May Day Muguet

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American Indie Perfumers, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, Dusita, French Lily, French Perfume, Holidays, Life in France, Melodie L'Amour, Uncategorized

This is a post that I had planned for earlier in the week but my house moving completely took over my life. There was a lot of physical labour involved from dawn to the early hours and a fair bit of angst over what to keep or throw out. It’s incredible how many useless gadgets you acquire in a few years. Sorting through the perfume was a bit of an eye opener too and I really need to have a sale. I want to keep my favourites and the few classics I have but some of the others may need to be moved on.

So this week we had the May Day / Labour Day celebration in France. I’ve posted about the day a couple of years ago and there’s a strong link to lily of the valley or muguet as it’s called in France. King Charles IX is the link here and legend reports that he received a muguet in 1561 as a lucky charm and subsequently offered the flowers to the ladies at court. Today the tradition continues but has spread far and wide and now the flowers can be sold tax free on May 1 and sellers are out early plying their wares.

Do you have a favourite muguet perfume? I struggle with the scent in perfumery I admit, we just don’t see eye to eye although

I try and I try and I try and I try, I can’t get no, I can’t get no ….

If the muguet comprises a smaller part of the composition, this tends to work much better to my nose. Support actor vs the main star so to speak. It’s widely accepted that Edmond Roudnitska‘s Diorissimo is the gold star perfume in this genre (vintage of course) and speaking of the famed perfumerlast year I was lucky enough to see the emerging blooms of muguet in what once was his home, now passed onto his son, Michel. It’s a perfume mecca nestled high in the hills above Cabris, situated near Grasse and you can read about my visit here.

French Lily DSH Megan In Sainte Maxime

There are a huge range of muguet perfumes out there. From the cheapie Muguet En Fleurs from Yves Rocher, which is a bit of a surprise as it’s better than expected. It is housed in their eau de toilette range and there are a few nice discoveries in there worth checking out including Un Matin Au Jardin Lilas Mauve. Dusita has the award winning floral Mélodie de L’Amour that I know has a lot of fans and the muguet is nestled in the blooms of other flowers but is quite strong. Recently I tried indie perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s French Lily and was rather taken with this homage to the May Day flower and is  probably my favourite take to date. No doubt because it’s not always centre stage and it has other materials that come to the fore from an earthy facet to a salty brine. By the way if you haven’t tried any perfumes from Dawn yet, you really must, she creates beautiful work. I also met her a couple of weekends ago in London which was rather fantastic. She is larger than life and very friendly and welcoming.

What are your favourite muguets? Let me know if you’ve tried something stellar.

Notes : Images  Megan In Sainte Maxime and the featured photo is the lily of the valley from the Roudnitska gardens taken last year. 

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7 thoughts on “May Day Muguet”

  1. Ditto on muget. I’m not much for it either. I like and have a bottle of Serge Lutens La Vierge De Fer which does not really feature a strong lily. I don’t have the much revered Un Lys. Other Lily-based fragrances, like Iris, are just not my jam, though I prefer Lily over Iris in perfumes (sometimesI don’t feel like a “true ” perfumista because of the Iris…).

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    • That’s two of us then – I always feel I’m one of the few that find it difficult! Now Iris is an interesting one. It took me a long time to like this but now I’m a total convert. The first Iris I smelt was Iris Silver Mist and I thought it was horrible, nearly repulsive. But … now I love it. I tried the remake of Jacques Fath’s Iris Gris recently and it was incredible – now that is an Iris to love. I just figure we can’t all like everything … 🌸🌸🌸

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  2. Lovely post, and I’m envious of your visit to THE lily of the bed in the Roudnitskas’ garden! Muguet is one of my favorite notes in fragrance, maybe because I grew up with them in my own childhood garden in Connecticut (USA). I wore Diorissimo a lot in my 20s, too, so it brings back youthful memories! In fact, I like muguet so much that I’m currently doing a “May Muguet Marathon” on my own blog and am trying to post about some aspect of it every day — wish me luck! My current favorite LOTV scents are: Hermes’ Muguet Porcelaine, VC&A’s Muguet Blanc, Laboratorio Olfattivo’s Decou-vert, and Oriza L. Legrand’s Muguet Fleuri.

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    • Hello there! I know I was truly in awe when I visited the Roudnistskas and loved that they grow muguet and it’s definitely symbolic as it was Edmond’s favourite flower. I’ve tried the L’Oriza and the Hermes and I know they’re great perfumes but they’re too muguet centric for me. I will pop over and check out your posts. 💚

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  3. I like lily of the valley (flowers) and think that it’s a beautiful note but somehow I find myself passing on a couple of soliflores that I have in my collection, including Diorissimo. Speaking of which, my bottle isn’t really vintage (~ 8-9 y.o) but I remember that in 80s I thought that it smelled just as LotV, so I’m not sure how much it would matter to me now in terms of my desire to wear it.

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    • Hi Undina. It sounds as though your tastes may have changed over the years but I would be really interested in trying a vintage Diorissimo. Sometimes with the classics I want to understand them more but they often don’t move me, however the vintage versions are a different story. I tried a vintage Shalimar recently and that was so incredible I couldn’t believe how good it was. ✨✨✨

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