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I’m usually into heavier (but not too overwhelming) floral-oriental scents, but my tastes have been changing lately. I’ve found lighter, cleaner florals–like the best lily of the valley perfumes–intoxicating over the last few months. I can’t get enough.
Before diving right into the best ones I’ve found, I have one thing to mention. If you’re venturing out on your own in pursuit of the best lily of the valley fragrance, you may see “muguet” in the name or notes. It’s the same thing.
Bottom Line Up Front
Lily of the valley works as a note with citrus, green notes, other florals (heady, soapy, or powdery–it doesn’t matter), woods, musks, fruits, and just about everything in between. Suppose you’re even mildly interested in carrying the scent of lily of the valley on your skin throughout the day. In that case, there’s a perfume for you.
Some of my absolute favorites (if I had to narrow this list down) are:
- Tocca Giulietta
- Philosophy Amazing Grace
- Dior J’Adore
- Guerlain Idylle
My Top 10 Lily of the Valley Fragrances at a Glance
I like each of the best lily of the valley perfumes for different reasons:
- Yves Rocher Comme une Evidence Eau de Parfum: Best if you’re on a budget
- Dior Diorissimo Eau de Parfum: Best if you like a little of everything but still want to maintain the feel of a spring garden
- Bond No. 9 New York The Scent of Peace: Best if you love rich, fruity fragrances (black currant is one of the prominent notes)
- Philosophy Amazing Grace: If you want something soft and light (it’s also budget-friendly and easy to find)
- Guerlain Idylle Eau de Parfum: Best if you like your fragrances a little on the sexy side
- REPLICA Lazy Sunday Morning by Maison Margiela: Best if you want a cozy, comforting scent that feels like a sunny, bright day spent snuggled up with your significant other without a care in the world
- Tocca Giulietta: Best creamy, year-round lily of the valley scent
- Chanel No. 19: Best if you love bright, green, earthy scents
- Dior J’adore: Best classy, warm floral that works anytime
- Floris Lily of the Valley: Best for those who like uplifting, citrusy fragrances
Tips for Choosing Your Lily of the Valley Fragrance
Lily of the valley tends to be used as a middle note, often (but not always) with other flowers. What it’s paired with as far as top or base notes are concerned, however, can vary quite a bit.
Keeping this in mind is one of the most important things you can do when choosing the best lily of the valley perfume for your collection.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want the lily of the valley to be as prominent as possible or to peek out between other notes in a more complex fragrance?
- Do I like bright, fresh green perfumes–maybe with a touch of citrus–or do I prefer something smoother, creamier, and more comforting?
- Lily of the valley fragrances are most often associated with spring. But do I want it to perform well in other seasons, as well, so I can enjoy it year-round?
- What are some additional notes I tend to gravitate toward in perfumes? Jasmine? Lily? Sandalwood? Lemon?
What Does Lily of the Valley Smell Like?
Like lilac, lily of the valley seems to do a lot at once. It’s fresh and green, yes, but there’s a sweetness that knocks you a little off-balance at first whiff. It sweeps you away to fond memories spent in fields of flowers. It encompasses the joy of spring sunshine hitting your skin after a winter that felt like it’d never end.
If you could bottle the optimism and hope of the first warm spring day, it’d be lily of the valley.
Lily of the valley goes with so many types of notes. I looked for perfumes that use it in various ways. While I love it paired with other florals, woods, and a little musk on myself, you may prefer something bright, green, and citrusy. Or you may even want something juicy and jammy.
I looked for lily of the valley perfumes you can find in a department store near you as well as those you can probably only get online (try a sample first, if you can).
In addition, I tried to find options to fit almost any budget. None of them are especially inexpensive, but some come in mini sizes that cost less than $50.00. That takes the sting out of a purchase, especially if you’re not sure a fragrance is “the one.”
The 10 Best Lily of the Valley Perfumes
1. Yves Rocher Comme une Evidence Eau de Parfum
Yves Rocher Comme une Evidence Eau de Parfum is a simple lily of the valley perfume with a musky, earthy base. Notes listed include lily of the valley, bergamot, damask rose, and patchouli. It’s a chypre floral, so it doesn’t get too sweet.
- It’s not that expensive, at $65.00 ($45.50 as of this writing) for 50ml (1.7 oz.). This is one of the more affordable options on the list.
- It’s a good option for those who don’t enjoy vanilla, amber, or sandalwood as a base.
- Sillage and longevity are good.
- You won’t be able to try it before buying it, and you’ll need to order it online.
- Linear and a little boring, but if you just want a white floral without much complexity, this one may work well.
- It may be too intense for some people.
2. Dior Diorissimo Eau de Parfum
Dior Diorissimo is iconic when it comes to lily of the valley scents. It’s stood the test of time since it came out in 1956.
It was discontinued for a while, but it’s back on the Dior site now. However, it’s been tweaked a bit. Dior’s description says, “Diorissimo Eau de Parfum is a new expression of the original Diorissimo Eau de Toilette. It’s richer, deeper, and more intense, with a more dominant jasmine floral heart note.”
