Friday, May 02, 2008

Le Muguet


I did not have the opportunity to offer you "un brin de Muguet" (a Lilly of the Valley stem) yesterday because of the theme day, so let me do it today... It's a tradition in France on May 1st (the day we celebrate "labor day" - la fête du travail) to pay a visit to our relatives and bring them this cute little white flower that is supposed to bring luck. Incidentally, it's also the only day in the year where anybody can sell Muguet in the street without paying taxes... BTW: I still haven't decided on the picnic place for sure, I'm still waiting for the weather forecast to be a little more certain. Stay tuned and check the latest in the PDP Forum.

63 comments:

  1. Very simple, very nice, caught in the street...
    Good night.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Eric! That is the second one for me today in "virtual" but this year I have had none in real;(... Too bad ;) even if, to be honest, I didn't realize it until I saw your post. And yours makes me pleased! Okay I am sharing with all your faithful visitors. That's fair ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Corinne, it's my first brin de muguet...no real one this year!
    Thanks to share it!

    (Yeeeees GF for the second time in two days. I'm too lucky, it's hiding something bad. Or good.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bravo Guille! But according to the official PDP Constitution I am not totally sure that you are GF today... Euhh? Rose ? Phx-cdg ?where are you ?
    Just to tease you Guille because you are younger than me ;).
    Good night and see you wednesday!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Don't feel too bad, madamoiselles, I haven't received flowers in years. Why don't women give flowers to men? It's not fair. Oh, waaah.

    Yes, mon ami, the weather is uncertain. Good thinking to wait.

    (Nothing bad can happen to La Reine, can it?)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awwwwwwwww!!! Du muguet! I can practically smell it from here! I wonder how much does a brin de muguet (one stem) go for these days?

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a gorgeous photo! Simple, elegant. When I lived in Minnesota I was so thrilled when it got warm enough that the Lilly of the Valley started blooming. They have a wonderful scent! They don't seem to grown easily in California and I miss them.

    Just yesterday I was telling someone that as a kid we used to put little flowers on people's doors on May 1, and they'd never heard of this custom. Nice to know it's still (sort of) a custom in France.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Why don't women give flowers to men? It's not fair. (Straight) men like flowers? Well, I didn't know that. The things you learn on the Internet, uh. What didn't you say so! Would you (men) like to cuddle, too? ;) Just checking.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah, Katie, this custom is not know in California. And the first time I even mentioned Lily of the Valley I had to show them one in the dictionary. Didn't realize it was so rare around these parts.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Un Brin de Muguet!! My mother's favorite flower, which probably won't be out here for several weeks yet.

    I used to have a cologne when I was a young girl, "Muguet du Bois" that my younger sister absolutely hated. When she wouldn't leave me alone or leave my room all I had to do is threaten her with a spritz. :) Worked like a charm!

    Happy May Day, everyone!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I had a fellow flight attendant present me with "un brin de Muguet" one year. I didn't know the good luck significance till now. How sweet.
    Let me put on my judicial robes and a pink funky wig and make a decision. One must make 2 lines of lucid commentary to win the Golden Finger for the day.I know, because I made the rules, hee,hee!
    Corinne wins, but how can I ever face Guille next week after this ruling?

    ReplyDelete
  13. How very beautiful. A lovely tradition to learn about.
    Yes, Happy May Day to all - and mine was made special by a surprise at my doorstep. Photo and description in today's post at my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oui, Tomate Farcie, c'est trop cher! Last year, Louis paid an eye-popping $40 for a bunch, which had to be special ordered! Louis got it from the woman who has the flower stand across from Gaylord's.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Merci for the Muguet, It's still May 1st here in San Francisco. I do believe it will bring us good luck. That was interesting about being exempt from paying taxes for the day if you are selling in the street. That is really sweet. I do not think the American government would ever do anything that romantic.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've written about Le Muguet too on Menton Daily Photo, Eric - and have linked to you. I love this tradition. I wish you 'bonheur.'

