Guerlain Muguet Millésime 2024 – excuse us while we swoon…

Every year in the month of May, Guerlain releases their much-anticipated Muguet – a limited edition, Bee-bottled fragrant homage to the the spring season, and artistically referencing legends surrounding lily of the valley…

 

Only available on guerlain.com and in Guerlain boutiques, this annual exquisite collectors piece represents Guerlain’s olfactive ode to their heritage – utilising a beloved floral symbol which we happen to adore at The Perfume Society, too, lily of the valley being the emblem we chose for its fragrant folklore meanings (and because we began ten years ago on May 1st, when bouquets of lily of the valley, or muguet in French, are traditionally bequeathed to loved ones.

Guerlain Says: ‘Like every year, the House of Guerlain celebrates the arrival of spring with its emblematic Muguet in a limited, numbered pieces edition. For this long-awaited and exclusive lucky rendezvous, Guerlain reaffirms its commitment to arts and crafts by collaborating with Anne Lopez.’

 

 

 

 

‘On the iconic Bee Bottle, the sculptor brings to life subtle bells fashioned in stucco and enhanced with 22-carat fine gold, turning the 2024 Millésime into a singular sculptural work. A trail, which freshness reminisces of a freshly-picked sprig of lily of the valley.’

Artist Anne Lopez was chosen to design the precious flaçon this year, and Guerlain explains that ‘The adornment of lucky bell-shaped flowers was born from her delicate sketches, drafts that create a singular vision. Fashioned in stucco, a coating made of marble powder, the twenty-four bell-shaped flowers illuminated with gold and the two green leaves are sculpted by Anne Lopez directly on the glass. Just like a delicate necklace, the lily-of-the-valley sprig composition unfolds in a considered way around the bottle’s curves : plump bell-shaped flowers at the top, then gradually refining into an utterly graceful string.’

 

 

 

 

Although each year the bottle design and embellishments change depending on the artist Guerlain is collaborating with, the stunning scent remains – gracefully, gratefully – unchanged. ‘It is to Guerlain’s Master Perfumer that we owe the feat of reproducing the fragrance of lily of the valley.’ And Guerlain reminds us that the this flower is one of the trickiest to translate in fragrant form. ‘Described as “mute”, its natural essence is impossible to extract. Guerlain’s Muguet, composed since 2016 by Thierry Wasser, captures as faithfully as possible the scent of the lucky sprigs. In a burst of freshness, the green notes meeting the floral preciousness of jasmine and rose adorn this emblematic trail with soft and pearly green and rosy facets. At the heart of this bouquet, the olfactory illusion of a freshly picked sprig of lily of the valley emerges.’

Of course this is a dream piece – these are collected, and beloved all over the world. But how wonderful that such artistry can still be found, and admired (even in simply gasping at pictures of the work, or watching the bottle spin in the film found on Guerlain’s website). Drink in the artistry of the images, and (we urge you) do go and smell the scent in-store, and allow yourself to be awed awhile by something beautiful. It’s good for the soul…

 

 

 

Guerlain Muguet Millésime 2024 (4885 limited and numbered collection pieces), £675 for 100ml Bee Bottle + 30ml Spray Bottle guerlain.com

 

By Suzy Nightingale

April Fool’s Scents? Actually… these are all REAL!

Sometimes we receive news of fragrance launches that makes us ask if it’s April Fool’s Day – but did you know that many companies have actually created fragrances inspired by anything and everything from fast-food brands and Stilton cheese to Captain Birds Eye fish fingers? (Yes, really!)

Fragrance is such an individual choice, don’t you think? We all have completely differing reactions to certain notes or combinations – what’s one person’s yum is another’s yuck, and that can be based on anything from childhood memories and cultural or long-buried associations to the simple fact of personal preference. What’s more, there are scents that may remind us of favourite foods or sweet treats we enjoy – hence the Gourmand family of fragrances have held sway since the 90s.

