May Muguet Marathon: Woods of Windsor Lily of the Valley

Woods of Windsor’s Lily of the Valley is a true soliflore: it is meant to smell only like that one flower, although it uses a few notes to achieve that. Listed notes include white lily, mimosa leaf, and orange; followed by lily of the valley, geranium, and “May blossom”; with base notes of sandalwood and amber musk (which I believe refers to ambrette). Of course, “lily of the valley” accords are only possible by combining aromachemicals. This LOTV is quite strong on first application and a bit harsh. It smells very soapy, and it’s not a surprise that the same fragrance has been turned into a set of bath and body products too. The original Woods of Windsor company was acquired in 2016 by the company that also owns Yardley London, its former competitor.

It comes in an eau de toilette concentration, and this may be its saving grace: it quiets down pretty quickly to become a fresh greenish floral scent, identifiable as lily of the valley albeit synthetic-smelling. I find that it is best used as a layering partner with another fragrance that has more depth but could use a stronger muguet note; I tried that with Tom Ford’s White Suede, with happy results. I can’t say that I smell most of the listed notes separately; the opening stage is all lily of the valley and geranium leaves, to my nose, with a bit of lemon and maybe bergamot, which isn’t listed, not orange. I think the description would be more accurate if it just listed unspecified “citruses” among the top notes. And what, exactly, is “May blossom”? As it turns out, May blossom is a common phrase for hawthorn, which actually blossoms in either May or June in England.

Woods of Windsor’s version of lily of the valley isn’t unpleasant (after the first harsh minutes of its opening), but it isn’t special, either. It is a utilitarian muguet, better suited to the bath products in which it also appears, and the soap and dusting powder that were among its other formats (now discontinued, I think). I wouldn’t choose to wear it on its own as my primary fragrance, but it is a pleasant companion to layer with other scents.

Have you tried this, or any of the other Woods of Windsor fragrances?

4 thoughts on “May Muguet Marathon: Woods of Windsor Lily of the Valley

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