Best Lily of the Valley Perfume – Muguet Guide

Many, many years ago, when I first was paying attention to notes in perfume and had some awareness of lily of the valley as a note, my immediate hatred cemented.  I used to call it Satan’s Flower.  My, how things change when seven years later I’m doing a best lily of the valley perfume guide.  I love the vagaries of a perfume journey.

Lily of the Valley has a sometimes difficult duality for me.  It is known as the May Day flower. The tradition in France is to give muguet on May 1.  If I hadn’t torn out all of my muguet plants years ago in a fit of pique, I’d be passing them out with abandon.  

lily of the valley perfume

So did my opinion change of lily of the valley over the years? Well, yeah! Something shifted, and that discordance in muguet became love.  Green and a little earthy with a darkness that people seem to overlook because of its bright little white flowers.  Poisonous, dark, hidden in shadow, producing these little perfect white blooms of green and something more sinister, cold.  For me, it is hope rising out of darkness, our better nature reaching up from selfishness and sorrow.  It took me many years to appreciate all that muguet has to offer.

Same rules as all the guides, they must be a lily of the valley perfume featuring that note. Many, many fragrances have lily of the valley in it to give a green boost, but few center on it.  We will have a drawing for a perfume sample set, details at the bottom of the post.

Queen of Lily of the Valley Perfume

Christian Dior Diorissimo is the undisputed queen.  Edmond Roudnitska made this very simple perfume almost entirely about lily of the valley in 1956 (Christian Dior’s favorite flower), delicately set in woods, and it became a classic.  I know it’s been reformulated, and my favorite version of this is the old houndstooth checked bottle.  I will admit that I haven’t smelled the most recent version or any version that was post-IFRA. I guess I should get around to it, huh?  Nah.  If you really want to have your lily of the valley served with aching beauty, just get the vintage pure parfum.  It is spring rushing out of a bottle, and it is one of the few perfumes that bring me into alignment of acting “like a lady” complete with white gloves and pillbox hat.

If Diorissimo is the Queen, then Guerlain Muguet makes up her Ladies in Waiting.  I refuse to give it top billing because of the price tag on it. Issued once a year on May Day, it will set you back more than $400.  It’s beautiful – working from memory here – and well worth smelling if you can find it, but there are other muguet scents out there as good and well under $100. I just can’t put this in my “worth pursuing” category.  But if someone wants to give me a bottle for May Day, I won’t turn it down.

Unapologetically Beautiful Lily of the Valley Perfume

Van Cleef & Arpels Muguet Blanc is probably my personal favorite lily of the valley perfume and probably the first lily of the valley perfume that turned me around. What I had to say about it in 2009 is probably as true about most lily of the valley perfumes, but Muguet Blanc specifically –

My father’s funeral was right before Christmas. Overnight it had misted and frozen all those droplets of water to the trees, the house, the grass.  I walked outside that morning, bundled up against that cold.  It was so cold, my tears would have frozen, if I’d had any left  The sun hit the blanket of tiny icicles covering the world, and the light exploded, shattering my pain in a blinding moment of beauty, leaving it forever etched in my head as the second in my life when sorrow and hope existed perfectly side by side without judgment or regret.

Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire Muguet Blanc made me think of that second. It is breathtaking, its opening the perfect note soaring into the air on a cold winter day, something that feels like it shouldn’t exist, contrasts of cold and sweet and wood — conjuring up spring in your head where no spring exists.  As it dries down, it warms and softens into the skin and loses the chilliness. Notes of lily of the valley, peony, neroli and cedar are pretty simple, but rendered elegant.”

Out Here On My Owwwwwwnnn Lily of the Valley

There were bazillions of soliflore lily of the valley perfumes, most that I don’t have a lot of comment on except I think they smell like a great lily of the valley perfume – Yardley Lily of the Valley, Demeter Lily of the Valley, Le Galion Lily of the Valley, Caswell-Massy Lily of the Valley, Taylor of London Lily of the Valley, Woods of Windsor Lily of the Valley.  