It would take the concept of ‘niche’ to a whole new level, however, for fragrance fans to actively seek out scents that smell of fried chicken, pizzas and sprouts – no matter how much we might love munching them. Well… you’d think so, wouldn’t you? But increasingly, brands are latching on to the power of perfume to promote their products. Though these might be novelty scents, they did actually sell!

Have YOU tried any of these, or purchased one as a joke gift for a friend…?

 

 

Birds Eye recently offered consumers the chance to win a limited edition eau de toilette inspired by Captain Birdseye himself – played by Italian-born actor and seafarer Riccardo Acerbi, who was unveiled at the start of 2018 as part of an £8m marketing campaign for the brand. ‘We know the British public have a soft spot for our captain,’ explained Birds Eye spokeswoman Annalisa Fanali, and so they gave him his own signature scent, ‘inspired by the hypnotic and evocative power of the high seas.’

Named Ahoy! the fragrance promises top notes of grapefruit and mandarin with patchouli, thankfully nothing fishy to smell here. Fifty bottles of the scent were up for grabs in the competition, which ran on Birds Eye’s Facebook page in the run-up to Christmas. If you weren’t a lucky winner, one imagines you wont be able to pop down the shops and pick yourself up a bottle in the immediate future, which is a shame because it sounded rather appealing. Unlike some of the previous novelty fragrances, below…

 

 

In 2012, having revolutionised the pizza world with stuffed crusts, the fragrance world was perhaps not ready for Pizza Hut Perfume. What began as a joke on their Facebook page escalated to an actual scent being created, which they temptingly described as ‘boasting top notes of freshly baked, hand-tossed dough.’ The limited edition perfume was designed to commemorate Pizza Hut Canada, and only 110 bottles were produced and shared with fans. ‘Will we be seeing Pizza Hut perfume in department stores any time soon?’ their press release asked. ‘Only time will tell.’ Spoilers: nope.

 

 

Currently showcasing their vegan-friendly range, those missing their whiff of something meatier were recently offered a unique opportunity to ‘fill your home with the scent of Gravy’ in a KFC Candle. Another limited edition (no, really?) candles were limited to only 230 editions and again, used as a competition prize on social media. We cannot comment on the authenticity of the gravy scent, sadly, but certainly the wax colour looks… somewhat disturbingly… realistic.

 

 

Now this will raise eyebrows (or twitch nostrils), but I don’t think this next one’s as crazy as it perhaps sounds. Eau de Stilton was launched to promote the cheese as part of a marketing campaign all the way back in 2006, and apart from genuinely loving the bottle design, while the sound of a blue cheese-inspired scent might seem off-putting, I think certain undiluted jasmine oils smell like strong cheese – due to the huge amounts of ‘indoles’ found in the aromatic molecules, which to some noses even smells sightly fecal. It goes to show, it depends how something is described before we actually smell it. I’d have given this one a go!

 

 

Those fast-food chains really love their fragrances, it seems, because in 2015 we saw Japan promoting a Whopper-scented Burger King Perfume. Alas only available for one day, reportedly, it’s another meaty scent I cannot report first hand (or nose) on, and I will have to try and get over the huge disappointment of that, somehow. And, championing the love of the great gastronomic institution that is the Full English Breakfast, one fragrance garnered headlines around the world when they launched a perfume based on the aroma. Meatier still, popular meat-based snack company, Peperami, once released a spray ‘Puperami’ that, it claimed, would unite lost dogs with their owners. A case of ‘we’ll meat again’, maybe?

 

 

But it’s not only food products that are the inspiration behind novelty scents: In 2021, Richard Branson launched not only a new cruise-liner, but a scent to go with it, called No.1 Ship (and with the tagline, ‘It smells like ship!’ showing his tongue was firmly in his cheek. Perhaps we might place our final novelty fragrance example in the same bracket _ a whole set of scents based on… condoms. Yes. Just when you think you’ve seen (and smelled) it all.

 

 

While the majority (if not all) of these are novelty items – released in strictly limited editions to create a media buzz around the brand – it’s an interesting concept that engages us in a different way, and the fragrances will still have been created by a perfumer working to a brief (albeit rather more bizarre than they are used to!) Of course those highlighted above are to be taken with a pinch of salt (and vinegar, as far as the captain’s concerned), but it will be fascinating to see if any other brands pick up on the perfume buzz and create their own ‘scent of’.

