Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Guerlain Le Muguet 2013: new fragrance edition

On May 1,1561, King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer the flower to the ladies of his court each year, and as a result, it is now custom to give a lily of the valley, the symbol of springtime, on May 1.

To honor this rite of the season, Guerlain offers its own lily of the valley fragrance, Muguet, once a year for a limited time. Dreamed up by Jean-Paul Guerlain, Muguet is offered as a token of luck, the promise of making the most of each moment. Lively, green and capricious, this fragrance heralds the arrival of spring.

This year's edition, Le Muguet 2013 by Guerlain, will be presented on April 25th as an early spring gift.

In-house perfumer Thierry Wasser mingled notes of lily of the valley (i.e. muguet) in the heart with fragrance chords constructed around freshly cut roses and rich jasmine in a composition that aims to combine freshness with elegance.

The new Muguet fragrance edition of 2013 comes in the "quadrilobe" flacon, a design invented in the early 20th century. The pale green bottle has its neck encircled by pale green silk cord, the ends decorated with the initials G, standing for Guerlain, and a papier mache applique on the front depicting in relief lily of the valley blossoms. The final touch is a pear bulb atomiser which turns this fragrance into a retro-looking feminine accouterment.

Price point (as of the minute of writing): 250 euros.

Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Guerlain Le Muguet history & pics of various perfume editions, Perfume Raw Material: Lily of the Valley

pic originally via


  1. I have never had the chance to smell any of the gimmicky Guerlain muguets. But somehow I don't feel the need to.

    I think we've had this conversation before, but the quest for a good lily of the valley after the demise of the lamented Diorissimo has so far remained unfulfilled.


  2. Miss Heliotrope00:26

    I like traditions for such things, although real flowers are lovely too(& undoubtedly cheaper).

    Without having a permanent snark about it, international companies should realise not all of us live in the northern hemisphere. I am thoroughly enjoying our autumn at the moment.

    Maybe a "bonfire" or the like type scent could be released - all damp leaves, smoke, earth, & so on.

  3. annemariec02:09

    I agree with Miss Heliotrope. It's autumn for me too. And, indeed, there are plenty of regions in the world that do not have four seasons, just a wet and a dry, so the arrival of spring and autumn are pretty irrelevant. But of course the fashion and fragrance worlds are firmly based in the north of the northern hemisphere and that is not going to change.

    But anyway, Guerlain's muguet tradition sounds pleasant. Do they introduce a new fragrance each year, or just release the same one for a limited time? I'd not be surprised to learn that it is cheap to produce but expensive to purchase.

  4. I have no idea how this perfume smells but I would very much love (adore actually) a bottle of this. :)

  5. Anonymous18:09

    @cacio, they've been doing the May 1st release since 1998 (before every limited perfume releases got so much press by way of ubiquitous blogs). Prada releasing a Candy L'Eau web ad teaser weekly, gimmicky. Guerlain Muguet, not so much. IMAO.

    Also if you haven't tried the Guerlain then why are you lamenting your unfulfilled quest for a good LOTV. Just try it! ;D

    Anyway, like annemarie I would also like to know if the Muguet fragrance still varies slightly from year to year, I get mixed info from otherwise reliable sources. I know the 2011 is different than prior releases, due to new restrictions; and that there was a parfum concentration some time prior. 2011 version is credited to Jean Paul Guerlain while 2012 is M.Wasser. Although this might just connote the change in stewardship, 2011's release smells like a JPG composition and not a Wasser one. Would love to be pointed in the right direction for an answer!


  6. M,

    to be honest, they're not so gimmicky, they're actually pretty good. The price is of course conflated with the exclusivity and extra-limited time, but from what I have sampled (not every one of them, but plenty) they're quite good on the whole with a dependable consistency. You might try one via a split!

  7. C,,

    no, snark away!! It needs to be done!

    Yes, big companies look to the US market (first and foremost due to size), then Europe (more due to tradition than size of sales) and then everyone else.
    But thankfully now that Brazil and China and the Far East are emerging as serious players we will see more things being available and catered to different markets (even if Far East is mostly northern hemisphere still)

    There IS a bonfire scent by Sonoma Scent Studio and it doesn't break the bank! ;-)

  8. AMC

    see above my reply to Miss Heliotrope re: hemispheres.
    (it's all down to sales, alas)

    The Guerlain Muguet is slightly different each year, though always a green lily of the valley floral. Some editions were particularly charming. I think since LOTVs are reconstitutions, the price all depends on how much natural jasmine enters the finished formula since that's the expensive part of the equation.

  9. Ines,

    yeah, isn't it cute? :-)
    Basically it's the standard quadrilobe, but given a romantic spring-like presentation.

    (and PS. Glad you got it!!)

  10. Lily,

    to my knowledge and understanding, the editions do differ from year to year slightly (perhaps so slightly you might not be too keen to sample/have all, but I'm mentioning it).
    There is aconcise history of Guerlain Muguet perfume editions on this link. You might find it answers some of your queries.

    As to having JPG as the "nose", I think it was more of a matter of prestige for the brand in later years than actual composing (I suppose he was doing the sniffing of the blotters and saying "oh boef oui, ceci!" at some point). When he made that politically-charged comment a few seasons ago, it was all over and they could at last reveal Wasser's name as the main composer. ;-) :-)

  11. Liisa W22:26

    I should open my 2011 bottle finally to check whether it's the same thing as the 1999 stuff.

    The bottle is awful and the bulb atomisers should be banned as affront to the eye. Or maybe it's just me and my inexplicable affinity towards glass stoppers.

  12. L,

    *waiting patiently on what you find out about the differences (me being too lazy to get samples of the 2011 edition)*

    Aww, I wouldn't call the bottle awful. It's a bit too cute in the papier mache detail, but surely the crystal is the standard quadrilobe, tried and true. :-)
    Bulb atomisers are really non practical from a functional point of view as they let perfume evaporate so you can't have me super excited about one.

  13. matildaben19:01

    What size is the bottle? It looks small.


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