Seeing Muguet on the streets of France marks the end of Winter and its dreadful chill. Goodbye heavy overcoats, frozen toes, and long cold nights! Spring kicks in with sunshine and light, marking the return of picnics in the park and music festivals. It comes as no surprise then that people often refer to Muguet as "the return of happiness".
Commonly known as Lily of the Valley, Muguet is traditionally given to loved ones on the 1st of May to signify good luck and happiness. Funnily enough, Lily of the Valley isn't a lily; it actually belongs to the most unlikeliest of families, the Asparagaceae! Like Cinderella, Lily of the Valley is the elegant princess next to its ugly step sister, the asparagus.
Hear it from the man himself, Dylan. Muguet Muse and its everlasting freshness is one of his favourites!
Unlike other scents that scream flamboyance, Lily of the Valley reveals a unique freshness and innocence that encapsulates Spring. With a bright and clean note, it exudes a joyfulness that's perfect for spritzing on before a casual day out!
Perfumers need to handle Lilacea with care. If poorly measured, its fragrance can become heady. Subsequently, Lily of the Valley is reserved for the composition of the heart notes of a perfume.
The Lilacea plant (Lily of the Valley) dons white bell-shaped flowers and originate from Japan, but wide spread demand now finds it in temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Unfortunately, Muguet flowers for a short 3-4 weeks between April and July - making them all the more celebrated during the month of May!
Naturally, Muguet contains a high-quality musk that many covet. But the biggest plot twist of all - perfumers cannot actually extract the oils from Lilacea plant. In true Frankenstein manner, they have to recreate its smell synthetically with molecules like lilial or lyral. But to complicate matters even further, these molecules are banned by the IFRA so it is becoming even more challenging for perfumers to create the scent of Muguet.
“The best attempt at a Lily of the Valley fragrance is quite old,” says Malle, speaking of Dior's iconic fragrance, Diorissimo, designed in 1956 by Edmond Roudnitska.
The flower is delicate and beautiful, but can be poisonous when ingested causing abdominal pain, blurred vision, drowsiness, and reduced heart rate. Don't be too quick to toss out your bouquet thought! Muguet has proven to be a valuable remedy because of the speed of its effect. It is used in the treatment of circulatory disorders and heart failure, especially in the elderly. But of course, we do not need to be certified doctors to tell you not to try this at home.
How do we mix Muguet at Maison 21G?
Unlike its Rose and Lavender counterparts, it is very rare that Muguet is offered in its pure form: it is more commonly found associated blended with other fragrances. Its fresh, green fragrance goes particularly well with Jasmine, Rose, or Iris. Lily of the valley is also frequently associated with fragrances such as green apples and liquorice, because they enhance its qualities, while reducing its power. This versatile aroma can be combined with many fragrances to create a variety of crisp scents.