I remember this iconic bottle on my mum’s dresser as a little kid. That houndstooth packaging says “elegance”…

The house of Christian Dior has many beautiful perfumes that span generations. They are not all my taste- but how boring would the world be if we all liked the same perfumes, right? The iconic Diorissimo, is the worlds best known and prettiest, in my humble opinion, Lily of The Valley perfume. It was worn by many women over my lifetime and has only the sweetest memories attached. And who can forget the killer Dior Poison? Probably one of the most memorable perfumes to come out of the 80s, and how terrific is that name? For a perfume- fantastic! It can be nuclear strength if applied with abandon, but on my beautiful and elegant cousin Jean, who must just gently dab it, it smells other worldly and beautiful.

One of my most favourite masculines has always been Dior Eau Sauvage- smells both rich and quiet and adds instant elegance and panache to the man wearing it. Simple and unadorned, yet decidedly identifiable, the world would be a better place if more men wore Eau Sauvage. Just sayin’… The dry beautiful green chypre Miss Dior, which my mother wore, will always smell like grown up ladies in lipstick, with pretty silk scarves and leather handbags. Even the sweet Miss Dior Cherie (recently re-named Miss Dior…oh how they confound and confuse us with this nonsense….) while not for me, is a lovely strawberry delight that smells snuggly and delicious on my 15 year old. I can’t fault a perfume house for evolving and creating perfumes that will appeal to everyone. Snobbery in perfume is a bit tedious. We don’t all start out wearing Shalimar at ten years old…and if you did, well, you might want to open your mind a little and realize there is, indeed, a perfume for everyone.

Rene Gruau did the iconic ads for Dior perfumes. How chic is this woman?

Dior recently re-released a collection of the classics under the name “Les Créations de Monsieur Dior” and even with restrictions on things like jasmine, sandalwood and oakmoss (and who knows what else) I think they have done a lovely job of recreating the originals we loved so much. Diorella was launched in 1972 and was a departure from the heavy florals and orientals that dominated women’s perfumes in the previous decades. It is a soft floral chypre, with gentle fruity floral notes grounded by the subtle yet sexy mossy notes so well loved in 70s perfumery. Mmmmm. Love.

Rene Gruau’s ad for the sexy-clean-in-a-French-way (dirty clean) Eau Sauvage

Diorella is based on a simple cologne with the lemon, lime and basil notes but Dior added florals to give it a feminine touch. The heart notes include gentle honeysuckle, jasmine, and rose which are tempered by a yummy peach note to keep them bubbly and light. Add the base of rich oak moss, a touch of smoky vetiver and some sexy patchouli and you have a cocktail of delight on the skin. It performs as an invigorating post shower eau de cologne for day, staying close to the skin with the citrus notes so cheering and uplifting. As the day cools into evening (or in cooler weather) the sultry base notes come forward and warm on the skin, making those around you wonder who smells so damn good. All the while, the sweet floral notes keep it decidedly feminine and temper the fruity effervescent top notes and the woody, mossy smoky green basenotes. Perfection.

Topnotes are like the morning- crisp, clear & bright….
The pretty floral heart notes are warm like a sun filled field….
The mossy, smoky woody base notes warm beautifully on the skin like a cashmere wrap at night….

It does not smell anything like the average fruity floral on offer at perfume counters these days. At. All. It does not have the cloying synthetic musk note that every other perfume has these days, that makes them all smell the same and makes me want to run screaming from crowded elevators and movie theatres. One of my beloved perfumes is a discontinued Creed, Aubepine Acacia, and I do think the gorgeous Diorella can fill its shoes. And then some…

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