Saturday Question: Do You Like Lily of the Valley Perfumes?

How many times have you read about the May 1st lily-of-the-valley-related tradition in France? Probably at least every time someone reviews Guerlain‘s Muguet. As I was reading about it, I discovered another tradition – wearing LotV for the Flora Day in Helston, UK. Have you ever heard of it? From what I read, it is a long-standing tradition, which is even older than the French one (though, I’m not sure when the flower in question had been introduced). The celebration involves a lot of dancing and wearing lily of the valley by both men and women. Usually, it is celebrated on May 8th. But this year, same as in 2020, it has been cancelled due to Covid-19. It’s May 8 today – let’s talk about lily of the valley (perfumes).

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #63:

Do You Like Lily of the Valley Perfumes?

Do you own any? Do you wear perfumes with this main note? Have you ever smelled this flower?

My Answer

Nine years after my In the Search for the Perfect Lily of the Valley post, I still own just two LotV perfumes – Dior Diorissimo and Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley. I like them enough to wear from time to time, especially Diorissimo. But I don’t think I will be buying any other LotV soliflores.

As I wrote recently in the comment to Cynthia’s (The Fragrant Journey) review of the new Dusita‘s perfume Cavatina, while I like the LotV scent, I have an issue with it in perfumery: since it’s impossible to capture a real flower scent, it can be either an artificial aroma or a composition of other natural materials. I’m not prepared to pay luxury prices for a soliflore made from artificial ingredients, and two attempts of the recreation from natural ingredients that I tried convinced me that it is impossible to recreate believable LotV using natural ingredients. So, while I’d love a spring bouquet with a touch of LotV, I don’t need another artificial soliflore.

Dior Diorissimo

 

Do You Like Lily of the Valley Perfumes?

41 thoughts on “Saturday Question: Do You Like Lily of the Valley Perfumes?

  1. I do like lily of the valley as a note and the flowers as well. I remember wearing a drugstore fragrance called Muguet du Bois as a child and Diorissimo as a teenager.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never heard of Flora Day but now I’m fascinated. Must look it up.

    I’m not drawn to loftv fragrances but I do like the way Guerlain do a LE Muguet every year and it’s been lovely when I’ve tried it. Not sure if the scent is altered each year of it’s just the bottle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Guerlain’s Muguet stayed the same for years with just a bottle being changed. Thierry Wasser created a new perfume for 2016 LE of Muguet, and I suspect that they’re using the same one since then. I tried the previous version but didn’t get to try the new one. I’m mildly curious.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Diorissimo but it smells better on my sister than on me. I used to broadly love all lily of the valley fragrances until I started growing them in my yard (as many of you may know, they actually “grow themselves,” like crazy). For me, the waft of the fully blooming flower bed was too wonderful and only Diorissimo kept my best regard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My grandmother had a space next to her house that was fenced off (so, they rarely went there – only if the house or windows on that side required maintenance), and there was a small forest of LotV plants, so I assume they didn’t require too much attention.
      As I mentioned in my first post (linked above), smelling Diorissimo next to the real flower surprised me how realistic the perfume was in recreation of LotV.

      Like

  4. I don’t have much experience with the flower or the note, but I just checked my “muguet accord” that I’d made with a formula from Perfumer’s Apprentice, and it’s not really my cup of tea. Right now it’s smelling like soapy green apple. The flowers look so cute, though, and I wouldn’t mind having them around. Happy Flora Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whatever you made, is it from natural ingredients or a synthetic material? If the former, just disregard it: if Andy and Dawn haven’t succeeded, I doubt some DIY instructions would produce a better result. If the latter, try Diorissimo or Penhaligon’s LotV – both are quite successful in rendering that flower.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. No. No. No. Nope. Nope. Nope.

    I may be misattributing the garbagey smell coming off of a cellophane-wrapped cardboard sprayed with Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange that must have gone through some extreme temperatures, but that got me off of LOTV forever. I am still scarred to this day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m kinda with hajusuuri. I have a sample of Tauer Carillon and it doesn’t repulse me but it’s not my favorite either. I used to have some LOTV growing in my yard – not a favorite flower either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How interesting! You are probably the first person I met who doesn’t like LotV flower. But then of course, why would you want it in your perfumes?! :)

      Like

  7. Hmmmmm. No-ish. But I do love the Hermessence Muguet Porcelain. There are millions, well thousands, of them growing in the woods here, especially near my tree! I love them in their natural habitat. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, there’s nothing that really compares to the real flower’s scent if you like it at all. And those little white bellflowers are so pretty! I love Muguet Porcelaine too. After my unfortunate experience with Carillon, I was afraid Hermes’ much-touted new muguet would be a disappointment, but M. Ellena did not let me down!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I liked that Hermès perfume as well, but for Hermessence prices I should love it to buy. I didn’t.
      Most of the flowers scent of which I love smell better in flower than in a processed form, which is too bad since some smell magnificent.

