Lily of the valley, Convallaria majalis, is a woodland rhizomatic plant with beautiful, fragrant white bell-shaped flowers that appear in spring. These plants need some winter chill to bloom, so we can’t grow them here in California. They grow well on the east coast of the USA and in Asia and Europe. Lily of the valley is sometimes called May Flower because it is part of the traditional May Day celebrations in spring, and it is also commonly called by its French name muguet.
Lily of the valley has a long history in perfumery as a fresh white floral note that is different from the spicier, richer note of lily. The flower does not yield enough oil to be commercially useful, so accords are built from other ingredients. The most common aroma chemicals in classic lily of the valley accords (hydroxycitronellal, Lilial, Lyral) have been restricted by IFRA in recent years due to skin sensitivity issues. Jasmine, citrus, and green notes are also commonly used in lily of the valley accords.
The lily of the valley photo is from Wiki (by H. Zell).