What would you like to see (and smell) next…?

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Guerlain Sakura Cherry Blossom Limited Edition – ‘When spring is reborn’

Since the year 2000, every spring the limited edition Guerlain Sakura Cherry Blossom is a breathtaking moment to pause and immerse ourselves in beauty, and oh how welcome that chance can be. Just as Japanese rituals around cherry blossom have taken place for centuries, Guerlain’s annual celebration of scent, exquisite artisan craftsmanship and nature combine in the most breathtaking way…

Says Guerlain: ‘For the House, this is the perfect opportunity to combine original artistic collaboration with the most virtuosic creators of artistic crafts. This year is an especially outstanding occasion, as it marks the 170th anniversary of the iconic Bee Bottle.

For its precious 2023 Millésime, Guerlain has asked the Ateliers Vermont, a prestigious Parisian embroidery house, to create the magical adornment of its Bee Bottle. A delicate cherry tree branch in blossom, nestled on a grosgrain bow, which expresses both the peerless expertise of French Haute Couture and the timeless poetry of the most moving of Japanese traditions.

 

 

To celebrate a poetic ritual the Japanese call hanami (literally “flower viewing”), friends and families get together to admire sakuras. Under the cherry trees, the delicate blooms fall without wilting, “flower rafts” float on streams, and petals flutter in the breeze like delicate butterflies.’

The bottles are snapped up by collectors, each of them hand-adorned and art pieces to treasure forever, and each year we think: oh, this is the most beautiful version yet! Of course, the fragrance itself must reflect the ethereal, life-affirming beauty of the cherry blossom spectacle itself:

‘Perfumers must therefore invent a fragrance which can express both the infinite grace of its flower-laden branches and the emotion of those who gaze at them,’ Guerlain explain.

 

 

‘First, bergamot, an olfactory signature of the House, sheds its golden light on the fragrance. A fresh, subtle green tea accord recalls another of Japan’s ancient rituals, while threading the luminous overture with the heart of the fragrance through its floral tones. In the heart notes, the Guerlain Perfumers, artisans of the sublime, have embroidered the delicate petals of the sakura blossom one by one onto the precious olfactory materials of their palette… Tender facets of almond, cherry, and powdery lilac, enhanced by a pearl-white jasmine, conjure their airy corollas. Carried by a breeze of white musks, these flowers fluttering on slender branches herald the rebirth of spring with the most delicate of fragrances.’

 

Guerlain Sakura Cherry Blossoms is priced at €700 in Guerlain boutiques

 

Diptyque Do Son limited edition – the film & fragrance

In these grey, seemingly endless days of January, what better than to sit back and immerse ourselves in the olfactory beauty of Diptyque’s brand new limited edition collection of Do Son? Even more so now they’ve released a gorgeous short film to accompany the launch…

‘Along the shores of the sea, plunge into the childhood memories of Yves Coueslant, one of the Maison’s founders. From this small seaside pagoda, the fragrance of tuberoses brought back by his mother from the flower market electrifies the senses and transports heart and mind.’

 

And what a fragrance Do Son is. Even previous tuberose naysayers (like me!) have fallen for it, this tender portrait of scent memories bottled in perfume form. Inviting us to ‘plunge into the childhood memories’ of Coueslant, the animated film takes us away from gloom and doom, straight to the sea shore in Vietnam, where balmy air and intoxicating scents lap at our senses. Really, the timing of this Do Son resurgence couldn’t be better.

 

 

So, what does Do Son smell like? Here’s my review, on smelling it again at their beautifully bijou Brook Street store:

Do Son feels lusciously fresh with a rising humidity, like walking into a hot house filled with just-watered exotic blooms, early in the morning before their headiness erupts. There’s a salted breeziness to it that’s all waft-y silk kaftan walks on the beach before breakfast, bare toes on warm sand, then ankle deep in the sea and staring at the horizon, blissfully.

