La Fête du Muguet

La Fête du Muguet

May Day - Lily of the Valley Day


Muguet is a fragrance that is a year round favourite amongst our customers, a rich floral fragrance with a green freshness. We have soap bars in a number of formulations including Palm Free, enriched with Sweet Almond Oil and formulated with Shea Butter in our market soap collection as well as our handcrafted range in standard size or supersize. We are on hand to advise if you need any help making your choice.

Long associated with spring, renewal and luck, lily of the valley is given as a gift in France on 1 May, a public holiday known as La Fête du Muguet. It’s thought that the tradition of offering le muguet to family and friends can be traced back to 1561 when King Charles IX of France received a sprig of the plant’s sweetly scented, bell-shaped white flowers. Told that it would bring him luck and prosperity for the year ahead, he decided to share the good fortune by offering lily of the valley to every lady in his court, and continued to do so each year.

In the early 20th century, it became customary for men to offer a bouquet of lily of the valley to their sweetheart, fiancée, or wife as a token of their devotion. This would later extend to new mothers who would receive visits on 1 May from family and friends bearing gifts of bunches of the fragrant white flower to fill the house as a good luck charm for the baby. People also began to send cards on 1 May featuring images of le muguet to wish each other luck and love.

Around 85% of France’s lily of the valley is grown in the Nantes area with the rest coming from Bordeaux.

Today, the French continue to offer lily of the valley to their loved ones, friends, family and colleagues on 1st of May, with many families getting up early to go into the woods to pick the flowers themselves. Plants and bouquets are widely available for sale across the country and it’s estimated that some 60 million sprigs are sold in France for this Bank Holiday celebration each year.