    ReplyDelete
  17. Regarding the giving and receiving of flowers, I'm not fussed either way. Whether I get them or not, and whether they are given by a man or a woman, is of far less importance to me than emotional authenticity, for which flowers can act as either an expression or a substitute.

    Cynicism aside, it is a shame that flowers are essentially a gendered gift, and that more women don't give them to men, or that more (straight) men don't give them to men (straight or gay). I expect that the only time my male friends will ever give me flowers is at my funeral - which is as good as saying I got them late AND never!

    BTW, in lieu of flowers, I once bought my wife an expensive monograph on Poiret (her favourite early 20th French designer), which I inscribed with an affectionate message. How sweet, you might say - how romantic! It may have been at the time; but, now that we are divorced, I wish I'd bought her a bunch of roses instead. They'd have been cheaper and, by now, long dead. As things stand, she has a very nice book and I have a very bad taste in my mouth.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I want to comment on just about every post here. You are ALL so interesting, each and every one of you. But I'd fill too much space.

    Thanks for this, Eric. Happy May to all!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I know what you mean Petrea but don't be silly...
    You don't fill enough space because you are very interesting too - in fact, you are extremely interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey GF Guille!

    Ew Tomate, nooooo! That doesn't appeal to me in the slightest, giving flowers to men. Ew, ew, ew. Shall i get off the fence and say what i really feel?!

    Eric this is a lovely shot and a beautiful idea. I wish we had this in England, i would love to receive lillies of the valley. I think they are a very delicate flower. Traditionally given to old ladies, really and perhaps those unwell, but who cares - i love them! No, i'm not old....not THAT old anyway....

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Ew Tomate, nooooo! That doesn't appeal to me in the slightest, giving flowers to men. Ew, ew, ew."

    Well, I AM surprised!

    Why should the idea of women giving men flowers be so repulsive? Each to his (or her) own, I suppose, but I think we need to distinguish between tradition and convention.

    It is traditional to give certain flowers on certain occasions, and that can stay as it is: however, it is mere convention that insists on the "only men to women" rule, and that is surely open to renegotiation.

    Go on, Lynn, give it a try! ;)

    (Hint: It might come to you more easily if you don those famous flairs. LOL)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks a lot Phx-cdg for your answer!
    As Jeff and Lucio mentioned the point, I don't think it would be odd to offer a brin de muguet to a man, (especially muguet). It is supposed to bring luck and happiness to everyone. So, I pick three 'brins de muguet' from the photo and offer one to Jeff, one to Lucio and, in my turn, one to Eric, of course! Have a nice day.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lucio, I totally agree with you!
    I gave flowers to my boyfriend once, a big bunch of roses. It was for the third anniversary of our relationship (Yes I'm 22, so what? LOL). He was really touched, or he was a good liar. We're not any more together, but I know that the bouquet was not the cause of our break-up. ;)
    It's unfair to be always the one who receive flowers, 'flowers' don't mean 'girly', it's unfair for you, guys!
    Is Lucio the only one who wants to receive a bouquet? Too bad...

    Phx, YOU WILL REGRET THIS BETRAYAL. I hope that you know how to swim (in the Seine especially). Muahahaha.

    (Jeff, yes it happens, even if I'm a Reine. Fortunatelly, it's not so often! I'm kind of lucky girl).

