Dawn Spencer Hurwitz has made two special limited edition muguet perfumes entirely with botanical accords, in both masculine and feminine versions. This is quite a feat, since lily of the valley does not lend itself to being distilled into a perfume by its own essence, and has for a long time been identified with man-made chemical approximations that are hyper-realistic and strong.
Scent Hive's longing and request to DSH for a fully natural lily of the valley fragrance resulted in these two rounder, gentler, natural fragrance versions of a floral that has many sentimental associations. DSH pulled off a virtuoso performance blending botanical accords to achieve these two versions, both renditions true to the heart and soul of lily of the valley.
This quintessentially Spring fragrance quietly evokes the sweetness, the shyness, the dark earth and the warm early Spring sun on a flower that hides itself among its own tall green leaves close to the ground. I love seeing it escaped from old gardens, thick clumps of it near crumbling iron fences and edging up around the base of late Victorian brownstone steps in Brooklyn. There is a vitality and irrepressible strength there. It is a scent and a flower that stylistically keeps in tight association with the 19th Century, with young French girls, with May celebrations of Spring, and with an undiluted femininity of the old school.
Breaking through the feminine associations, DSH brought this sense of May floral joy into the male sphere by the use of transparency, weighted by deeper elements that tone down the high scent pitch to a spare elegance.
The notes list for both of these perfumes is long and can be fully reviewed at the DSH Notebook site.
Please visit the other sites for further personal takes and thoughts on these two perfumes -- at
the natural perfume lover and instigator of this project: Scent Hive; the inimitable Ida at CaFleureBon; the deeply scholarly Perfume Shrine; the sophisticate Gaia at The Non-Blonde; and to get insight on the perfumer's creative process, the Notebooks of DSH.
There are only nine antique presentation flacons of Muguet de Mai perfume, at $125; a good size sample at $22. All available at the DSH website (follow the links) and varying sizes of the Muguet Cologne from a sample vial for $5.25 to 10 ml $45 and 1 ounce at $98.