Thursday, May 23, 2013

Diane von Furstenberg- Tatiana (Vintage Perfume)


Diane von Furstenberg relaunched the fragrance branch of her business in 2003 with D (now discontinued) and once again in 2011 as she released Diane and later a bunch of flankers. Apparently, it didn't work so well and whatever's left of the line is now in final clearance on her website and can also be found on sale for 50% off from the various retailers that stocked it (Nordstrom, Sephora, etc.).  I liked Diane well enough, but I doubt it has made a mark or that it'll be remembered fondly and mourned for decades to come the way DVF's first perfume, Tatiana, has been.


Released in 1975 and named after Diane's daughter, Princess Tatiana Von Furstenberg (she doesn't use her title these days), Tatiana was a rather bold and assertive white floral. It was meant to be heard, seen and smelled from afar. Tatiana was created to hold its own in crowded and smoky clubs, such as Studio 54 in its heyday, a favorite location of the model/designer.

I own Tatiana parfum in the pretty multifaceted bottle. I can't say it's the most sophisticated of the 1970s vintage perfumes I know, but it definitely makes a statement. The top notes of both have been mangled a bit, but within minutes I get a massive dose of orange blossom, powder and a somewhat tropical tuberose-gardenia wave. Tatiana becomes rather powdery at some point and I could swear I smell a spicy carnation in its heart. There's also quite a bit of green stuff that complement the gardenia. The note list says hyacinth and narcissus, but if that's the case these notes are not constructed all that well and they lack the refinement I'd expect. Tatiana is not Chamade or Valentino, and I suspect it was not meant to be.

The dry-down is somewhat musky and powdery. It's very pleasant and actually smells quite elegant and expensive. Apparently the night out clubbing in the city has transformed into a more intimate and quite swanky uptown lounge. Tatiana remains just above skin level for several hours and becomes almost snuggly. It's been a very good night.



I'm not sure when exactly Tatiana was discontinued but before its demise the perfume was heavily and badly reformulated. For a while it could have been found at drugstores and other less than stylish locations (von Furstenberg closed her business and sold the fragrance license at some point). Rumor has it that you need to beware of the newer (late 80s?) version that smells like a limp and cheap carnation. I don't know when and how DVF plans to reboot her perfume line (the contract with ID Beauty was terminated in late 2012 after the latter started dumping vast amount of bottles at various discount stores). Let's hope the next incarnation will fare better.

Notes: bergamot, hyacinth, orange blossom, gardenia, jasmine, narcissus, rose, tuberose, amber, musk and sandalwood.

Also read Donna's review of Tatiana in the Examiner.

Images: various online auctions and Straight, Stirred Up With A Twist.

2 comments:

  1. I wore this as a teenager in the late '70's early '80's, so I'm guessing it was the original formulation. I'm starting to realize I may have had decent taste back then - or mainstream perfumes were just better formulated then.

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  2. I wore this back then as well and loved it. I have a vintage bottle that I found at an antiques mall and mine wore exactly as you say yours did. I still really like this a lot. Thank you so much for revisiting these older fragrances and writing about them so beautifully.

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