If you have a bottle to hand, why not spritz some on as you watch the short film and prepare to escape for a while, within this tender and emotionally resonant portrayal…?

 

 

 

Encompassing a full range of fragranced treats in the limited edition Do So collection – including eau de parfum, eau de toilette, so-covetable (and refillable) Solid Perfume and Body Mist versions of the scent – you can further immerse yourself in the fragrance by incorporating the softly nourishing Cleansing Hand & Body Gel or Shower Oil; individual or beautifully boxed sets of scented soaps, a luxurious hand cream (so needed for the bitter winds and driving rain of the U.K. currently), Hair Mist, and even a Do Son Perfumed Bracelet.

If you’re yearning to get away and already dreaming of holidays, you’re certainly not alone. If you’ve yet to experience the scent of Do Son for yourself, now is a great time to seek it out for olfactory escapism. Or if, like us, you’ve already fallen for it – liberally layer the Do Son scent, and hit repeat on that short film until you can feel the sunshine flooding in…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

 

 

Guerlain’s divine Muguet – lily of the valley, the flower of May & our birthday

It’s now a much-anticipated tradition that, on the first of May, Guerlain release their exquisite Muguet – a limited edition, beautuifully Bee-bottled fragrant homage to legends surrounding lily of the valley. Indeed, we were so taken with the traditions of exchanging bouquets for friendship, and the new begginings represented by the flower, that eight years ago, we officially launched The Perfume Society on that date!

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’. With so many of us perhaps preparing to travel again – planning trips to see loved ones or simply the joy of a holiday – that happiness is expressed in fragrant form, and just so beautifully bottled. Here, Guerlain explain the many lovely traditions around the world surrounding lily of the valley, and why they, too, are so taken with the delicate flower…

‘According to legend, if its white bells drop their heads on their stems as though they were weeping, it is because they were born from the tears of Eve when she was expelled from the Garden of Eden. For the Greek, it was the god Apollo who scattered the flowers on the thick green grass of Mount Parnassus, so that the Muses wouldn’t hurt their feet. In the forests of Ireland, their bells chime when fairies climb their poetic ladders to weave their iridescent cradles…

“Gentle fairies, hush your singing:
Can you hear my white bells ringing,
Ringing as from far away?
Who can tell me what they say?
Little snowy bells out-springing
From the stem and softly ringing–
Tell they of a country where
Everything is good and fair?”
Cicely Mary BARKER (1895-1973)

A flower of a thousand tales, lily of the valley owes its French name, muguet, derived from musc or muscade (“nutmeg”), a sweetly scented spice, to its delicate, penetrating fragrance. Evocative of springtime, the season of love, muguet gave its name in the 16th century to young swains who spent their time flirting… As for the custom of offering it on May 1st, it was born in 1561, when King Charles IX of France was offered a sprig during a visit to the Dauphiné. He was so charmed that each year, on the same day, he offered lily of the valley to all the ladies of his court.

 

 

 

 

During the Belle Époque, couturiers gave it on May 1st to their seamstresses and clients… Perfumers strove to capture the scent of the fleeting flower. Among the hundreds of tributes inspired by the white bell over the century, one was authored by a young perfumer called Jacques Guerlain. In 1908, he composed the House’s first Muguet, inaugurating a fragrant tradition that has gone on, from spring to spring, for over 110 years. Recreating the lily-of-the-valley fragrance is a genuine olfactory feat as it is known as “mute”. Composed by the Master Perfumer Thierry Wasser, Guerlain’s Muguet takes on green and rosy facets that form a vernal setting for the lush floral materials that enrich his composition: jasmine sambac absolute, rose essence and absolute. At the heart of the bouquet arises the strikingly olfactory illusion of a freshly picked sprig. A true olfactory jewel, to celebrate the rites of spring at its apogee.

It is the most poetic rendez-vous of spring. An encounter of the art of the perfumer and the very best creators flower. The kind of match that only the House of Guerlain could orchestrate. Each year, the new adornment of the iconic Bee Bottle of Muguet is released: the stunning outcome of innovative artistic collaborations. For its 2022 Edition, a delicate sprig of lily-of-the-valley is turned into a jewel, set with glittering crystals by the magicians of the Parisian jewellery studio Atelier Truscelli.

