Thursday is May First -- le premier mai -- which is a national holiday in France (essentially the equivalent of Labor Day in the U.S., to make a long story short). It's also traditionally when you offer a bunch -- or even just of stem-- of lilies-of-the-valley (les muguets) to those you are fond of. It's supposed to bring happiness and good luck. And the French government is said to allow (tolérer) individuals and organizations to sell muguets on May 1 without a permit or having to pay sales tax, which I guess is why you see the vendors on the streets of Paris.
But the florists do a brisk business, too -- and so elegantly. This display is in the vitrine of Baptiste, one of the greatest fleuristes in the 7e arrondissement. I took the photo at night as I passed by. Not too bright a picture, but it brightened my evening!
Life being what it is, websites have sprouted, as fast as springtime bulbs, that allow you to send a virtual muguet -- en français. Not the same scent. Not the same effort.
Not the same, period.