All Things Herbal

Scent Profile: Lily of the Valley

Scent Profile: Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley

S C E N T   P R O F I L E 

According to an old Sussex Legend, the nobleman St. Leonard once battled against a terrible dragon in the woods near Horsham and where his blood fell, Lily of the Valley flowers sprung up from the ground in memory of the great fight. These woods, still called St. Leonard’s Forest to this day, remains carpeted in springtime by these familiar blooms.

Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis), not to be confused with the standard lily, is a flowering woodland plant native to Europe, North America and North Asia that blooms in the Spring. Here in the United Kingdom, it is considered a local wildflower.

Their beautifully white, bell-shaped buds are a classically familiar sight but it is their long stems, however, that harbour the fragrance popular in perfumery: sweet, green and spicy with hints of lemon and jasmine. The scent is a staple for many and was a special favourite of Christian Dior, gaining popularity in the fifties for their Diorissimo Scent and its enduring class has since stood the test of time.

The flower, feminine in its nature, symbolises purity, youth and above all, happiness, which is why it is frequently seen in wedding bouquets - such brides include Grace Kelly and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. In France, it is also tradition to gift a bunch of Lily of the Valley to someone you love on the 1st of May, ensuring good luck for the upcoming year.

The legends of Lily of the Valley don’t simply end at St. Leonard’s tale, however. In fact, the flower holds a significant amount of religious imagery as well, with it also being referred to as Mary’s Tears after it supposedly sprouted from the ground where Mary’s tears fell after the crucifiction of Jesus. Another legend talks of how the Lily of the Valley flowers grew from the tears of Eve after she was banished from the Garden of Eden. 

Available at The Master Herbalist are our very own Lily of the Valley fragranced drawer liners and wardrobe fresheners in a beautiful, traditional floral design or a William Morris floral grey.

Shop the collection here.



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