 

 

 

Italian by birth and Parisian by adoption, Francesco Truscelli has been fascinated by jewellery since his childhood. In 2003, he founded his own studio in Paris, where tourmalines, sapphires, turquoises, garnets, aquamarines, pearls are set into shimmering, colourful hand-crafted designs in many different styles. A specialist in one-off pieces and bespoke jewels, Francesco Truscelli still loves, as he did when he first trained, giving a second life to family jewels by redesigning them.

 

 

 

 

May Day and the heralding of Spring is celebrated in many cultures, but we are especially fond of the French custom of presenting your nearest and dearest with a sprig of lily of the valley. For those that want to go several scented steps further, you’d best not delay. These breathtaking bottles are limited edition pieces for collectors of course – this year there are only 5,000 bottles released worldwide, priced at £540 and available at their Covent Garden Boutique, Harrods, and at Guerlain.com.

COLLAB – The Colonia Laboratory: book an artist to personalise your Acqua di Parmaperfume

Collab – The Colonia Laboratory An Exclusive Co-Creation Experience Turning Every Colonia Into A One-Of-A-Kind Collector’s Piece

Most of us (especially here!) can agree that perfumery is an art form – albeit one that’s invisibly conveyed. Usually, invisible, that is. But now, if we’re purchasing a favourite perfume or one that speaks to our souls in some way; more of us are seeking that extra-special something we can collect or keep forever, or give as a gift that we’ve really put some thought in to its choosing. Luckily for us, Acqua di Parma are now offering a unique artistic way to make your mark…

 

What is COLLAB?

‘A special Acqua di Parma initiative in partnership with one of the most important schools of fashion, design,visual arts and communication in Italy and internationally the Instituto Europeo di Design (IED), where six emerging Italian talents bring six different creative concepts of emotions and colours to life in a collection of 300 unique 180ml pieces from the Colonia Collection. An exclusive opportunity, available both in-store or online, to own collector’s pieces whether for self, or as bespoke gifts like no other.

 

 

The COLLAB project was conceived as a co-creation laboratory where together with the selected artist and theme, clients can customise their very own personal fragrance bottle from the Colonia Collection. With every theme, clients will have the opportunity to add a personal touch to the final product, be it a horoscope symbol with Sky Signs, a Roman number of choices with Animalia, or a bandana with a personal message by Paolo Moscheni. From start to the end, the clients will experience a one-on-one journey to owning a truly one-of-a-kind collector’s piece.

 

 

In the spirit of inclusivity and to offer clients across Italy and Europe the same engaging experience, the one-on-one appointments can also take place online through an integrated platform on Acqua di Parma’s website and the final personalised product will then be delivered to them.’

How does it work?

1. Select your Colonia and book an online or physical appointment* to customise the fragrance with your selected COLLAB artist

2. Collaborate with the artist during your 20min personalisation slot

3. At the end of the experience and after the payment, you will have your exclusive collectable Colonia ready to take home. If you have chosen online personalisation, the fragrance will be delivered to you with free shipping!

Link to book: acquadiparma.com

 

Now, your only problem is which of the fabulous Acqua di Parma fragrances to have personalised. Why not peruse our page dedicated to their history, with added descriptions of the perfumes, for your pondering delights…?

 

Guerlain Cherry Blossom 2022 special edition is simply Bee-yootiful!

Fragrance-lovers and collectors the world over look forward with glee to the launch of the latest Guerlain limited edition Bee Bottle perfumes. Working with renowned artists, Guerlain encourage freedom of expression, allowing each artisan to interpret the scent with their unique adornments, turning each bottle into a work of art itself.