    Corinne, well done (about the three brins de muguet given to the men!). You surpass all the girls here now. I'm jealous. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Corinne: That's very sweet of you. Merci beaucoup!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Guille: Well, if I have royal backing in the matter, I am sure to prevail! Provided a few of the other guys step up to the plate and admit that they, too, wouldn't be embarrassed to receive a bouquet from their belle - or, for that matter, their buddy.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think this is a wonderful tradition!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have given flowers to both my husband & son on numerous occasions & though I think they were surprised at first, they now seem to find it touching. I have these very Lily's growing right outside my doorstep. Thanks to Eric I will be giving them to my loved ones every May 1-what a lovely tradition!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Lucio: you are very welcome! In virtual, the delicate perfume of the muguet is not present, you have to picture it...
    Guille: thanks for the compliment but do not worry !!!! You are for ever Guillemette the First, our PDP Reine, our "benjamine", a lovely art and law student, a 'premium' GF winner, ahem, what else ???? Well, I'll stop here!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Merci, Eric, for a beautiful photo of my favorite flower. When I lived in Paris in the sixties, one May 1st I dared my best friend (a gorgeous male model) to give a brin de muguet to Yves Saint Laurent when we saw him sitting on the terrace of the Flore -- so my friend did. YSL blushed, but he seemed pleased
    . . . because, yes, why wouldn't a man like to get flowers too?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Corinne, stop! LOL.
    I'm the youngest, that's all. And that's enough! :)

    It's a pity the weather is nice today and was not yesterday for your bank holiday...Hmm I'm sure Eric took a long weekend! Faire le pont, il n'y a que ça de vrai.

    ReplyDelete
  31. OMG this is going to be a girls gone wild picnic!According to the PDP FOrum,Monica is encouraging Michael to throw Rose in the Seine,Guille is going to save Rose (I think only because she will be holding the Casasha bottle-sorry for the spelling) and Guille is now after me!
    I think I will by flowers for all the men so they will save me.

    ReplyDelete
  32. such a delicate little flower with a wonderful tradition!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Merci pour le brin de Muguet, Mlle. Corinne. Yes, it is possible for a man, straight or gay, to love looking at and breathing the beauty of flowers. Pour quoi non?

    (Lynn: is the intent of a gift to please the giver or the receiver?)

    Lucio, je comprende. C'est la vie, c'est l'amour.

    I was at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts last night, where they have the annual "Art In Bloom" event, where floral artists create arrangements inspired by select paintings. I took many photos. I was going to e-mail the photos to some dames Fraincaise, who did not receive a brin de Muguet. (Since no hommes cared about it.) Two arrangements near our marvelous Henri Lehmann paintings are superb. A floral version of a Gerome also is beautiful, and a Corot, a Vuillard, and a Bonnard also had flowers. Unfortunately, my new international phone had already been activated and I could not send the photos from my old phone. Je sui desolée, mes amies. J'ai essayé. Vraiment.

    ReplyDelete
  34. What a nice way to celebrate the day!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I give my husband flowers from time to time, and he loves them.

    Thank you, Rose. :)

    Jeff: How many days?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Ew Tomate, nooooo! That doesn't appeal to me in the slightest, giving flowers to men. Ew, ew, ew. Shall i get off the fence and say what i really feel?!


    Really, Lynn? Why not? What's the difference? Yes, please do tell! :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. ERIC: cool tradition..! you give this kind of flower to relatives.. hehe here in my country, it's just a no-work-and-class day..we dont give anything but i like that french-tradition!! heheh

    hey guys i have a question..
    how much do you think it cost to like go to France. ?? and whats the most affordable and nice hotel or B&B (i know there are a lot but what do u recommend?) to stay in for a week? hehehe..

    i asked my mom that what i wanted for my 18th birthday is a trip to France! and she told me to ask how much does it cost! the flight.. the stay and all.. waaaa
    i hope she wasnt kidding.. if she was i'd be totally depressed.. hehe

    ReplyDelete
  38. lol! Eek i've upset the roses cart here!

    Ok Lucio and Guille - ooooooooh noooooooo i stand by what i said, i just don't like it. Yes, perhaps it's a tradition and some traditions can be overturned. It's not that i like to receive flowers (but i do i do i do!) and not give anythng to a man; of course i do. But not flowers. In fact, i can't imagine what any of the men i know would do if i was to present them with a bouquet. I do believe they'd laugh quizzically and give them straight back. they'd think i'd lost my marbles i think. My brother would certainly think me crazy and just hand them to his wife. My father would refuse them, shake his head firmly i know, and give them to my mother. I'm just trying to imagine going into my pub and giving it to one of my male friends....oooh gosh no it doesn't work at all in my head! They'd be very embarrassed. You know, maybe it's a UK thing! I'm going to try to get Ham over here, see what he thinks.

