M,

    LT was referring to hydroxycitronellal, but the effect can be given through different materials, sometimes to pretty great results. The Tauer muguet is a different take, beautiful in what it is indeed.
    Frankly I think Diorissimo's greatness (especially in parfum) is due to civet (also highly diminished and not due to IFRA) and not the exact replicant of the LOTV constituent. ;-)


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