For Spring 2022 the Guerlain Cherry Blossom is joyously welcomed in a stunning pink flaçon that’s been individually adorned with miniature flowers, echoing the tender beauty of the scent inside. Let’s take a deep dive into Guerlain’s foucs on this annual fragrance ritual, and – given the numerous outside stresses we’re currently experiencing – enjoy the beauty with renewed bliss. Altogether now: and B-R-E-A-T-H-E the blossoms in…

 

 

Guerlain Cherry Blossom 2022

 

 

Of all the rituals of the Land of the Rising Sun, this is the most poetic. Each spring, the Japanese gather to admire the beauty of cherry blossoms. Guerlain celebrates this annual tradition with an exceptional limited and numbered edition of Cherry Blossom in its iconic Bee Bottle. For the 2022 edition, Guerlain has asked the embroidery studio Kyoko Création founded by the artist Kyoko Sugiura to create the delicate floral adornment of its flacon, crafted by a community of Japanese embroiderers. A unique and poetic artistic collaboration between France and Japan.’ – GUERLAIN

 

 

 

ADMIRING CHERRY BLOSSOMS AT NIGHTFALL

‘Each year in January, the Japanese start following the gradual blossoming of sakuras from the Okinawa Archipelago in the south of the country to Hokkaido Island, in the north, at the end of April. Called “hanami”, which means “flower viewing”, the ritual is observed by people of every age and background. Families and friends gather to wonder at the beauty of cherry trees laden with snowy, pink-tinged corollas… Gazing at sakuras in the moonlight is an especially moving moment in the springtime celebration. As white as the moon that lights them against a backdrop of black branches, ephemeral yet as eternal as the cycle of seasons, cherry blossoms arouse a sentiment that is deeply anchored in the Japanese culture: mono no aware, which could be translated as “a sensitivity to ephemera”. A sensitivity shared by perfumers, whose art also captures the fleeting beauty of flowers.

 

A FRAGRANCE AS TENDER AS A NIGHT IN SPRING

How can the emotion born from hanami be expressed in a bottle? How can a fragrance of eternal spring be invented for flowers so fragile they do not yield their essence? This was the artistic challenge Jean-Paul Guerlain set out to meet in 2000 when he composed Cherry Blossom. A pink-hued eau de toilette, as delicate as a sakura petal, as limpid as a Japanese haiku musing on life’s evanescence. The golden moonlight of spring… Its glow is reflected by radiant bergamot, the olfactory signature of the House of Guerlain. Subtly floral, the precious citrus essence blends with an exquisite green tea accord that evokes another of Japan’s ancient rituals. A white cherry blossom at night… Reinvented by the Master Perfumer, its fragrance is faceted with notes as immaculate as a sakura petal in the moonlight: tender cherry blossom, powdery lilac, jasmine – their scent fills the air at dusk. Featherlight clouds crossing the darkened sky… The diaphanous trail of white musks carries the delicate fragrance, like the breeze carries sakuras, illuminating
the night with countless moon petals.

 

 

 

 

AN ARTIST INFLUENCED BY FRANCE AND JAPAN

Adorned with different ornaments throughout the years, Cherry Blossom has now become an exclusive annual rendez-
vous that celebrates, as much as the Japanese art of living, the peerless know-how of creators invited by Guerlain. A match of cultures, perfume and art that has long been cultivated by the House. For its 2022 Edition, Guerlain has given carte blanche to the Japanese embroidery artist Kyoko Sugiura and her studio Kyoko Création, to create a delicate adornment of sakuras for the iconic Bee Bottle produced by Pochet du Courval, the historic glassmaker of the House since 1853. A new variation on the poetic theme, this edition evokes cherry blossoms at night, in the moonlight, in a precious chiaroscuro of white, black, and gold. And for the first time, it has been created by a Japanese artist who masters the secular know-hows of both her country and France to perfection.

 

 

 

 

A COMMITTED ARTISTIC COLLABORATION

Especially since Kyoko Sugiura worked with a community of 18 Japanese women from very diverse backgrounds –
office workers, teachers, designers… Professional or amateur embroiderers she trained herself, and invited to participate in this unique project, turning it into a human as well as artistic adventure. The gesture was a lovely way to reflect the communion of her compatriots around cherry blossoms in spring… But it also expresses Guerlain’s commitment to the empowerment of women, by celebrating an art elaborated, perpetuated, and practiced by them throughout the centuries. And which expresses itself today with a contemporary artwork that brings together a community of Japanese embroiderers and perfume lovers all over the world…

 

 

 

Guerlain Cherry Blossom 2022, £540 at Guerlain.com and in Harrods.