    Jeff your point is very valid. If a man particularly liked flowers (huh? is he a gardner, a landscape artist or what? huh?) and asked me to buy him some then i suppose....erm.....i.....oh no sorry i can't. I just can't.

    lol isn't it interesting?! I obviously don't intend to criticise any men who do like flowers and apologise if i do, i'm keeping it light-hearted but no, no, no, the idea is not for me. Eric? Michael? Your thoughts? LOL........

    Un petit rose a tous ici aujourd'hui seulement.... :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Eric & Corinne i've answered your questions of yesterday...

    ReplyDelete
  40. Just asked my son (16). He shrugged and said "Why would a guy want flowers?" then he went on to say it should not just be men who buy women presents, but he just can't imagine a bloke wanting flowers. Are we stuck in a time warp here in England? LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Lilly of the Valley, they are so beautiful. An elderly lady living in my neighbourhood has hundreds of them in her front garden, it's one of my favourit spots at the moment.
    I Kind of agree with Lynn about giving men flowers. It's not that I won't give flowers to a man, but I can't think of any man who would really appreciate a bouquet.

    ReplyDelete
  42. It's so true-I think it does depend upon the man. The two boys that get them from me are both artists so that may explain why they like them...

    ReplyDelete
  43. Lynn, I know exactly what you mean. You are such a good writer. I could never have put it in writing the reasons why. You are fabulous. When you said that you are an artist but had to diversify. I think that was a good thing.

    My boyfriend, Alain, said: "When I was a kid, I use to get it (Muguet) in the forest/field with my mom, and sell it on the street, I was making pretty good money actually...but I did not know about paying no taxes.."

    Jeff, May I receive an email? "Art In Bloom" event, where floral artists create arrangements inspired by select paintings. I took many photos. I was going to e-mail the photos"

    Alexa, Thank you for sharing the YSL story. I love stories like this -- first hand, I mean.

    I told my mom about the PDP picnic and she said, "I hope you have your ticket". She is such a bad influence -- I can't fly to Paris just for a picnic -- that's crazy!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I've always bought girls flowers without needing any excuse, and I would add there is absolutely nothing nicer than receiving them, too. Thinking about it, I'd say that it also depended on having my own place.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I love Le Muguet, and it has so many special memories for me. I remember when we were young my sister and I would gather them for my mother as they grew wild near our home. She had a special vase that she only used for Le Muguet[it actually had the flower hand painted on the vase]and she would put it in the kitchen so she could see[and smell]them all day long. It was such fun gathering them and watching our small bouquet grow with each flower we would pick, and then run home with our offering.

    tomate...men do like flowers, but not the very fragrant ones! ;-)

    I loved the YSL story also...merci!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Lois & Tonton,
    You're welcome!
    Just discovered Eric's wonderful blog recently, and it's bringing back so many great memories -- like Mai 68! (I know, I know, I'm totally giving away my age. Tant pis.)

    ReplyDelete
  47. tonton_flaneur: what kind of flowers do men like? For future reference.

    This is a sweet tradition and the memories it evokes even sweeter.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Phx LOL! I'd never encourage Michael to throw Rose in the Seine!

    I'm a bit worried though, if you guys get carried away by the cachaça (you almost got it right) then everybody might end up in the Seine!!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Ok, ok, I admit it, I like getting flowers. I even buy them for myself from time to time to have in the house. So what's wrong with that? I think it might also depend on the flowers one buys and whether or not they have any special meaning. I don't particularly like pink roses, but yellow roses are awesome! And sunflowers in the middle of summer conjure up so many great memories of the hot sun, and lavendar, well that just smells great.