Coty Muguet de Bois is woodsy lily of the valley – pretty much straight up muguet.  You can still find it fairly cheap, I believe in the vintage versions.  It’s not as worked as Diorissimo, but is perfect for a less idealized version of muguet.  In “Perfume Legends” Roudnitska notes it was a better lily of the valley than Diorissimo.  Well, I’ll go with different, as well as beautiful.  Mostly different.

Caron Muguet de Bonheur is one of my favorites of the Old School lily of the valley perfumes in the pure parfum.  It’s a little more soapy and veers into more of a blended floral when you’ve had it on a while, with a great lilac rolling around in it.  Super-easy to wear, I appreciate its beautiful simplicity.  

Parfums de Rosine Le Muguet de Rosine is one of those never-remembered discontinued scents that seem odd for a company that does rose perfumes, except they have ventured outside of rose in the past – the lamented Mea Culpa (tuberose) and Coupe d’Or (spiced amber).  It runs a little more indolic than you expect for a muguet fragrance.  I don’t like to include discontinued scents, but if you ever wanted your lily of the valley with some indolic jasmine, this is one to hunt down.

Not Always Loved, but Why?@!?!?

Annick Goutal Le Muguet is one scent in Goutal’s soliflore series. It typically gets some pretty harsh reviews, and I’m not sure why. It has that Goutal’ish base, and the sharp open quickly moves into a really gorgeous lily of the valley.  

Skidding left Lily of the Valley perfume  

You always  need a few lily of the valley perfumes that take a bit of a left on their way through the muguet valley, and Parfums de Nicolai Odalisque does that with its complicated mossy muguet blend.  One usually thinks of lily of the valley as being quite bright and green, but studying the flower, which grows in the shade, upside down, I think Odalisque captures the essence of this flower best.  Weird, dark, hidden, mercurial. It’s not straightforward muguet.  Beautifully blended with tuberose and galbanum, you have to poke your nose between the green leaves to get rewarded with the lily of the valley.  A must-try for any muguet lover.  

Spriggy springy bounces out of Parfums DelRae Debut with green leaves and linden. Have we ever talked about how much I love the smell of linden?  We need to cover that one of these days.  Anchored with earthiness, Debut also captures the duality of lily of the valley.  Michel Roudnitska created this, with an elegant nod to Diorissimo.    

Another beautiful nod to Diorissimo is Ellie D parfum. I’m working on memory right now of this, but it is green and lush and it almost breaks my heart in how delicate and surreal its beauty is.

Ann Gerard Perle de Mousse is an amaaaaaaazing green floral chypre centered around lily of the valley, sparkling with aldehydes and weirded up with the hawthorn.  Lord, I love anything with hawthorn in it.  The galbanum and aldehydes lift it from the shadows, and the hawthorn never lets you forget at what price.  Perle de Mousse is more of a floral blend, but it plays with the lily of the valley so beautifully, it belongs in this category.  

Throw some spearmint in with that lily of the valley, and you’ll have Soivohle Daybreak Violin. An unusual pairing that adds the perfect light touch of mint to the muguet, green and earthy notes.

Etat Libre Don’t Get Me Wrong Baby, I Don’t Swallow (cringes at the weird google hits this will drag in – hi, hopeful ones!  We really do love you too, but we have no tips for how to get her/him to swallow) gets listed not because of the weirdness of its composition but because of the shocking name attached to a muguet scent.  It’s neither shocking nor even really good.  Sweet, wispy, whiny. Well, maybe the name does fit.

Mass Market/Mainstream Standouts

There are a lot of perfumes that use lily of the valley in them in the mainstream market. Gucci Envy is the best of them.  Maurice Roucel blended lily of the valley and hyacinth into a huffing and chuffing spring perfume.  For me, it suffers a little with the “fresh” scent that so many designer lines insist on. But if you don’t mind that aspect too much, you’d go a long way to find a more economical or better lily of the valley perfume.  Jessica McClintock gets a nod here because so many people adore it as their go-to lily of the valley perfume. I’ve never smelled it, but based on the love it gets, hunting it down as a cheap muguety thrill seems like a great option.  

And that is our lily of the valley perfume roundup!  If you would like to be entered to win a sample set of most of these perfumes, just drop a comment below. You can do some other activities to get additional entries, but you must comment on the post to be officially entered.  The drawing officially closes on April 15, 2013. Winners will be announced sometime after that.  