 

 

Guerlain Muguet 2021 – legendary lily of the valley

Every year on the first of May, Guerlain release their much-anticipated Muguet – a limited edition, beautuifully Bee-bottled fragrant homage to legends surrounding lily of the valley. Indeed, we were so taken with the traditions of exchanging bouquets of the flower that seven years ago, we officially launched The Perfume Society on that date!

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’. This year, that return has been particularly significant as the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and rollout of vaccines in many countries has, for we lucky some, meant the ability to meet up with loved ones and see family members missed for so long. But let’s allow Guerlain to walk us through the many lovely traditions around the world surrounding lily of the valley, and why they, too, are so taken with the delicate flower…

 

 

‘According to legend, if its white bells drop their heads on their stems as though they were weeping, it is because they were born from the tears of Eve when she was expelled from the Garden of Eden. For the Greek, it was the god Apollo who scattered the flowers on the thick green grass of Mount Parnassus, so that the Muses wouldn’t hurt their feet. In the forests of Ireland, their bells chime when fairies climb their poetic ladders to weave their iridescent cradles…

“Gentle fairies, hush your singing:
Can you hear my white bells ringing,
Ringing as from far away?
Who can tell me what they say?
Little snowy bells out-springing
From the stem and softly ringing–
Tell they of a country where
Everything is good and fair?”
Cicely Mary BARKER (1895-1973)

A flower of a thousand tales, lily of the valley owes its French name, muguet, derived from musc or muscade (“nutmeg”), a
sweetly scented spice, to its delicate, penetrating fragrance. Evocative of springtime, the season of love, muguet gave its
name in the 16th century to young swains who spent their time flirting… As for the custom of offering it on May 1st, it was born in 1561, when King Charles IX of France was offered a sprig during a visit to the Dauphiné. He was so charmed that each year, on the same day, he offered lily of the valley to all the ladies of his court.

During the Belle Époque, couturiers gave it on May 1st to their seamstresses and clients… Perfumers strove to capture the scent of the fleeting flower. Among the hundreds of tributes inspired by the white bell over the century, one was authored by a young perfumer called Jacques Guerlain. In 1908, he composed the House’s first Muguet, inaugurating a fragrant tradition that has gone on, from spring to spring, for over 110 years!’

 

 

The stunning bottle for 2021’s Muguet Millésime, Guerlain turned to the talents of Lucie Touré, a young Parisian paper and textile designer who won the 2019 Eiffel Tower Design Prize. ‘To reinterpret Muguet, I created a delicate adornment in a fresh, Haute Couture spirit’, she explains.

 

 

Guerlain says: ‘After studying embroidery and textile design, Lucie Touré trained for six years in Parisian embroidery and textile printing studios, collaborating with the most prestigious ready-to-wear and Haute Couture houses. She founded her own studio in 2018, with an initial two-year residency in the Ateliers de Paris. By associating paper with finishing techniques drawn from textile and jewelry, she glorifies the ephemeral material by cutting, weaving, or embroidering it. For this edition, she has imagined a modern, customised 3-D adornment, entirely hand-made in Paris: a stylised representation of sprigs of lily-of-the-valley in full blossom unfurling gracefully onto the dome of the Bee Bottle.’

 

Guerlain Muguet 2021 £450 [4,500 pieces worldwide]

By Suzy Nightingale

Diptyque City Candles – previously exclusive, they’re travelling until 27th September (grab them while you can!)

Diptyque has put their much sought-after City Candles on their website (previously only available in the respective locations they were inspired by), but they’re only travelling for a few days and stocks are strictly limited! Time to hope aboard and add them to your baggage, immediately…

If you’re one of the many who obsessively collect the olfactory delights of Diptyque candles, you’re going to want to get your (virtual) boarding pass ready, because the limited edition City Candles are now on the Diptyque website – but only until 27th September 2020!

