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CAPTURING THE EPHEMERAL: THE MUGUET MELODY OF CAVATINA



Spring weather has been particularly unstable this year in Paris but one thing is certain: on the first day of May, the muguet will, as ever, be on display all around the city, heralding the arrival of les beaux jours. An emblematic flower in France, the muguet (also known as “lily of the valley”) came to symbolise purity, joy, happiness and renewal, and has been for centuries regarded as a lucky charm, a scented porte-bonheur. Up to this day, the French offer a sprig of muguet to loved ones on May 1st, a day that celebrates not just La Fête du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day) but also honours La Fête du Travail (Labour Day).




There is something decidedly chic and yet charmingly nostalgic about this delicate, friendly-looking flower of fleeting beauty. Its white, bell-shaped blooms emit an unforgettable scent: softly floral, crispy green and slightly lemony, with a hint of muskiness.




Christian Dior was fascinated by the muguet and always wore it as a boutonnière for good luck. Not only did he create gowns inspired by it or adorned with muguets in printed or embroidered form, he also sewed its blooms onto his models before each show.

Furthermore, he gave the world the most iconic lily of the valley perfume, Diorissimo. Composed by Edmond Roudnitska and released in 1956, it paired the muguet’s tender, dewy floralcy with an earthy, animalic-toned base. Several decades and reformulations later, Diorissimo is still around; however, it is its vintage, Parfum formulation that is most highly sought after by fragrance aficionados.


The muguet has been famously elusive in perfumery, not yielding enough of its essence (only a couple of years ago the first natural extract from the flower was obtained but, being a captive ingredient, it is not widely available). Therefore, the reconstruction of the lily of the valley note is subject to each perfumer’s personal interpretation. Two are the main challenges of composing a satisfying muguet note: first, the fact that—unlike other flowers—its chemical analysis did not reveal the existence of a signature ingredient and, second, that most of the compounds that were pivotal in creating some of the best muguet perfumes have been severely restricted. A new generation of environmentally and toxicologically safe muguet compounds has emerged, however the perfumer’s artistry remains the major factor in reconstructing the flower’s scent.



For Cavatina, Parfums Dusita founder and perfumer, Pissara Umavijani, crafted a central muguet accord largely based on natural raw materials, revealing the real flower's citrusy, floral, green and musky nuances. Adding only a touch of cyclamen aldehyde to her natural palette, she pursued her principal artistic goal: to deliver a modern, gender-fluid fragrance that would feel like a harmonious, joyous aromatic melody—thus reflecting its name, “Cavatina”, which is both a musical term, and the title of a famous classical guitar piece. Composed of natural ingredients like yellow lemon, indolic white flowers, coriander and violet leaf, Cavatina’s lily of the valley accord is bright, breezy and utterly delightful.


To enhance the spirit of joie de vivre, the muguet is surrounded by luminous bergamot, tonifying petitgrain and invigorating litsea cubeba. The latter comes from a tree indigenous to Southeast Asia (where its essence is known as “oil of tranquility”), and possesses a complex aroma that is both fresh and grassy, with a vivid lemon/verbena aura. Pissara considers litsea cubeba a key ingredient of Cavatina: it provides a natural link to the aroma of the real lily of the valley and a great boost to the fragrance’s uplifting citrusness. A floral heart of jasmine, tuberose, ylang-ylang and an exclusive tea rose accord (including Damask and May rose) blend with the muguet, forming a graceful, lively spring bouquet of supreme elegance and sophistication, while a base of sandalwood, ambrette seed and Siamese woods lovingly supports it with its lactonic, musky and vanillic tones.



Cavatina has been deeply cherished by fragrance enthusiasts who have been on the lookout for a stellar, gracious and ebullient muguet fragrance that combines photorealism with artistic flair. It has also, interestingly, been warmly embraced by perfume lovers who had never before owned or worn a lily of the valley-centered scent, including many gentlemen.





Despina Veneti, Parfums Dusita Blog Editor


Editor’s note: Our wish is that the Parfums Dusita Blog adds value to your experience of our fragrance universe. Don’t hesitate to share with us suggestions about topics you want us to cover (feel free to email us at contact@parfumsdusita.com, with the subject “Parfums Dusita Blog”).

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