If you just want to comment with your thoughts about lily of the valley, muguet or what the hell is up with the 6-12 inches of snow predicted to fall on Denver in the next 24 hours !%*()&#*($&#*&(%#q!! and not be entered in the drawing, just put DNEM in your comment so I know you don’t need no mo’ muguet perfume samples.  So hate the little Satan’s Spawn or no?  Love some and hate some? Avoid the note entirely?

Samples reviewed and donated for the drawing provided by Surrender to Chance.

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This is interesting too!

95 Comments

  1. Hey Patty! Great read. I haven’t tried any of these but would love too. I’m so going to go broke reading y’alls blog. Geez! I need perfume rehab! Hi, my name is Cat and I’m addicted to perfume! (Not that, that’s a problem.) Lol.

  2. Strangely, but I don’t get lily-of-the-valley in Odalisque as hard a I try… Liked Envy years before, now I have Brilliance by Jessica McClintock as my to-go muguet. Would love to try something from your list. Thank you for the review – lots of scents to try. Debut by DelRae sounds most interesting, have to lay my hands on it somehow – I love linden, I love muguet, the combination is bound to be divine.

  3. Diorissimo, vintage or new is my spring go-to. Thank you for the round up of other LOTV scents, and thank youbfor the draw!

  4. Ah, see. I do learn so much from your blogs.
    I *Love* Jessica McClintock … and never knew the note I was entralled with was lily of the valley.
    And oh, my stars and flowers! Ann Gerard Perle de Mousse is going on my wish list right now … the lily of the valley note that I’ve just realized is what I’ve most enjoyed weirded up? That’s a must try.

    And *Laugh* on the “maybe the name does fit” line.

  5. Did you see this year’s Guerlain May Day bottle? Oh my gosh! It is gorgeous. If the scent comes even close to matching the beautiful embossed bottle, it would be highly desired by me. Oh, but the cost…

  6. I’m not familiar with any of these fragrances, but I’d love to try them! Thanks for the chance. I agree with Cat on needing perfume rehab!

  7. Great post, Patty! I have tried and loved most of these, but am slightly partial to Odalisque, as it surrounds its muguet with so much other good stuff to create a most elegant scent. Of course, as always, DNEM. Thanks!

  8. Diorissimo for me! Vintage, please. Sometimes in the dead of winter, I pull out that bottle and spray a little spring onto the sheets. Costly habit, but it gets me through the Denver winter!

  9. I wore Coty Muguet in high school, along with Emeraude. They were both drug store accessible for a small town girl who saved her lunch money for perfume. On a cold winter morning, all the students met inside the cafeteria until the first bell. My mother came up looking for me to give me something I forgot and she asked one of my friends where I could be found. My friend replied ” Just open the door and you will smell her!” My mother was appalled. Of course, I was busted because I only sprayed my fragrance on after I got to school as my mother would never have approved. I still love Coty Muguet. So sorry about the snow!

  10. I lament to say that besides diorissimo and muguet blanc I havent smell any more lilies. I am not sure why since I love the greenish aspect of it. I just love white flowers.

  11. I love Diorissimo! I have a vintage bottle that I think turned, I’ll have to sniff again. To contrast it, I made my BFF bring me back a new bottle from Paris. Seemed more special that way instead of going to the local SFA, KWIM? I’d love to try the others too! Thanks for the draw, Patty!

  12. Hi Patty, thanks so much for repeating a bit from your 2009 review. That was writing that brought tears to my eyes, and I don’t cry easily. I first smelled lilies of the valley at the end of my first far northern winter (after growing up in south Louisiana,) and for me they will always be the scent of survival and renewed hope. I just got a tiny precious vial of Diorissimo parfum from STC, but I think I need to look into one of the bargain options for lavish spraying on more casual occasions. This flower is too lovely to be without.

  13. I have not yet met Satan’s little flower, but would love to be introduced.

    I’m afraid we’ve got snow predicted here at the end of the week too, not 6-12 inches, thank goodness, but still. We’re closing in on mid-april. If I’m suffering through taxes, I ought to be done suffering through snow.

    Good luck with your snow and thank you for the enlightening post.

