Coty Muguet des Bois Cologne
Year Introduced: 1936 - Feminine
Notes: Top notes of aldeydes, orange, bergamot and green leaves; middle notes of cyclamen, lilac, jasmine, lily of the valley and rose; and base notes of sandalwood and musk
Muguet des Bois was first released in 1936, but was popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Created by Henri Roubert, this is a woodsy lily of the valley that is sweeter and cleaner than Diorissimo.
An excerpt from Yesterday's Perfume:
Muguet des Bois smells clean, but unlike some more abstract clean scents, it's reminiscent of nature, and therefore impregnated with complexity. From the hint of musty lilac to a bright lemony-rose, there's a paradoxical artful artlessness to its fresh loveliness.
In a wonderful writeup on lily of the valley perfumes, Helg from Perfume Shrine tells us that when lily of the valley's components were analyzed using headspace technology (whereby a scented object's compounds can be analyzed by placing a dome over them, passing inert gasses through, and then capturing/analyzing the components), a surprising 23 compounds were found. (Surprising to me, anyway!) Citing reps from Symrise, she says they found the "floral rosy citrus from citronellol, green pea and galbanum-like notes, fatty, waxy, aldehydic notes, and trace notes of fruit and raspberry from beta-ionone."
Edmond Roudnitska himself, creator of his version of a lily of the valley fragrance (the legendary Diorissimo), greatly admired Coty's Muguet des Bois. In Michael Edwards' Perfume Legends, he said of it:
"I remembered that Coty had a lily that was called Muguet des Bois. No better lily note was ever made. It pushed the green note of the flower. As a lily note, it was magnificent. It was much better than the one I had made myself. I wondered how they had managed to create such a masterpiece in the Thirties, with so little means. But it never became very successful, because it wasn’t a perfume one could wear." (Thanks to Now Smell This for finding this quote.)
I'm not sure I agree with him that it's not a perfume one could wear, but it is definitely both more feral and innocent than the sophisticated Diorissimo. It's raw in the way Vent Vert is, evoking, through the art of its composition, the spicy/green aspect of flowers in the wild. If lily of the valley strikes you as too innocent — give this one a shot; you might find it edgier than you thought.
Muguet des Bois has been discontinued.
This is the original cologne version and I believe our bottle is from the 1960s.