Today is the last day of May, so it’s time to address the most legendary muguet fragrance of all: Diorissimo. So many words have been published trying to describe Diorissimo in its many forms and reformulations! CaFleureBon has a wonderful short article by perfumer Michel Roudnitska, son of the legendary perfumer Edmond Roudnitska who created Diorissimo for Christian Dior. It includes his memory of the large patch of lilies of the valley his father planted in order to study and capture their fragrance.
There are many discussions of Diorissimo on various notable perfume blogs and websites, listed here: Now Smell This, Bois de Jasmin, The Black Narcissus, The Perfume Expert, Perfume-Smellin’ Things, The Candy Perfume Boy, The Perfumed Dandy, The Non-Blonde , Undina’s Looking Glass, Australian Perfume Junkies, and even perfumer Ayala Moriel at Smelly Blog. These people are very knowledgeable, so please read their insights!
I own a few versions of it: a vintage eau de cologne in the tall, ribbed bottle; a mini flask of eau de toilette from a “Dior Voyage” set that includes Tendre Poison, so it must date after 1994 but before Tendre Poison was discontinued by 2010; a 2013 bottle of the eau de toilette; and a 7.5 ml flask of the parfum from December 2010. (For dating fragrances or cosmetics, try CheckCosmetic.net if you have the batch number; for dating Dior perfumes, read this helpful post by Raiders of the Lost Scent, and for dating Diorissimo by bottle, go to Perfume Shrine; these are all really helpful if you decide to try to buy a vintage bottle). Continue reading
Deep breath. I am not an experienced perfumista and I’m not sure I can do justice to this new Guerlain, but I will do my best. The new Guerlain Muguet 2016 is an entirely new eau de toilette by Guerlain’s in-house perfumer, Thierry Wasser. It builds on the tradition, begun in 2006, of Guerlain releasing its 1998 formulation of Guerlain Muguet every year in a different limited edition bottle on May 1, the day when traditionally the French present bunches of lilies of the valley to friends and loved ones as a “porte-bonheur”, a good luck token or “bringer of happiness.” So to start, I defer to “Monsieur Guerlain”, the longtime blogger and Guerlain aficonado, to describe Guerlain’s tradition: Muguet.
As you can see, the limited edition bottles are all beautiful, including this most recent one, which is a crystal bottle encased in silver-plated filigree, designed by the Parisian jewelers Ambre & Louise and influenced by the Art Nouveau master Alphonse Mucha. I saw the actual bottle at Neiman Marcus on May 1 this year, which I visited for the express purpose of trying this new Muguet. Continue reading
And now for something completely (okay, not COMPLETELY) different. From the heights of expensive perfumery and Muguet Porcelaine, to the more prosaic and affordable Demeter Fragrance Library’s Lily of the Valley. I love the whole idea of Demeter Fragrance Library: that they try to capture individual fragrances of everyday objects, places or even weather, and you can combine those into whatever blend you like. From the company’s website: “Demeter was conceived in the East Village of New York City in 1996: a unique point of view about fragrance, a perspective that still remains unique, but that continues to expand. The original mission was to capture the beautiful smells of the garden and nature in wearable form. Consistent with that mission we took the Demeter name, inspired by the Greek Goddess of Agriculture.” Continue reading
Thank goodness. I have been eagerly anticipating the release of the new (and last) Hermessence by Jean-Claude Ellena, Muguet Porcelaine. I love his Jardin series very much; the transparency of his fragrances appeals to me although some other perfume lovers do not like it. And I truly love lily of the valley scents, so I was keeping my fingers crossed that Muguet Porcelaine would not disappoint. And it doesn’t.
Before I got my own sample, I read some comments that used words like “cucumber”, “melon”, “watermelon” and even “bubble gum”! No, no, no, I thought, surely Ellena would not play such a cruel joke on perfume lovers who look forward to his new works, or on the lovely lily of the valley flower that has so inspired great perfumers like Edmond Roudnitska, whom Ellena holds in high regard.
He did not. Continue reading
My oh my, muguet! Oriza L. Legrand’s Muguet Fleuri opens with a decisive, spicy greenness that comes from top notes of green leaves, grass and lily-of-the-valley, per Fragrantica. The middle notes are galbanum, angelica, violet leaf and lily-of-the-valley; base notes are lily-of-the-valley, oakmoss and lily. Kafkaesque attributes the spiciness of the opening to the violet leaves, but I wonder if it doesn’t also come from the angelica. The firmness of the green top notes reminds me of the leaves of lily of the valley, which are very beautiful in their own right and offer just the right contrast to the delicate silver-white bells of the flowers on their long, slender stalks. The leaves are sculptural in their form, larger than the flowers and sometimes even hiding them. They are smooth and firm like the leaves of hostas, and reach to the sky in pairs like hands lifted in prayer.
Lily of the Valley leaves; photo from Verdure
I love the opening of this fragrance. It just happens that I am staying this week at my sister’s house, where she has an old, well-established patch of lilies of the valley, so I am able to compare the perfume and the flower directly while I type this. Continue reading
Wow, that’s a long name! Dewy Lily of the Valley and Star Anise from Molton Brown is one of their new eaux de toilette and also the fragrance of a whole new line of scented products. I stumbled across it as I was leaving Neiman Marcus on May 1, having gone there for the express and sole purpose of sniffing the new Guerlain Muguet 2016, released on that date (which I will review before the end of my May Muguet Marathon!). On my way out of the store, I passed a Molton Brown in-store boutique and stopped out of curiosity. Lo and behold, another new muguet!
Molton Brown’s new line of Dewy Lily of the Valley and Star Anise fragrances
It even comes with its own charming video that explains some of the inspiration for the scent: Dewy Lily of the Valley and Star Anise, primarily the annual “Furry Dance” on Flora Day in Helston, Cornwall. Continue reading
I have had a hard time figuring out this perfume, so let me work my way up to that. Le Muguet is a soliflore that was first released as a limited edition in 2001, then re-launched with a few other Goutal soliflores in 2011 or 2012.
The original nose behind it is Isabelle Doyen. The only notes that are listed for it in multiple sites, including Fragrantica, are lily of the valley, benzoin, red berries and rose, although The Scented Salamander describes notes of mustard, pepper and vanilla (none of which I detect). The bottle is simply beautiful: a heavy, classic shape of ribbed glass with a retro vibe and a solid, gold-toned cap, tied at the neck with a pretty bow of colored tulle (aqua-green in this case) and the perfume’s name in script on a gilt tag.
When I first spray it on my skin, I smell fruit. Continue reading