  14. Love, love, love Debut by DelRae. Have always been curious about Diorissimo. Would really enjoy trying out the other perfumes. Lived in Denver when I was a kid (family has a lot of history in Colorado – lumber and banking in Cripple Creek in the late 1800s/early 1900s) but much, much prefer the rain in Seattle to a ton of snow.

  15. I would love to try any of these – I love these best of notes posts, I learn so much from them. Thank you!!

  16. When we lived on a farm out in the Swedish countryside, the forest would explode patchily with lilies of the valley in May. We used to pick large bunches and bring them indoors. One bouquet could perfume the whole house. But my grandmother taught me that they were poisonous and that you should never sleep with them in your bedroom. So I’ve always been wary of this particular scent and have never explored it in perfume. It would be interesting to try, because I seem to have got stuck on roses and need to expand my olfactory horizon.

  17. Not tried any of these yet. Would like to get to Diorissimo because it’s mentioned so often

  18. Hate to say it, but lily of the valley is the one flower I cannot do (DNEM). This note that most people interpret as springlike and lovely, my brain registers as shrill and headachey. If someone in my office wore Diorissimo, I think I’d be living in a state of perpetual migraines. Linden, on the other hand…mmmmmmmm. I can’t wait to read your guide to linden perfumes.

  19. But… but… WHAT ABOUT Carillon pour un ange!? Isn’t it regarded as LOTV-centric? That’s far and away my favourite LOTV, though I adore Van Cleef’s Muguet Blanc, too, just like you. I haven’t smelled many of the others, so please please enter me into your draw, and thanks so much for having them!

    • Great timing, your entry hadn’t come up, when I wrote about CpuA too 🙂

  20. Great post, as I was thinking that now would be a good time re-familiarize myself with the muguets out there. Starting carefully with something not too shrill, since so far not a single lotv bottle has found a place in my cabinet. But the flower is so pretty, I really do want to find MY lotv. (Yes, please enter me)
    I love linden too, and hope to see your guide soon 🙂 Oh yes, and I noticed you didn’t mention Carillion pour un Ange, that one tends to get mentioned a lot.

  21. Hi!,
    I do learn so much from your blogs. I love linden too, and hope to see your guide soon. I also adore Van Cleef’s Muguet Blanc, too, just like you. Thank you for your eye-opening and informative posts.

  22. Thank you for the great read, Patty. Your excerpt from the 2009 article made me cry…
    Vintage Diorissimo is my favorite, but I like the modern edt too as a standalone different perfume: to my nose it’s sharper and has some new bitterness (or maybe just more bitterness) to it that I like.

  23. Great read, Patty
    I tried a few, do not know most and hadn’t yet made up my mind about this note

  24. Thirding/n-thing the heartbreakingly lovely Carrillon pour un ange here. It’s way up there with vintage Diorissimo, in my opinion. And the name is MUCH prettier….

    Apart from these two I like my LOV in the woods, in bouquets, in fact anywhere but on my skin….

  25. I loved Muguet des Bois as a precocious middle schooler, dying laughing at Anne D’s story! That was totally me.
    Haven’t tried any of these, but am intrigued (along with everyone else 🙂 at the linden note in the Parfums DelRae Debut. Yay, more linden ‘fumes to covet!

  26. I thought I used to detest this note – but I always liked Envy, so maybe not! Unfortunately Envy is discontinued… I think LOV may be a bit of an acquired taste for many people – sometimes I find myself suddenly appreciating it, and then all of a sudden hating it again but I think it will eventually be love:) Please enter me in the draw!

  27. I love Satan’s little flower and have some growing in the yard. I think. That area is still snow covered at the moment but I’m confident they are still there. I remember the Coty scent from years ago. I’d love to try Diorissimo and DelRae Debut. Thanks for the draw.

  28. I’ve loved LOTV–both flowers and perfumes–since I was a kid and stole hits from my sister’s bottle of Muguet des Bois. I’ll be trying out my sample of Debut this morning — glad to know it has linden, too. Thanks for the draw.

  29. I will be in Paris on May Day, and have ordered a sample of Carrillon pour un ange for the occasion. 🙂 Would love to try vintage Diorissimo as well. Thanks for the draw.