      Like

  8. I love a good LOTV note in.perfume. I’ve only smelled the real flower once or twice. My favorite is Van Cleefs Muguet in the Extraordinaire series. I’ve always wanted to buy one of Guerlains muguets issued annually. I’ll try to find a sample maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m also a fan of VC&A’s Muguet Blanc. I really like the 2016 Guerlain Muguet (which I think is now the standard annual version; the former version was replaced in 2016). Where I live, Neiman Marcus carries it, if you feel like venturing forth. One tiny silver lining of this pandemic is that when I have recently braved a store, having been fully vaccinated, the sales associates have been very generous with samples as most no longer put out testers.

      Like

      • It’s interesting because in our area it got next to impossible to get a sample of anything: they say that they don’t have any and are not allowed to make them. It seems stupid: so, people are allowed to make and serve my food, but perfume or cream sample poses a greater risk?!

        Like

        • That really is silly. I only recently went into a department store (Macy’s) on an errand with my daughter, and the sales associates had manufacturer samples to give, they weren’t making them.

          Like

  9. The beginning of May is rarely warm enough for me to wear the fresh and delicate LotV perfumes.
    I think the nostalgia makes me like the perfumes although they shouldn’t be my thing, really. Maybe they hit the same floral spot as lilac? Ok, so LotV soliflores; I own and love my vintage Diorissimo. On Fragrantica through some people at the vintage forum, I was introduced to Sung, which is an easy to wear beautiful LotV, I also have Envy ( wear it very seldom), and Lilia Bella from the acqua Allegoria line. I like them all a lot, but when in this sort of mood, I normally reach for the lilacs instead 😊

    Like

    • I think that these two scents are connected in my brain as well. I like both, and both are unobtainable as a “real thing” (though I enjoyed your experiment, but I suspect it’s not commercially viable). Last week I bought a bunch of lilacs (they finally started growing it around after creating a varietal that could grow in our warm climate). It smells so wonderful!

      Like

  10. I truly love lily-of-the-valley, both in perfume and in real life. Almost every year since I began my own blog in 2015, I’ve done a “May Marathon” when I post every day (or as close to that as I can), and a few of those have been a “May Muguet Marathon” (https://scentsandsensibilities.co/2019/05/01/happy-may-day-may-muguet-marathon-2018-final-round-up/). In fact, Undina, I think I discovered your blog when I was looking up posts on lily-of-the-valley fragrances and found your 2012 post about searching for the perfect one! I had tried the new version of Diorissimo in the eau de parfum formulation, and had been so disappointed, I was in search of a new muguet (I found out later that the EDP was a much later creation and differs significantly from the original and the current EDT).

    Like

    • I didn’t even know there was an EdP version. My EdT is about a decade old, and I have a vintage mini, so I doubt I’ll ever need a newer version, especially since I don’t trust Dior any more.

      I remember your marathons and liked the idea, but when I tried doing even mini-posts for the Februaris project, I found it to be too exhausting – let alone trying to post real reviews for a month! I’m in awe :)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I do like LOTV, though I don’t own any perfumes majoring in it, I don’t think. I used to have the Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley, and sold it on, and quite miss it now. Echoing Ricky’s comment about the Van Cleef version – it is very nicely done.

    Like

  12. I do like lily of the valley scents, but only in spring. They just don’t work for me any other time. (I am very seasonal with many of my perfumes). You mentioned Dusita’s Cavatina, which I wrote about. Others referenced it as a lily of the valley perfume, but for me that was only one component. I enjoyed smelling the mixture of white flowers in it. I long ago used up my Diorissimo from the 80s, and when I sniffed a new one it didn’t smell quite the same to me. Any experience with that?

    Like

    • I will try the new Dusita’s perfume when I get a chance, so I’m not dismissing it just because it has LotV in it.

      My Diorissimo is about 10-11 years old, so it’s pre-recent-reformulations one but I’m sure it is also not as initially created. I don’t expect to like any current versions from Dior: the way they treat their perfumes, I expect the corporate greed to get over any other considerations, so even an artificially created formula would be cheapened and weakened to earn 2 cents more per bottle and make you use it up faster.

      Like

  13. I’m sure my father knew nothing about the French tradition but ever since I moved out of my parents’ house until he died, he brought me every year lily-of-the-valley for my birthday on May, 1st. It grows in the garden of their house like weed and I’m so happy because I love the flower, the shape and most of all the smell of lily-of-the-valley. I always had enough of it in my house and that may be the reason I have never looked for a perfume with this note. Diorissimo seems to be te golden standard and I remember to have liked Muguet Fleuri by Oriza L. Legrand but nothing seems to capture the fresh white and green smell fully.

    Like

    • I understand how you feel. Real flowers smell so beautiful! But I must say that when I compared Diorissimo that I have (a decade old) to the growing plant in bloom, I thought that Roudnitska did a great job recreating it.

      Like

What's on your mind? (I encourage posting relating links to your posts)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.