Immediately about the sad: it is impossible to get a natural extract from lily of the valley. No matter how much the best minds of our time fought over the fragile May flower, even liquid nitrogen, one of the most advanced extraction techniques, could not make it give away a delicate, well-recognizable aroma. “Therefore we have to get out. The overwhelming majority of companies use synthetic analogs - they smell pretty good, but with the durability of such notes, things are … not at all. But there is another way to convey the fragrance of this flower. For example, Guerlain perfumersfor many years they have been using the technology of “restored aroma”: they construct an accord out of scrap materials - natural primary ingredients, first of all, flowers. A properly balanced cocktail helps to mimic the natural aroma of lily of the valley: growing in the ground or barely picked,”says Galina Garkun, Guerlain training manager.
Indeed, the love of the brand and the flower has lasted for more than a century and a half.
The first "Muguet" by the founding father Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain was composed back in 1840 and it was a cologne - in the middle of the 18th century, light notes and aromas were in fashion.
Almost half a century passed, and in 1908 Jacques Guerlain's "lily of the valley" saw the light - a fragrance with barely perceptible musky notes. And after another 90 years, Jean-Paul Guerlain also decided to follow in the footsteps of his great grandfather and composed his own Le Muguet. The grandson created the aroma as close as possible to a real lily of the valley. There was no room for spicy and musky nuances in the composition: a rose, a little jasmine and something else elusive were at the forefront (the formulas are kept in the strictest confidence).
Le Muguet was released for several years, but then stopped. And in 2006 it was decided to return it to the shelves for just one day on the eve of May 1. “In France, this is a huge holiday - lilies of the valley are everywhere: they are used to decorate houses, they are given to each other,” explains Garkun. - And I was lucky to be in Paris on that day for training. I didn’t manage to buy the fragrance - they scattered instantly. We made several attempts to find him in Paris - to no avail. And then the consultant, having melted a little, took out a tester in an ordinary laboratory flask from under the shelf and sprayed the aroma. Burying my wrist, I instantly imagined the grandmothers near Moscow, who knit bouquets of flowers, covering them with sheets and pulling them with a thread. At some point, it even seemed to me that I could hear the grinding of stems against each other - the smell turned out to be so natural and authentic”.
Russia picked up the pre-May tradition in 2008: the same fragrance in a new, collectible bottle was brought to us in a limited edition. But last year, not only the flask was renewed, but also the composition - the current perfumer of the house, Thierry Wasser, was entrusted to create their own "spring". “He has long been famous among colleagues, friends and envious people as a true master of the green note,” says Galina. - And in this case, Thierry went on his own, making the scent greener. In his variation of "lily of the valley", those very stems and leaves are especially well heard."
The composition also contains the May Grasse rose (it is traditionally added to Le Muguet), a little sambac jasmine (the grandiflora variety was used earlier, with a more carnal, bodily smell, but in a lesser concentration), plus a little magic.
It was this perfume that was brought to Russia among 300 bottles. The latter, by the way, is traditionally limited. This time, the decoration of the flask was entrusted to the Parisian Atelier Bizet - skilled embroiderers were able to make voluminous lilies of the valley, embroidered with cultured pearls, and organza and satin sheets, "strewn" with bugles.
As for the lily of the valley as a note - it is definitely spring, the rest of the associations depend only on you. “Perception is always individual,” the perfume expert insists. - What brings lily of the valley to the scent? The joy of life!"
Five more fragrances to look out for:
1 out of 5
Muguet Porcelaine, Hermès
The latest fragrance from the Hermessence line of Jean-Claude Ellen's hands smells like a whole lily of the valley: flowers, stems, leaves, but only them. The perfume released last year was discontinued, so if you want to get to know it better, it's better not to delay.
The iconic perfume was created in 1956 by Christian Dior in collaboration with perfumer Edmond Roudnitska. In Diorissimo, the main spring flower sounds to the accompaniment of ylang-ylang essence, jasmine absolute and May rose.
Lily of the Valley, Penhaligon`s
Fresh as May and optimistic as spring itself, the fragrance opens with notes of bergamot, lemon and geranium, a bouquet of lily of the valley, rose, ylang-ylang and jasmine is gathered in the heart, notes of oak moss and sandalwood sound in the trail.
"Silver Lily of the Valley", New Dawn
The classics of Soviet perfumery and one of the most demanded fragrances in our country in the 1950s are still sold today, and connoisseurs claim that it has not changed at all in more than half a century. Inside - bergamot, peach, pear, lily of the valley, jasmine, honeysuckle, sandalwood, moss and plum.
Lily Of The Valley, Demeter
A brand that reproduces the most outlandish scents - from tennis balls to baby powder or even the whole of Ireland - could not get around the fragile spring flower. Everything is simple in the pyramid - lily of the valley. Synthetic, but very believable.