    • Now THAT is enough to break my heart! Paris on May Day! Be sure to buy bunches and bunches of the little white lovelies.

  30. Great showcase of LotV scents, Patty! I’m so glad you included Envy and Odalisque, as well as “Queen” Diorissimo. Those are the three that I’ve worn and loved in the past. The VC&A one sounds gorgeous, too. I’d love to be entered in the drawing. Thanks!

  31. Lily of the Valley is not one of the flowers I have explored, but would like to be in the draw. Thanks again

  32. So many mentions of Diorissimo and spring that its become a must try for me. Odalisque and Carrilon too. Now should I start with vintage Diorissimo or save that for the very last? Hmmm. Please include me in the draw. Many thanks.

  33. My very first perfume was Muguet de Bois by Coty. Well I didn’t actually buy it, three girls in 7th grade shared it. We kept it at school in someone’s locker and we would slather it on in the girls bathroom. I remember, I felt so grown up and beautiful when I wore this. Recently I received a sample of Vintage Diorissimo and I just did not like it. It was overwhelming. I think it would be fun to try other Muguet perfumes, though, so I will join in the draw!

  34. Patty, I love,love,loved your review describing the icy morning after the loss of your father. Wow, so amazingly beautiful. I just don’t know what to say other than thank you for sharing that!

    I have a tiny vintage sample of Diorissimo, and it was beautiful but not a note I have really explored. My mother kept a large patch of Lily of the Valley under our shade trees in the backyard. This was bordered with asphalt, in an area we had never been able to grow anything due to all the shade. Over time, those lilies spread, they came up through the asphalt, they migrated on runners underground, they thrived. And whenever I smell Lily of the Valley I think of walking through that patch, hot from the pool, into the shade, spears of light coming down through the leaves and lilies everywhere.

    Your reviews make me want to revisit!

  35. I love all white florals, but lily of the valley has a special place in my heart, To me it smells like early spring, when the sun is finally giving away some warmth and the air has that fresh smell to it.

  36. I just love Satan’s little flower! Right now I’m wearing Lalique’s Fleur de Cristal, a soft, sweet muguet that hasn’t been noticed much because Lalique perfumes have such terrible distribution. Great bottle, too! I’d be happy to try any other muguet out there, I pretty much like any muguet perfume! Ann Gerard’s is definitely the most unusual of the bunch- Perles de Mousse is great.

  37. My new favorite Lily of the Valley centered perfume is Decou-Vert. Fairly reasonably priced given niche prices these days and has a lovely dry down.

  38. Perhaps I am not a lilly of the valley person either, and I don’t have experiences with any of the perfumes that you mentioned, except for Jessica McClintock.

    A boyfriend once gave JM to me, and yes it is a pretty perfume, but on me, it smells like PEE, In fact, he hid it from me, so I would not wear it!!!!!

    It has however, been my sisters signature scent forEVER, (though she is branching out these days, albeit not far), and it smells very very pretty on her.

    Funny isnt it!!! 🙂

  39. I bought a sample of Diorissimo on your recommendation 2 years ago and fell in love. I am trying new lily of the valley scents, and have a sample of Fragonard Muguet EDT to try on May 1st. I want a FB of a lily of valley for my birthday on May 4th. I’m still leaning towards Diorissimo…so lovely. Thanks for the article and draw.

  40. Found a vintage set of Muguet de Bois for my mom once, sniffed it briefly and decided it wasn’t me since usually things that smelled nice on my mom didn’t work on me. Haven’t really explored LOTV since.

  41. The Guerlain was nice but NOT 100 times better than Yardleys…

  42. 6 – 12 inches of snow!!! Oy! Well, it’s been overcast and rainy here in eastern KS. April showers for those LOTV flowers.

    Please enter me in the draw. I don’t have anything to add about muguet because I don’t really know it. What I do know is that sometime today I will go to our local cosmetic counter and see if they have Diorissimo for me to smell. My first perfume purchase was Coty Muguet de Bois and I was very proud of it. I think I might’ve been in 4th grade. A much simpler time.

  43. Lily of the Valley was my Mom’s favorite flower and we always had a patch growing in the yard. The scent always makes me think of her. I have never worn any of the scents myself & would love to be put in the drawing.