    So Lynn, get with it over there in old England. Times they are a changin'!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Sorry, that should have read "Olde"...for affect of course! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  51. I love hearing about this French tradition - I didn't know anything about it. At first, I thought they were what we call "Babies Breath" but then I enlarged the photo and saw what cute little fleurs they are! I want some!

    P.S. Eric: How funny is it that your PDP calendar for May with the Moulin Rouge theme is also the theme for my Hello Kitty May calendar??? Yes, I am an adult woman who loves Hello Kitty, and you should see Kitty wearing her Moulin Rouge outfit - darling!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Great feeback, Michael. It's nice to know men appreciate these gestures also.

    Monica: I got your email. Thanks for the info.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Lucio: "I expect that the only time my male friends will ever give me flowers is at my funeral - which is as good as saying I got them late AND never!" Sooo cynical, sooo funny, sooo Lucio!

    Corinne "'brins de muguet' from the photo and offer one to Jeff, one to Lucio and, in my turn, one to Eric, of course!" How sweet of you ;)

    Alexa "to give a brin de muguet to Yves Saint Laurent when we saw him sitting on the terrace of the Flore -- so my friend did. YSL blushed, but he seemed pleased" Wow, that is a real piece of history you're telling us here! Thrilling...

    Guille "I'm sure Eric took a long weekend! Faire le pont, il n'y a que ça de vrai.". Nope! But I took the 4 days off to catch up on things (including one month of unbanswered emails!!)

    Qwaudzkhi "how much do you think it cost to like go to France. " Uhu that is a tough one. I'ml sure you can find an OK place for 40 € a night. Food is not expensive (you can eat for 10 to 15 € per meal. Less if you go to a fast food place). Transportation: about 15 € for a weekly metro (and bus) pass.

    Pont Girl "How funny is it that your PDP calendar for May with the Moulin Rouge theme is also the theme for my Hello Kitty May calendar???" Funny indeed, but I don't known what this Hello Kitty craze is all about - although I keep hearing a lot about it!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Michael: Thanks for the back-up. Actually, I had completely overlooked the buying-flowers-for-oneself angle. If I had a slightly larger apartment, a vase, and a little more disposal income, I'd buy for myself flowers all the time!

    Lynn: I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's a "UK thing" or that you are "stuck in a time warp" regarding the giving and receiving of flowers, but it does seem that tradition and convention are less easily separated in some places than they are in others. This is a shame because (as I intimated earlier) traditions bind societies, while conventions blind them.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I'm sure you're right, Lucio. It's just the way we see things isn't it, within our own space, our cultures, backgrounds and so on. Well, Ham likes getting flowers so ... !

    Lois said: Lynn, I know exactly what you mean. You are such a good writer. I could never have put it in writing the reasons why. You are fabulous. When you said that you are an artist but had to diversify. I think that was a good thing.

    Wow Lois i'm delighted with that, thank you so much. I'm so thrilled i unashamedly repeated it! You've made my day and boy did i need it! Thank you again.

    Michael i can actually see that a man buying flowers for his home is delightful. Strange, but i don't get the knee-jerk reaction to it at all! I'm desperately trying to analyse my own feelings here! It's simply giving a man a gift of flowers that does it for me. Or in fact, no, it doesn't. LOL ! What an interesting conversation we've had yet again at the wonderful PDP. Even if Eric did skirt answering. Yes i noticed. LOL !

    ReplyDelete
  56. I love all the traditions of Europe...sadly we don't have any near as wonderful as this! Thank you for sharing all your wonderful photos...it is giving me a more intimate view of Paris. I've only been to the airport and would love to spend time there.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Eric: oooo thanks eric!!

    its cute when a girl gives flowers to a guy.. hehe.
    reminds me of me when i was a kid. i bought my dad a red rose for valentine's day..


    michael: i like pink flowers. hehehe.. maybe i could give u one whether you like it or not. hehe.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I didn't know that tradition in France thats cool.
    Google me Michael I Jackson

    ReplyDelete