Slightly sweet and softly floral, lily of the valley has been a mainstay fragrance note for decades. A favorite scent of Christian Dior, it gained popularity in the 1950s thanks to the house’s Diorissimo scent. Today, notes of the flower can still be detected in a number of Dior’s most-loved fragrances (some of which are among the most popular perfumes of all time).
Not to be confused with the standard lily, it grows in the springtime in white bell-shaped buds along on a long, green stalk. “Lily of the valley, or muguet in French, has a lilting, sweet scent imbued with dew that is alternately sweet and green,” explains Steve Mormoris, CEO and founder of Scent Beauty. “It has a strong association with the emergence of spring and with new beginnings. It is remarkably feminine in character and has an enduring classicism without being old-fashioned.” (Fun fact: Kate Middleton had lily of the valley in her wedding bouquet for her April 2011 wedding to Prince William.)
Often found as a base note in floral fragrances, lily of the valley plays well with woody notes like sandalwood, patchouli, and vetiver as well as green notes such as herbs and foliage. According to Mormoris, these pairings “accentuate its sweetness without being cloying.”
Like many trends first set by Christian Dior, the floral scent’s popularity endures to this day. “[Lily of the valley] evokes a day of simple pleasure, much like the first warm spring day,” says Mormoris. Intrigued? We don’t blame you. Here, we searched high and low for 22 of the best lily of the valley fragrances to help you find your perfect scent for this season and beyond.
Kate Middleton with her lily of valley wedding bouquet, April 2011.
1. Dior Diorissimo Eau de Parfum
The fragrance that started it all. It was discontinued for a time but relaunched in 2009, to the delight of L.O.T.V. lovers everywhere.
2. Chloé Eau de Parfum Spray
Chloé’s signature scent blends lily of the valley with rose, amber, and pink peony.
3. Maison Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning
Meant to resemble the smell of bed linens on a Sunday morning, it also features earthy white musk.
4. Dior Addict Eau Fraîche
This fresh twist on Dior Addict blends floral (lily of the valley and freesia) with fruity (bergamot, grapefruit, and orange).
5. Donna Karan Cashmere Mist
The floral notes mix with bergamot and sandalwood for a balance of light and warmth. Donna Karan’s namesake brand may be no more, but there’s a reason this best-selling scent lives on.
6. Philosophy Falling in Love
Vanilla, blackberry, and lily of the valley all play a role here, but nothing overpowers or competes for centerstage.
7. Kate Spade New York Walk on Air
This floral confection has just about every spring flower in the garden plus a touch of neroli and bergamot, which add depth and warmth.
8. Yves Saint Laurent Opium
An iconic scent since 1977, Opium is the ultimate blend of floral and spicy, with notes of lily of the valley and rose, as well as clove, coriander, and tangerine.
9. Kilian Kissing
The darkly sweet combination of lily of the valley and sugar candy is just as statement-making as the kitschy bottle.
10. Byredo Inflorescence
For the true floral lovers, this luxe fragrance is like a spring bouquet in a bottle without being too heavy.
11. Bond No. 9 New York Scent of Peace
Lily of the valley superfans love this fresh fragrance, which also boasts grapefruit and musk.
12. Esscentials Spring! Fragrance Mist
Not only does this softly floral scent scream “spring!” (it’s in the name, after all), but the bottle was also designed to be reused as a vase once emptied.
13. Bvlgari Rose Goldea Blossom Delight
Papaya is an unexpected element with classic rose and jasmine in this elegant scent.
14. Miu Miu L'Eau Bleue
Akigalawood—a cousin of patchouli—pairs nicely with lily of the valley in this eye-catching blue bottle.
Of course, you’ll need nails to match.
15. Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle may be the star in this transporting blend, but lily of the valley, gardenia, and jasmine add to the floral bouquet.
16. Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Cologne
Bluebell and lily of the valley aren’t just similar-looking flowers—they also play well together. Light and fresh, it’s great if you like to reapply your fragrance throughout the day.
17. Clean Shower Fresh
The mix of florals and citrus somehow evokes the brand’s signature just-got-out-of-the-shower scent (sans the shampoo).
18. Acqua Di Parma Colonia Essenza
One spritz of this blend of rosemary, lemon, grapefruit, clove, and lily of the valley, and you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to Italy.
19. Dior Miss Dior
Originally a 1947 Christian Dior scent, Miss Dior was reinterpreted in 2017 with a floral, spicy formulation. True to form, it maintained the lily of the valley note.
20. The 7 Virtues Blackberry Lily
This scent starts out fruity—with notes of blackberry and cassis—and opens into a sweet, floral base. Not only that, but it has a higher concentration of fragrance oils than most traditional perfumes to help it last longer.
21. Etat Libre d'Orange Yes I Do
Alongside notes of cocoa and marshmallow, the florals could veer too far into sweet territory, but this combination strikes just the right balance.
22. Penhaligon's Lily of the Valley
First formulated in 1976, this classic fragrance from the U.K. perfumerie is like taking a walk through an English garden at the start of spring.