Thursday, February 14, 2013

Christian Dior- Diorissimo (Vintage Perfume)

If there ever was one constant throughout my perfumed life and awareness it was a general aversion to muguet, especially as it's manifested in Diorissimo. Yes, I've always known that it's a classic, but for long decades this particular iconic 1956 Dior perfume symbolized to me a whole genre of ultra floral fragrances I.Could.Not.Stand. Too thin? Too airy? Too kelly green? Too watery? All of the above, probably.

In later years as I've come to research, understand, and admire the work of Edmond Roudnitska I still couldn't deal with Diorissimo. I understood it on an intellectual level, but despite numerous experiments and sticking my nose into countless bottles of vintage Diorissimo it just didn't click.

Until I found vintage set of pebble Dior bottles circa 1962. Cue angels singing and frantically waving their carillons.  All of a sudden Diorissimo offered the perfect balance between tiny and delicate blossoms and an ethereal sweetness. Gone was the watery note that usually comes with lilac; as a matter of fact I couldn't smell any lilac, and that was a good thing. The greenery in that bottle was a bit faded, the flowers somewhat more fleshy and the muguet, lily-of-the-valley, was just the right combination of heady and dainty. But that was just one teeny tiny old bottle, and as much as I tried I couldn't find this particular version of Diorissimo parfum anywhere, so I started wondering if it even existed or was just the product of a very specific and somewhat freaky aging process that required Earth and the Moon to be in a particular alignment.

I mostly gave up on Diorissimo until I had the unbelievable fortune to happen upon a nearly full amphora bottle (see top picture). It was one of those finds of a lifetime and I won't tell you how little I paid for it or you'd hate me with every fiber of your being. There it was again, my Diorissimo, in all its elegant glory, a spring morning with realistic green leaves crushed between the fingers and a thousand of beautiful white blossoms welcoming the new day.

Has this ever happened to you? Was there a perfume that took you years to understand and love? What made you change your mind (or taste)?

Notes: bergamot, rosemary, lily-of-the-valley, lily, lilac, jasmine, amaryllis, ylang-ylang, boronia, sandalwood, civet.

Images: and


  1. Gaia, I am not a fan of white florals, but the way you describe Diorissimo is very tempting. I'm willing to bet the magic ingredient that brings it alive is real civet in the vintage. It probably has just the right depth to bring life to the greens.

  2. Yes,indeed and it was that one! For years I did not really care for it; but I too recently had contact with it again; it is so very nice. Still not my favourite, but very good nevertheless.

    That third ad though, is a favoruite of mine. I have always loved it.

  3. This was my mom's favorite scent! I love Diorissimo tinged with a lot of nostalgia. I tend to just love or hate a scent, and this one I love simply and truly.

  4. Oh Diorissimo! I loved it from the very first moment I tried it on at Saks eight years ago. (And I have black hair. Delicate florals are *not* just for blondes!) I have always been a muguet fan, and I look forward to the little bells appearing every spring in my neighborhood. I wore Diorissimo right up until the point when it was so badly reformulated. Now I can't smell it, even the vintage versions, without heartbreak.

  5. I could not stand Chanel No 19 until I found a wonderful vintage. I still think modern No 19 is too boring and thin, but I adore this old bottle.
    I dislke Diorissimo too, but I haven't found my magic vintage yet.

  6. I experienced the same thing with Chanel no. 22 until I found a vintage bottle of the perfume, then it all made sense.


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