May Muguet Marathon: Virgin Lily of the Valley

Eric Buterbaugh has long been a “florist to the stars” with a renowned flower shop in Los Angeles. Some years ago, he branched out (pun intended) into fragrances and other lifestyle products like candles and gifts. He launched his fragrance collection, EB Florals, in 2015 with eight scents based on the flowers he knows so well, one of which was Virgin Lily of the Valley.  And here is where I am very thankful, specifically, to Scentbird. I was able to snag a nifty 8 ml sprayer of it through my monthly subscription, which was the only way I was going to own it, as a 100 ml bottle retails for $295! So although I don’t own the gorgeous bottle — which is clear and curved like a large drop of dew — I do have enough of the fragrance to try it out really well. The Eric Buterbaugh website says this:

Pierre Negrin conceived this delightful Lily like a tower of glass, where all is visible from the start, from top to bottom. The tingle of a citrus, the beauty of the Lily and the softness of musks, are all present at once. The result is a Lily floating in the air, in all its white purity.

Linden, Quince, Litchi, Fleur de Narcisse Absolute, Nectarine, Natureprint
Fleur de Oranger Supra SFE, Fleur de Tiare, Jasmin Sambac Firabsolut
Osmanthys, Tuberose Absolute, Muscenone, Ambrox
Notice that neither muguet nor lily of the valley is listed, despite the fragrance’s name! This is a very dewy floral, watery and fresh, not intensely green. It is very pretty, but I’ll confess that I don’t smell much lily of the valley at all! So I think the name is misleading; this is a fantasy lily, not a muguet. Interestingly, the notes listed on Fragrantica are quite different, though I’ll take the company’s own website’s word for what they are. Fragrantica lists top notes as bergamot,  palisander rosewood, and orange blossom; heart notes of lily of the valley, ylang ylang, and amaryllis; and base notes of sandalwood, musk, and ambrette.

Scentbird had a brief interview with Mr. Buterbaugh earlier this year. He described the link between his floral designs and his fragrances:

I first look at a floral composition as an overall shape. For me, proportions matter most, which is why I mostly like to work with one or two species of flowers only in each composition. If you mix too many kinds of flowers, you lose control over texture, dimensions, proportions. I spoke at length with the Perfumers about this concept. It fits well with the idea we had from the start to celebrate one flower per scent. Which doesn’t mean creating monolithic soliflores. Our creations are layered and complex. But they are articulated around one specific flower every time.

The opening and early stages of Virgin Lily of the Valley remind me of Lily by Lili Bermuda, probably because of the fruit notes combined with flowers. As it dries down, though, I do smell the musky basenotes, including a semi-woody, herbal note that I think is the ambrette (or Ambroxan), and I like the combination.

However, I am really intrigued by EB Florals’ new “muguet”: Floral Oud Lily of the Valley, one of a collection of floral scents combined with oud. Here’s the description:

This union of opposites opens with a fruity/ spicy combination of bergamot and cassis buds, but the lily soon starts weaving its way into the mix, supported by a subtle hint of Tuberose. The oud is there almost from the start, but tamed in a way that allows for the floral notes to breathe and blossom.

The rest is amber and sandalwood, all the way to the end.

A delightfully original creation.

Original indeed — who would think to combine muguet with oud? And talk about a gorgeous bottle:

Black bottle of EB Florals by Eric Buterbaugh, Floral Oud Lily of the Valley

EB Florals, Floral Oud Lily of the Valley; image from

So now, having satisfied my curiosity about Virgin Lily of the Valley, I can only hope that Scentbird arranges to carry the new Floral Ouds, especially this one. Because I am really interested in trying this combination! Have any of you tried any of the EB Florals, and especially the Floral Ouds?

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