 

 

Normally, you’d have to jump on a plane and physically travel to the Diptyque flagship stores in Tokyo, Berlin, London, New York, Hong Kong, Beverley Hills, Miami, Shanghai and Paris to collect them all. Notwithstanding the airmiles you’d rack up, the money and carbon footprint you’d have to burn through would make this a trip you’d be unlikely to take – and of course this year, it’s been made impossible, anyway.

So the next best thing to being there? Burning your way through this lovely lot! Here’s our fragrant travel wish-list, but we wonder: where would you like to travel to with the Diptyque City Candle Collection…?

This ultra chic lavender-tinged Chypre has us dreaming of sashaying down the early autumn sunlit streets of Saint Germain.

Diptyque Paris Candle: £54

 

The heady, honey-laden scent of linden blossom transports us to the German capital – we’re craving the bookshops and über-cool clubs.

Diptyque Berlin Candle: £54

 

Why not stroll the intriguing alleyways of Tokyo, the shade of cypress trees mixing with wafts of mystical temple incense?

Diptyque Tokyo Candle: £54

 

New York’s bustling streets and vibrant nightlife is calling, with a hot rush of rich patchouli and sudden breeze of dry cedar and vetiver.

Diptyque New York Candle: £54

By Suzy Nightingale

Floris River Dawn – hand-poured, By Request

Floris have released River Dawn, a limited edition fragrance of only 200 hand-poured bottles. Invoking shady streams and woodland walks, it’s definitely making us spring-ready…

Venturing out to explore the River Avon for their inspiration, the Floris perfumery team followed its meandering course as it begins in the beautiful, golden-stoned Cotswolds and as various tributaries merge, finalling flowing through Wiltshire on its way to the sea.

Edward Bodenham, Perfumery Director at Floris, spoke about their fragrant journey:
‘Historically we always launch our hand poured collection in late January, when winter is setting in but nature provides a few early signs of spring, particularly on our river banks. I love this time of year and whilst working on the ‘River Dawn’ scent with our team, it became clear that I wasn’t alone. Our rivers drive us on, providing tranquillity and uplifting our spirits, even in the harshest coldest winter, as the sun rises on a new day, they continue to shape our land, our geology, our industry and trade. They are a constant source of inspiration.

I recently walked along the banks of the Avon near Bradford Upon Avon. It’s a part of the world that for me encapsulates a huge amount of the beauty of our country. Interestingly our perfumer, Penny Ellis, who worked with me in creating this fragrance is a keen river swimmer who has swam sections of the Avon during these colder months which gave her huge inspiration when composing the scent.

We wanted to reflect the vibrant yet reflective tranquillity of flowing, shimmering water. How it feels to be in that raw environment. The natural beauty of the cold river bank, signs that spring is on its way as tea olives force through the cold, and snow drops appear in the shade of wooded forests, never far from the water. Most of all, we wanted to portray that emotion felt when rising before the dawn to see these landscapes completely unspoilt, before the world awakes. The river dwellers, fishermen, swimmers, rowers and those who still earn a living, working in harmony with its flow.’

Love at first sniff?
From the first spray, you’ll be transported to those gurgling tributaries with a crisp, galbanum freshness that speaks of green shoots bravely poking their heads above ground. Think fats buds just about to blossom, spiderwebs bejewelled with dewdrops, the cheering sight of snowdrops and hyacinths and a drift of spring’s first apple blossom in the air. Grounded with soothing sandalwood and delicately dusted with orris, this is the perect thing to wear when you want to celebrate that subtle shift in the seasons – not quite the end of winter, but good lord it’s almost in sight. A lightening of days and spirits, then, that make this a must-have (and a beautiful choice for any spring brides, we say).

Read more about the historic heritage of Floris in our page dedicated to their story…

Floris River Dawn £180 for 100ml eau de parfum
Only available at 89 Jermyn Street and florislondon.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale