Saturday, April 30, 2016

Happy May Day! Mini Reviews of Five Muguet Perfumes


May Day originated in Northern Europe as a celebration to welcome summer and the growing season and was associated with Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers. As Europe became predominantly Christian the holiday lost its pagan associations and became a more secular celebration. The maypole is one tradition commonly linked to the holiday, but a charming custom for those of us that love perfume is the offering of muguet, or lily of the valley, on May 1. The custom dates back to 1561 when King Charles IX of France was given a sprig of lily of the valley for good luck. The King continued this tradition in the following years by offering the flower to the ladies of his court on May Day. The tradition was reinterpreted in the early 20th century, and the giving of posies of lily of the valley or other spring flowers, often as a secret gift, became a way to show appreciation or admiration.

If I could script my life on my terms I would now be reviewing my bottle of the new Guerlain Muguet May 1st introduction for 2016. Look at this beautiful bottle. I've lusted after each and every one for the past few years but this one is quite different. A jewelry store created a silver filigree design of lily of the valley to mark the ten year anniversary of the Guerlain May 1st limited edition bottles. There are only 2148 exclusive bottles (I'd love to know the significance of that number?).  But unfortunately I do not have any of this juice so I will review what my local Singapore department stores had available for my perusal. 

Annick Goutal Le Muguet 

This starts with a very green lily of the valley note. It is pretty representation of the flower but it doesn't last long on my skin. It changes and becomes a little sour on me and sometimes has a plastic smell. It fades rather quickly. This is a fail on my skin.

Christian Dior Diorissimo

I remember spraying this on in the 1980's when I was first becoming interested in perfume, and the world literally stood still for a was that gorgeous. I know a lot of bloggers have written excellently researched pieces about what changed and why it did. And it's not that Diorissimo is bad. It's a good representation of a lovely lily of the valley, and after a harsh opening which quickly disapates, I like it. It's just not the masterpiece I remember and I find that hard to forgive.

Crabtree & Evelyn Lily 

Umm, where's the lily?

Penhaligon's Lily of the Valley

This was nice, if unremarkable. It smells like lily of the valley and it was pretty tenacious on my skin. I found it prettier than most I tried, but I'm beginning to think that muguet is just not for me.

Muguet En Fleurs Yves Rocher

This is a very light spring sprinkling of lily of the valley. It's transparency is part of it's delicate charm. It is very light and disappears very quickly but it's cheap as chips and Yves Rocher is constantly having sales. If I can't have my $600-plus bottle of Guerlain Muguet Limited Edition 2016, I'm thinking this one might suit me just find. It doesn't last long but I can in good conscience shower my body with a spray every hour or so. It's a simple, uncomplicated green lily of the valley scent.

I think you can't fight your body chemistry and I believe lily of the valley may not be my note so you may have happier results with these perfumes. As for me, I think I would rather be gifted on May Day with a bundle of real live lily of the valley!

Top photo from Google. Bottle of Guerlain Muguet from


Undina said...

I like lily-of-the-valley as a flower, as a scent but I rarely wear LotV-centric perfumes, even though I have two in my collection - Diorissimo (not the latest one but not a vintage either) and Penhaligon's.
I adore those Guerlain bottles and I would be curious to try this year's perfume (since it's a new one, not just re-packaged) but no matter how nice is the LotV recreation, there is no way I'll pay that amount of money for any soliflor, especially the one that doesn't contain actual plant's materials. If I had more free money, I would have paid just for the bottle though.

Cynthia said...

I agree that lily of the valley perfumes are not ones I reach for often, even though the scent is so pretty. My favorite of these special bottles was a couple of years ago. It was the bee bottle but in white, with a green bow. I wanted it so bad. I love the bee bottles!