May Muguet Marathon: Lily of the Valley and Ivy

I discovered Jo Malone’s fragrances last summer, in the Heathrow Airport where there is a boutique. Unfortunately, I was there in a wheelchair, on my way home from London where I had fallen and broken my shoulder! So my kind husband took me to Jo Malone to pick out a bottle of perfume. The one I picked that day was Red Roses, as I had been visiting rose gardens during our trip. But I also tried last year’s limited edition Lily of the Valley and Ivy, part of the “Rock the Ages” series and I liked it so much that I later bought a bottle.

Jo Malone Rock the Ages

According to Fragrantica:

The aim of the collection was to depict different periods of British history through the inspiration of drama, atmosphere and characters of each of the periods. The collection contains the following scents: Tudor Rose & Amber, Lily of the Valley & Ivy, Geranium & Verbena, Pomegranate Noir (reissued) and Birch & Black Pepper.

Lily of the Valley & Ivy is inspired by the Georgian era of pastel tenderness, green landscapes, gardens and ivy-covered fences. The fragrance opens with green ivy, pink grapefruit and sparkling black currant, with delicate floral heart of lily-of-the-valley and narcissus and the base of beeswax, amber wood and white musk.

It is a very beautiful fragrance. It is very green, which I like, with just enough citrus in the opening to give it zest (I don’t really smell the black currant, mostly the grapefruit and even that is light). Of course, it has a strong lily of the valley heart, which persists for a long time. The musk base note is evident at the same time as the LOTV, which warms it up together with the amber.

Here’s the surprising part: I put this on before going to bed as I was going to read for a while and enjoy it. When I woke up eight hours later, I could still smell the musk and amber on my wrist, with a lingering note of greenness. Normally I think of Jo Malone fragrances as not lasting that long, especially a fresh floral like this one. What a pleasant way to be proven wrong!

And this may be sacrilegious, but I like the dry down of Lily of the Valley and Ivy much more than I liked the dry down of the new Diorissimo eau de parfum, which seems to have suffered from synthetic civet. On my skin, that turned slightly urinous after a few hours and I finally just washed it off. But I understand that is not even a reformulation of the original but a new version entirely, so I still hold out some hope for Diorissimo eau de toilette.

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