I don't often think of chypres as joyous perfumes. Elegant? Yes. Sexy? Definitely. Classy? Always. But they don't usually speak of a summer day and clear blue sky the way Diorella does for me. The other surprising thing about this classic Dior is how despite the ripe fruit notes (peach and melon, both usually send me running for my life), Diorella is nothing like a B&BW body spray or anything of the sticky juvenile genre. Of course, this is not the only Edmond Roudnitska creation that uses these same elements in a beautiful, chic and understated way: Le Parfum de Therese, composed by Roudnitska and launched under Frederic Malle's Editions de Parfum label is another beautiful variation on this theme.
Diorella hides the oakmoss and cheekbones behind its welcoming smile. The greenery is somewhat softened by citrus and flowers that also keep the ripe fruit from crossing the line. There's also a very interesting contrast between the reserved and elegant sillage that meets the nose and the air around its wearer and the lush sexiness that is only revealed when one is dangerously close to your skin- the fuzzy peach texture and human muskiness are a lot dirtier than the well-dressed and accessorized Diorella looks appears to those who don't know her well. It's a little like wearing the most exquisite set of sexy lingerie under a prim and proper twin set.
Like all the classic Diors, Diorella has been reworked and reformulated too many times to keep track, especially in the last decade. The most current version of EDT (exclusive to Saks and Dior boutiques, at least on our shores) has very little in common with the 1972 original. It makes me want to kick someone where it hurts due to the lack of respect to both the late Roudnitska and to loyal customers who kept buying Diorella for over thirty years. Vintage bottles can still be found here and there. This review is of the EDT in the old houndtooth packaging.
Diorella perfume ad from the 1970s illustrated by Rene Gruau vintageadbrowser.com
Dior dress photographed by Henry Clarke, 1955 myvintagevogue.com