‘After only two years in business we are thrilled that demand for a larger size has led us to launch our 100mls. We are finding that consumers often want three sizes of their favourite scents – 100m for home, 50ml for the desk and a 10ml on-the-go travel size’.
Regarded as a lucky charm ever since its first introduction from Japan to Europe in the Middle Ages, lily of the valley has become synonymous with the month of May and ‘the return of happiness’. For the French, May 1st traditionally represents the start of gifting bouquets of “muguet” to loved ones to signify the regard in which they’re held and as a token of prosperity for the year ahead. A tradition supposedly begun when King Charles IX was presented with a bunch of the delicate blooms, and decided to gift the ladies of his court, too.
In Europe, ‘bals de muguet’ were historically held – lily of the valley themed dances that offered the tantalising prospect for young singletons to meet without their parents’ permission.
With the young gals dressed in white gowns and the dapper chaps wearing lily of the valley as a buttonhole, we’re sure there was many a ‘return to happiness’ on such evenings… Now the custom is tied in with France’s Labour Day public holiday, and the tradition of giving lily of the valley to loved ones during May still holds strong.
No wonder that three years ago, we chose this delightful, flower-filled date in the calendar to launch The Perfume Society – running hither and thither all over London handing sprigs of lily of the valley to fragrant friends.
And my, how our friends have grown in this short time! With a readership that stretches around the globe and our Instagram followers now topping 21K, we have been delighted with some of the truly beautiful pictures some of our followers have been sharing there. Just feast your eyes on the stunning pictures we’ve sprinkled throughout this post…
With your help we’ve come so far already, and we have so many more exciting things to share with you in the weeks and months ahead. We wish we could come and give every single one of you a sprig of lily of the valley to show our heartfelt appreciation for all your support, but for now, accept this symbol of love and luck, from us to all of you…
Written by Suzy Nightingale
Now, for the fragrant noses out there that don’t know, in France, May Day is known as Fête du Muguet. It is tradition on this day, to give Lily of the Valley to your loved ones and people who inspire you, to wish them happiness and good luck.
It all began in 1561 on May 1st when King Charles IX received a Lily of the Valley as a lucky charm. He decided then to offer a flower each year to the ladies of the court.
And so at the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a definitive symbol of springtime, to your loved ones. It was commonplace for peasants to go out to the fields to pick many flowers and then hand-tie them to sell on May Day. In fact, now, because of this, the government still permits people to sell them tax-free.
Now, if you love the sweet springtime scent of Lily of the Valley, but just don’t want it to fade like a bunch of the innocent flowers will, here’s a list of our favourite Muguet fragrances for you to keep a little bit of that May Day feeling all year round.
Sweet, fresh and graceful, Penhaligon’s offering is akin to walking into a blooming field of muguet. Accents of jasmine and bergamot keep it fresh, whilst sandalwood in the base ensures a creamy trail on the skin.
Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley £67 for 50ml eau de toilette
Dewy white flowers steal the show in this meadow-like scent from Molton Brown. Silky ylang-ylang, sandalwood and a soft, sensual white musk linger for a tender, enduring finish.
Molton Brown Dewy Lily of the Valley & Star Anise £39 for 50ml eau de toilette
At Molton Brown
Annick Goutal Le Muguet £74 for 100ml eau de toilette
This gentle scent from Fragonard accentuates the lily of the valley at the heart by surrounding it with other similarly delicate flowers; jasmine, neroli and freesia. Secret spring garden walks bottled.
Fragonard Muguet £18 for 50ml eau de toilette
At Marks and Spencer
Guerlain’s newest incarnation of the dainty flower is greener, pinker and even more cheerful than previous offerings. Dewy roses and subtly sensual jasmine make Thierry Wasser’s creation oh-so-wearable.
Guerlain Muguet Limited Edition of 1,872 £370 for 100ml eau de parfum
In store at Selfridges
Robbie Honey Muguet Des Bois Scented Candle £42 for 190g – 60 hours burn time
At Fortnum & Mason
Happy May Day to one and all!
By Carson Parkin-Fairley