  44. Satan’s little flower. Hilarious. If it was satan’s little flower, I’d probably like it more. How about tinkerbell’s little potion for 3 year old’s to wear along with their princess gown & tiara, that’s the LOTV experience for me. Maybe the love will hit me in another few years?

  45. In general, Spring perfumes scare me a little bit as I tend to be very Oriental-centric, but Carrillon pour un ange is gorgeous and I think I like LOTV so much better now that I can call it Satan’s Little Flower 🙂

  46. DNEM, as I am caught up on most of these (exceptions the Perle de Mousse, which I’ll probably find a sample of on my own, and the vintage soliflores). Love Diorissimo, and the first Kenzo Parfum d’Ete (the newer one in the smooth glass is much more green, less LOTV), and Daybreak Violin is quite lovely as well. But my favorite is the Tauer Carillon pour un Ange, and like everyone else who mentioned it, I’m shrieking, “CARILLON!!! Where are the Angel Bells??” What I love best about it, aside from its amazing waft, is that genius touch of dirt.

  47. To be honest, I really don’t have an opinion about Lily of the Valley one way or the other. But this post has been very informative, and has given me ideas of scents to try! Thanks so much for the giveaway! 🙂

  48. Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Please do enter me, I love lily-of-the-valley – one of my favorite flowers and favorite scents. I’m always looking for the “best” interpretation, and will use your post to aid my research. I have Diorissimo (purchased about 2 years ago, so the modern interpretation) and like it very much. Loved Coty’s Muguet des Bois as a kid, but it now goes sour on my skin; I’m sure the formula has become way cheapened over the years.

  49. I agree with Cacomixtle! Spring perfumes scare me, too, as I’m all about the smoky woods and incense and orientals…if I’m going to have spring, I need some dirt and earth mixed in…so I am interested in trying Satan’s Little Flower (best. line. ever.) 🙂

    I have been peeking at Diorissimo but feel frightening…I love vintage Diorella, which is a total departure from my norm, so I’d like to try vintage Diorissimo as well!

    Thank you for the draw, and THANK YOU for the ‘best of’ lists…my favorites!!!!

  50. I used to love JMcC myself, but there was something about it that went “off” and I stopped wearing it. A recent re-testing revealed why – the drydown is blackcurrant, which goes straight to pee on my skin. Too bad, the first part of it is really pretty.

  51. The only one of these I own is the Jessica McClintock, which I do greatly enjoy in the spring. I’m sure I smelled Diorissimo back in the 80’s, but wore Dioressence. I, too, love your “best of” lists. Thanks for the draw.

  52. But don’t you think a full, unopened bottle of vintage Diorissimo and a Guerlain Muguet are on par in terms of exclusivity and price?, both being harder than average to find and costing more than average to buy. So I don’t think it’s right to DQ the Guerlain for the cost. 🙁

    Diorissimo = Queen, but Guerlain is equally lovely.

  53. This is a note that has not called out to me. Yet. Maybe the giveaway will change my mind.

  54. I have tried so few of these—not even Diorissimo! As a couple of others have mentioned, I tend to go for the smoky, dark, wintery perfumes too, but I’d love to explore this note.

  55. Oh, I would love these samples – I’ve never tried any of the perfumes you mentionned. Strange, really, because lily of the valley’s smell brings very fond memories to mind. During the spring school break, I would go to my grandparents’ home in south Burgundy, and we would scour the woods to bring little bouquets of muguet. I even tried to sell some on May Day with a friend as a teenager to help finance the small cabin we were building. I’m going there next week, but with the weather we’ve been having I don’t expect anything will be out yet, more the pity.

  56. DNEM.

    So now I can get down to brass tacks. Woman, you are such a wonderful writer! I always forget that and am always brought up short when I read one of these evocative posts…which is stupid (my being brought up short) because I know how emotionally you view the world.

    And…are you freakin’ KIDDING me? on the snow? Oh, hon. I am sooo sorry – unless your water tables desperately need it, in which case: suck it up. It’s still April, so it’s okay, as long as it hits and melts in 24 hrs. Here’s hoping.

