Lately, I’ve become obsessed with Christian Dior. I’m not sure why I haven’t paid much attention to this brand (even though I worked for them years ago). However, now I have started collecting Dior fragrances and reading all I can on the man himself. I’m currently reading his autobiography, “Dior by Dior”. I’ve been finding I have a lot in common with Christian Dior and am curious about learning more about this fascinating man.
Recently, the Lily of the Valley keeps popping up for me. The fragrances I’m drawn to lately seem to contain main notes of Lily of the Valley. Bright, crisp, green and beautifully floral. It’s never a note that I’ve been drawn to but lately I can’t get enough of it. And this is another tie to Christian Dior as it was one of his lucky charms. Dior, quite like myself, was superstitious and kept several lucky charms in his pockets, including the Lily of the Valley. He even used to sew them into the hems of garments prior to fashion shows to help ensure that the collection he was presenting would be successful. So another tie between Christian Dior and myself.
I also recently discovered that the Lily of the Valley is hugely celebrated in France on May 1st during the Fête du Muguet. And my birthday falls on April 30th. Not quite the same day but still an interesting coincidence I think, so I’m running with it. Besides May 1st in France is still April 30th here in the US. 🙂
Today the French holiday mainly celebrates the workforce, similar to Labor Day in the US. Stores are often closed and people have the day off to celebrate. In this case, May 1st is also known as Fête du Travail, which became a public holiday in 1947.
But Fete du Muguet is a much older celebrated holiday that is said to date back to 1560, when knight Louis Girard presented King Charles IX with a bunch of Lily of the Valley flowers as a token of luck and prosperity for the coming year. It is said that later King Charles gave all of his friends and family sprigs of Lily of the Valley and announced it a royal holiday.
The Lily of the Valley’s scientific name is majalis or maialis, which means “of or belonging to May”. Fete du Muguet is a celebration of Spring and its arrival. Now it is part of French tradition on this day to offer a sprig to friends and family to wish them “bonne chance” and as a token of appreciation.
Both of my favorite fragrances house, Christian Dior and Guerlain, have several beautiful fragrances that feature the Lily of the Valley. Maison Dior even recently released a fragrance called Lucky that has notes of Lily of the Valley and other white florals. This is definitely one on my wishlist.
I’ll be celebrating Fete du Muguet this year by buying myself a new Lily of the Valley based fragrance and purchasing a bouquet of the flowers to keep in my home. And I wish you all another year of good luck and prosperity!