It’s listed at a shockingly reasonable price, considering its reputation. (It’s not exactly inexpensive, though.) Notes include green leaves, bergamot, lily of the valley, jasmine, lilac, lily, ylang-ylang, civet, and woods. It’s fresh, floral, and a little animalic.
- It’s complex and elegant but not heavy.
- It feels like a piece of history.
- It smells like real flowers, not too synthetic.
- It makes you feel like it’s a perfect spring day, and you’re surrounded by flowers, feeling optimistic and joyful.
- Even though I expected it to cost more, it’s still expensive at $112.00 for 1.7 oz.
- A little soapy.
- If you don’t enjoy jasmine, you may be disappointed by the amplification of it in the new formula.
3. Bond No. 9 New York The Scent of Peace
Bond No. 9 New York The Scent of Peace is fruitier than you might expect, due to the black currant and grapefruit top notes. However, Lily of the valley carries the middle before the fragrance settles into a mix of musk and cedar. It still smells clean, but not in the crisp, green way many other lily of the valley fragrances do. It’s juicier and a little sweet.
- It can brighten your mood.
- Not heavy or overwhelming, even though the black currant note may make you think it will be.
- If you live near a mall with a Saks Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus, you might be able to try this before you buy it.
- Projection is good, so you’ll probably get a lot of compliments with this one.
- I don’t feel this one matches up with its name. I’d expect a powdery note, warmth, and lavender paired with the lily of the valley.
- Overpriced at around $270.00 for 1.7 oz. or $340.00 for 3.3 oz.
4. Philosophy Amazing Grace
Philosophy Amazing Grace is timeless, gorgeous, and sticks close to the skin. It’s pretty simple, too, featuring lily of the valley and bergamot.
- You can try it out with a travel size (0.5 oz.) for just $25.00.
- It’s easy to find. Ulta carries it.
- It isn’t overwhelming to the nose. It’s light but still noticeable.
- If you really love it, you can get a four-ounce bottle for just $76.00.
- It smells clean but floral (not green or soapy).
- There are several other body products to choose from, so you can layer.
- It’s linear, beautiful, but a little boring.
- Not the best longevity
5. Guerlain Idylle Eau de Parfum
Guerlain Idylle Eau de Parfum is a mix of fruits, florals, and musk. It’s unusual compared to many of the other lily of the valley perfumes on the market. Many will go toward musk while leaving the fruit out of it. In some cases, there’s fruit but little musk or earthiness.
If you’re familiar with Narciso Rodriguez for Her, Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely, or Tocca Cleopatra, it’s similar to those. Notes include lily of the valley, peony, freesia, white lilac, jasmine, Bulgarian roses, patchouli, and white musk.
- It has a sexier vibe than most lily of the valley fragrances.
- It’s a complex fragrance that allows you to enjoy many notes as the day goes on.
- The bottle is simple, with a vintage vibe, and will look beautiful on display in a room with any decor.
- It may feel like nothing special if you’ve already worn and gotten bored with–or just don’t enjoy–other rosy, musky perfumes.
- Only one size is available–2.53 oz.–and it’s $135.00.
- It may be difficult to find in person, so you probably can’t spray it on and see how it develops without buying a bottle (or sample) first.
5. REPLICA Lazy Sunday Morning by Maison Margiela
REPLICA Lazy Sunday Morning by Maison Margiela smells clean and fresh, like new sheets and sunshine on a relaxing (Sunday) morning, snuggled up to your significant other. Everything’s light, bright, and cozy. Notes include pear accord, ambrette seeds, clean accord, iris accord, rose petals, orange flower, patchouli, white woods, and white and creamy musk.
- You can try a sample size (0.3 oz.) for $32.00.
- It’s not too heavy. It’s light, floral, and clean.
- It’s a good everyday, anywhere, scent that lifts your mood.
- If you tend to go with the one-ounce perfume bottles, this one’s a little pricy at $76.00. Not terrible, but not great.
- It may be underwhelming or too soapy to some people.
6. Tocca Giulietta
Tocca Giulietta is a hidden gem. I overlooked Tocca’s fragrances for far too long, and now I’m obsessed with several of them. Giulietta is one of the loveliest, most feminine fragrances I’ve tried. It’s creamy and clean, unassuming, soft, and sunny. It smells like spring, like a lot of the best lily of the valley perfumes, but something about it reminds me of fall, too.
Notes here are green apple, pink tulip, ylang-ylang, lily of the valley, lilac, vanilla orchid, iris, musk, sandalwood, heliotrope, amber, and cedar.
- I feel like this is one you could wear all year. The powdery notes, musk, and woods even make it appropriate for late fall and winter.
- If the green notes and bright citruses bother you in other lily of the valley perfumes and you want something more comforting, this is the one. It’s still a fresh scent, but it’s never sharp or especially green.
- It seems pretty light. I have no problem smelling it. Even when I spritz a little on my wrist, it wafts up and I can enjoy it. However, no one else seems to be able to smell it.
- It’s a little pricy (a full 1.7 oz. bottle is $76.00 and the mini 0.68 oz. size is $46.00).