    I am an unabashed fan of Coty Muguet. I agree with M. Roudnistka – it is a better LotV than Diorissimo (which I adore, of course), a cooler, more linear version of the flower, imo., which is what LotV should be (again, imo).

    xoxoA

  57. I like LOTV, although, the tiny scrab of vintage Diorissimo parfum I had wore ME. It had a leathery note I did not expect. It was lovely, just much tougher than I’d expect those little bell flowers to be, having never smelled the actual flower. I love Van Cleef & Arpel’s Muget Blanc, and nearly bought a FB, but I’m living off a generous decant.

    Would CdG’s Lily from the Leaves series fit in this? It seems to me that it would. Very green, nearly soliflore, pretty. I’ll confess my nose gets confused on what is supposed to be LOTV and what is lily. (How’s that for openly admitting ignorance?) CdG’s is certainly more ethereal and not the “hammy” lily of FM’s Lys Mediterranee or DK Gold (more casablanca lily-like to my nose). I love CdG’s Lily, and have come very close to hitting purchase on that one, too. Stay warm up there, in the frozen tundra of the north! That’s crazy, to have snow like that in APRIL. Be well.

  58. Coty Muguet de Bois was the first gift I ever bought for my mom. I think I was 5 years old. Still the most beautiful scent.

  59. I’m wearing Diorissimo EDP today (not vintage), it just felt right this morning. We’ve had some wonderful sunshine this week here in Scotland but it is still bitterly cold for April. My little LOTV patch underneath my apple tree is just starting to break through, it will be a miracle if I have any blossoms by the 1st of May.
    I’ve sampled a few LOTV perfumes in the past, but still haven’t found anything that comes close to the real thing yet (so fingers crossed for the draw!). Lovely post Patty, as always.

  60. Mmm, lily of the valley… for me, this is one of those floral notes that, if present, can make or break the fragrance like no other. A poor rose, for me, can be ignored, as can a blah iris, but a wonky LotV can go all shrill and sudsy. Of course, when it goes well, lily of the valley is the most luminous and fresh, dewy and opalescent thing ever. I love this note! Back in my teens I wore Coty Muguet des Bois, and moved on to Diorissimo in my twenties. Since then, I haven’t smelled a ravishing lily of the valley fragrance. I know they’re out there-this article is giving me all sorts of inspiration- I just got distracted by other flowers. I’d welcome the chance to get reacquainted with this most pristine and regal of notes!

  61. I love reading these note posts, so thank you for another great one. I’m one of those wo enjoys lily of the valley, so I’d love to be entered in the giveaway.

  62. LOTV is a note that I hadn’t really explored. I just got a sample of Carillon pour un Ange, and I’m wearing it today. It can be a touch Febreezy at times, but overall I like it. I like the dirt and woods in the base. The drawback is that there is something in it that was irritating my nose a bit and making me cough. Not sure what, and it’s settled down now. The only other LOTV I think I’ve tried at all is Crabtree & Evelyn’s lily, which was too soapy for my taste. It is a note I would be interested in exploring further (like, oh, pretty much all of them :))

  63. I love lily scents – can’t wear them everyday, but love them. To me, they are the very aspect of femininity, and spring. (Spring is going to come, right? After the hail and maybe tornadoes we’re supposed to get tonight, spring will come. Right? Right?) I wore Diorissimo to my wedding, and still love to try different lily scents. ‘Cause someday it will be spring. Right?

  64. Snow: not cool. Finally got warm here in New England these last two days, and I am loving it. Just ordered a sample of the Ann Gerard (amongst others) from STC but I haven’t smelled any of the others. I am dying to try Diorissimo.

  65. Thank you for the great article, very useful, I love lilly of the valley and now i need to find the scent you told us about to try 🙂

  66. I get a lot of LOTV from Bond No 9 I Love New York Earth Day. I’ve never smelled the discontinued Rosine Le Muguet, but since I like many of their other offerings, I’ll bet I would have liked that one.

  67. Lovely post thanks for another bunch of scents I’ve got to try now :)! Jessica McClintock was beautiful until it got to a ‘pee’ scent after 2 hours. I was so sad! It was pretty inexpensive and the beginning was such a pretty thing. Please do enter me in your draw. Thanks!

