I was worried and quite hesitant when it came time to start testing Diane by Diane von Furstenberg. DVF is my favorite ready-to-wear designer; I collect her dresses, wrap and others, as well as her original 1970-80s jewelry. I adore von Furstenberg's exuberance and seize the day attitude; it also doesn't hurt that she and my mom look like they could be sisters. Now, the perfume, Diane, is a mass-market/designer perfume. It's created to appeal to first and foremost to the non fragonerd crowd, to sell by the bucket and end up heavily discounted on every online retailer website. Rarely the stuff dreams are made of.
I shouldn't have worried that Diane was going to be awful. On the other hand, it's good that I kept my expectations very low. Diane smells like a good, somewhat vintage soap. It's feminine with a nice unsweetened violet note. It also whispers and tempts with the memory of chypres past, though it never fully goes all the way there-- instead it's stuck with soap and maybe some after bath powder. Very wearable, and have I mentioned yet that it's clean?
When talking about the inspiration behind her original 1970s fashion line, Diane von Furstenberg said:
“All I had was an instinct that women wanted a fashion option besides hippie clothes, bell bottoms, and stiff pant-suits that hid their femininity.”She sort of did the same with this perfume, shunning the fruitchoulis , heavy gourmands and pale non-perfumes that crowd the shelves of Sephora. Instead she offers a real perfume, not necessarily on-trend (though it does seem violets are all of a sudden enjoying something of a revival). Diane is pretty and just perfumy enough that a certain part of the perfume-buying crowd at mainstream stores might find it too much, but the general air of cleanliness has a chance to be quite popular in the second-job-after-college and later market segment. As Angela mentioned in her NST review of Diane, the EDP holds onto skin for dear life and beyond. It will not offend anyone but will also never go away.
Notes: frangipani, violet, patchouli, myrrh, and musk.
Diane by Diane von Furstenberg ($85, 1.7 oz EDP) is available from Sephora.
Top photo: the designer in Geneva, age 18. Second photo of Diane von Furstenberg from fashionedbylove.blogspot.com