Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lily of the Valley

A work colleague who hails from France brings in lily of the valley from her yard every May 1.

It feels old-fashioned to hold the bouquet up and marvel at the small flowers, touching them one by one.

Muguet in French. Maiglöckchen in German.

It is curious to find references online to a perfume, first developed by Coty in 1941, based on the scent of lily of the valley.

Another French colleague spoke with me today of a grandmother, now deceased, who used to send her a card from France every May 1. There would always be a crushed sprig of lily of the valley enclosed. No one sends her May 1 greetings anymore, she lamented.


Jeffrey said...

I always think of the Billings shape-note anthem "Rose of Sharon" whenever I see these flowers. Beautiful scent! It's tough to grow them here - it gets so dry in the summers.

John said...

The Billings is so fresh, so clean. Something aggressively innocent in tone, it seems at times.

Thanks for the reminder.

Ur-spo said...

I remember the first time I smelled lilly of the valley. It still brings back memories of cleansing bathing.

Jason said...

Hello. Yep, Lily of the valley smell is remarkable.