  68. AGoutal Muguet was one of my first samples as a newbie to perfumes many years ago, and I found it cloying. I need to try again, as my tastes have changed.

  69. I happen to really like LOTV and would love to be entered. I wore Philosophy Amazing Grace for years and still think its a really nice lotv scent. But the Guerlain May Day bottle… It’s divine!

  70. Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Jasminora smells more like lily-of-the-valley to me than jasmine, and is very, very pretty. I had a “deluxe” sample that I immediately gave to my mother, who adores lily of the valley. I think it was a limited edition, but it can still be found online.

  71. LOTV is my birth flower as a May baby and I’ve always loved it. I have so many wonderful memories attached to this tiny flower. When I was a baby, my dad planted a patch right underneath my bedroom window and that scent is one of my earliest scent memories. And my mother used to sing me a little song, “White Coral Bells”, about LOTV to soothe me to sleep as a child. But if Satan wants to share it….that’s ok with me. 😉

    I wore Coty’s Muguet Des Bois as a child and progressed to Caron’s Muguet de Bonheur as an adult. I also wore Jessica McClintock’s scent for a while when it came out. Loved the pepper in it, although it made my dog sneeze.

    I’d love to be entered in the drawing as there are far too many of these scents that I haven’t tried and would like to.

  72. The only Lily of the Valley from the above list I’ve tried is the VC&A rendition, and I adore it (I stalk FBs on Ebay…)
    I used Crabtree & Evelyn’s LoTV lotion in college and loved it. So simple and fresh (like me, at the time…)

  73. My favorite LOTV is Alkemia’s fragrant oil Falling Stars on Winter Solstice. The LOTV is supposed to evoke a crisp winter night–an interesting concept. It ends with smokiness like that of styrax. It can be purchased on Etsy. I wish Diorissimo would stay on my skin longer.

  74. LOTV in the garden is one of my favourite smells. I would love to find a relative in a bottle, thanks for the chance!

  75. I loved the ‘Muguet du Bonheur’ little bouquets sold everywhere ‘le 1er May’ when I lived in Paris. Pretty little flowers that smelled like heaven!
    I still must make my way through this note in perfumery, though. Will I love smelling like it, or will I find the little white things quite fiendish? You got me intrigued!

  76. LOTV is a favorite. My mom had a bottle of Muguet de Bois by the Perfumers Workshop. My little girls and I have the pleasure of plucking the real thing in the Spring. But with 3 inches of new snow on the ground, we won’t have flowers for a while. I can’t think of three ladies who could possibly enjoy it more.

  77. I’ve loved the scent of lily of the valley since I was a teenager. Muguet des Bois by Coty was probably the first LOTV scent that I tried. In college one of my classmates wore Dior’s Diorissimo and that is still my favorite. It is a little hard to find, but the Dior Beauty Boutique at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas will ship and has great customer service!

    • Saks 5th Ave. has the dept. store exclusive and carries it on line/in-store too…

  78. love lotv-my favorite is carrillon pour un ange.thanks for the draw !

  79. All I know about muguet is that it stands somewhere in the middle of rose and jasmine and a mix of the two is how the note is constructed in natural perfumery. I have never smelled the real flower

  80. I really really dislike (hate / abhor) Lily-of-the-Valley / Muguet or whatever else it is called. One perfume blogger thought I had misidentified the note and it is really is something else that I couldn’t stand. So, here’s hoping I get randomly picked so that I can either confirm that LOTV IS my no-no note OR fall in love with it.

  81. I would be really interested to try a range of lily of the valley fragrances as I have had such different reactions to the ones I have tried. In common with most people I find Diorissimo very beautiful but Carillon pour un Ange smells predominantly of earth and plastic to me and only very fleetingly of lily of the valley.

  82. Great guide, and just in time for my seasonal fragrance wardrobe change. I have a smidge of vintage Diorissimo (thanks Jan!!) and it’s absolutely swoon-worthy. I’m glad it got first-rank here. I’ll have to find some Muguet des Bois next. Thank you Patty!

  83. Devil flower! Devil flower! Nah, it just seems to work that way on me… but I’m always willing to try to find a lotv scent that works! 😉

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