8. Chanel No. 19
Chanel No. 19 doesn’t get enough love. It’s a blend of green notes, bergamot, neroli, iris, rose, narcissus, lily of the valley, ylang-ylang, oak moss, vetiver, leather, and sandalwood. The middle notes don’t stray far from a lot of other Chanel offerings. Still, the bright top notes and earthy base notes (instead of typical vanilla, amber, musk, patchouli, etc., found in so many perfumes) make it unique.
- It’s very fresh and earthy in a sea of warmer fragrances.
- The price isn’t unusually high per ounce ($42.94) for a high-end fragrance. I’d like to see it in a smaller bottle size, though, for people who don’t want to spend so much on a perfume they may not be able to finish before it goes bad.
- It’s not your typical floral, and it’s perfect for people who prefer crisp, bright scents that fade to base notes that don’t smell like every other perfume on the market.
- Though beautiful, it’s often overlooked in favor of No. 5 and its flankers, Coco Mademoiselle, and Chance. You won’t smell like everyone else, even in a room full of people who love Chanel fragrances.
- It lacks the warmth I like in perfume.
- It smells very green with some powder thrown in, which isn’t my preference.
- It’s expensive ($146.00), and only one size is available in the Eau de Parfum–3.4 oz. (The eau de toilette is available for $125.00).
- You probably won’t find it at your local Chanel counter, so you’ll have to order online.
9. Dior J’adore
I started wearing this one in the winter, but I enjoy it year-round. It can be a bit strong in the summer, so I tend to choose the lighter L’eau version on the hottest days. To me, this feels like the best of spring in a bottle–it’s fresh and clean at first, but then you smell the florals and light, underlying warmth. It’s classy, but not uptight. It makes me feel optimistic.
Notes include pear, melon, magnolia, peach, mandarin orange, bergamot, jasmine, lily of the valley, tuberose, freesia, rose, orchid, plum, violet, musk, vanilla, blackberry, and cedar. I feel like I can catch whiffs of each note as they dance in a light cloud around me.
- It lasts and lasts.
- It’s complex–simultaneously happy and bright, a little soapy, floral, and warm.
- It’s available at several price points, so it’s perfect for someone who just wants to try it out. Similarly, it’s perfect for someone who discovers they love it so much that they never want to be without it. The mini 0.67 oz size is $49.00, and the five-ounce size is $180.00.
- Sometimes, it can feel a little sharp or overwhelming, and it feels like it could trigger a migraine for me on a day I’m already stressed or not feeling great.
- Most sizes are expensive compared to other perfumes, though the five-ounce bottle is a good deal.
10. Floris Lily of the Valley
Floris Lily of the Valley has a history that dates back to the 1700s. This bright, green fragrance features lily of the valley in the heart notes, along with jasmine, rose, and tuberose. Invigorating green notes and lemon start the experience off. The middle notes come in soon after that, then it settles onto a base of musk.
It’s not an incredibly complex fragrance, but it’s an innocent, happy fragrance that makes for a good pick-me-up.
- Not mainstream, so you won’t smell like everyone else.
- It’s bright and happy and may lift your mood.
- Not for those who enjoy more complex fragrances that reveal different notes as the day goes on.
- Reasonably priced at about $80.00 for 1.7 oz and $135.00 for 3.3 oz.
- Not as easy to get as other fragrances if you like shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
- You probably won’t be able to try it before you buy it.
- It may be too soapy for some.
- The longevity isn’t always great.
Question: What was the name of the perfume that smells like Lily of the Valley?
Answer: There are a few, but Dior Diorissimo and Floris Lily of the Valley are some of the oldest and best-known for smelling like lily of the valley.
Question: Is Lily of the Valley a strong scent?
Answer: Not all perfumes with a lily of the valley note will be strong and overwhelming. However, lily of the valley flowers do have a strong scent.
Question: Which Dior perfume has lily of the valley?
Answer: Dior Diorissimo
Question: Who made the original lily of the valley perfume?
Answer: In the 1700s, Juan Floris created a lily of the valley fragrance.
Question: Is lily of the valley a top note?
Answer: I usually see it as a middle or base note.
Question: Does Coty still make Muguet des Bois?
Answer: Muguet des Bois has been discontinued. You can find (expensive!) bottles on Mercari, Amazon, eBay, and a couple of other sites. Still, I’m always a little nervous about purchasing perfumes that way.
Which Lily of the Valley Scent Should You Try First?
If I had to tell you to start with one and work your way out from there, I’d pick Philosophy Amazing Grace. It’s pretty simple, and the price point makes it easy to try no matter your budget. It’s also easy to find in stores, so you can try it before you commit.
Once you’re ready to branch out to something more complex, I’d go with Tocca Giulietta or Dior J’adore. Either can be worn year-round. Giulietta is a little creamier and has an innocence about it. J’adore is sparkling, elegant, and complex (one of the most complex perfumes I’ve ever worn).
Guerlain Idylle’s the one to go for if you love lily of the valley and sexy fragrances.