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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Perfume Review: Christian Dior Diorissimo

By Tom

I wandered about this weekend in a state of perfume ennui: what to review? I had dropped by Barneys and was captivated by Malle's Bigarade Concentree, and promptly lost the sample the SA made me (I hope it fell out of my pocket into the car and not onto Wilshire Blvd). Lutens Vetiver Oriental is racing to the top of the list of "what I shall waste my rebate check on" but I am still processing it and not ready to review. I even saw in a gigantic full-page ad in the August Times that Juicy Couture had introduced a new men's fragrance and duly trekked off (to the Valley, even! Oh, okay I admit it, I went to Highland Park to Penny's which has the best French Fries in three counties and there's more parking at the Valley Macy's) to Sherman Oaks to sniff. Sniff I did. Citrus inoffensive would be a good name for it. Diet Sprite smells edgier. What to do?

Then I had the good fortune of reading Beth's review of Diorissimo. Wait? I have some of that! I love that! Certainly the world is waiting for my opinion of this?!?

Well, let's not go crazy..

Having the memory of your average sieve, I think that Beth and I share similar upbringings- I do remember that lily-of-the-valley were perhaps not the first sign of Spring in the part of Western New England where I was raised (that would be leaves and grass) but were perhaps the first sign that spring had really sprung and wasn't just one of those cruel jokes Spring in New England can be. Part of our backyard was a small valley, really more of a dip, that would bloom with a profusion of them; this valley was a boundary between my parents house and our neighbors and was normally just grass. Both families had a silent agreement not to mow that area until those plants were done for the year: the perfume was so heady and yet so innocent that to mow that part of the yard would be akin to murder.

Diorissimo seemingly effortlessly captures that fragrance: no mean feat I am told, since that particular flower can't be juiced or steamed or whatever it is that perfumers do to render unto us the scents that we so adore. It's blissful springtime; the scent of renewal. The long cold winter is over, the heat of summer isn't here yet but the trees have gone from bare buds to a profusion of impossibly plump leaves, grass is firmly back and even the garden shadows seem green; spring flowers seem to bud before your eyes and the rain showers seem fecund. As it goes forward, Diorissimo mirrors that fecundity with woods and civet and a bare hint on me of uncured tobacco- as Colombina writes "flowers pulled out of the earth with their roots intact".

Would I wear it? I don't know, I think I would need independent confirmation that I was light and innocent and not gassing people out at work (any volunteers?). It has certainly rocketed to the top of scents that I think I need to have in my life in more than a decant, to celebrate the season, to get through the admittedly mild winters the Hills of Beverly, or even to remind myself in what is arguably the Autumn of my life that there is always Spring, the Eternal Return. Even as the most extravagant way possible to scent my sheets.

Oh, and Beth, if you are wearing this if ever we finally meet, I will be sniffing you hair big time...

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13 Comments:

Blogger Anita said...

Amazing how accurately this scent evokes those childhood memories of picking big handfuls of lillies of the valley in my backyard. Watching for the flowers to appear in their orderly way never gets old in spring: first crocus; the jonquils, hyacinths, tulips; then LOTV and lilacs; peonies and iris. Diorissimo is pure loveliness. Thanks for the review.

5:11 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Gehring said...

Tom,
Oh my god, I loved this! Just so you know, I for one was waiting for your review of Diorissimo with bated breath! It far surpassed my expectations! I could just see that dip in the grass, filled with such a quantity of LOTV that I would have been sleeping there everynight! I have gone now to scent my sheets and for the record, I would be honored to have you sniffing my hair! Such poetry for my beloved lily's..... Thank you!

6:57 AM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

Tom, I was curious about your review to this. And I know that you're a Goutal fan - what do you think about her "Muguet" ? (I have to admit it's a new discovery of mine, and to my greatest surprise my favourite of this very spring - surprise because I've never been a floral one, never...)

10:09 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Anita-

That's exactly what it's like

11:32 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

beth-

You couldn't have said anyting nicer- you've made my month!

11:34 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

jane-

I haven't smelled that one. I haven't seen it out at all. I'll have to seek it out...

11:35 AM EDT  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

I've never tried this scent but loved both reviews, yours and Beth's. The wonderful thing about lilies of the valley is that they require no care and come up faithfully and profusely year after year. I've lived in my home sixteen years, and the lilies of the valley have thrived and even spread into other parts of my shady yard. Love them!

12:02 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

suzanne-

you should give this a try- it's a beautiful scent

12:23 PM EDT  
Anonymous Flora said...

Tom, as a fellow New Englander I can totally relate to the Spring fever! My moher planted a small patch of the rare pink form of LOTV in our yard - every year when it bloomed it was practically a religious experience. YESSS, Spring is FINALLY here!

And yes, you could totally wear it yourself - it's not really that sweet a perfume; like many Spring flowers such as narcissus, there is a greennness to the fragrance that sometimes even eclipses any sweetness they may have.

4:31 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Donns-

Since you say so I will! ;-)

4:40 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Dropping by very late to say I would *love* to smell Diorissimo on a man. And also that I wish LOTV grew better around here. I think they're not wild for the heat. Or something eats the rhizomes, not sure which. A neighbor lady grew them when I was little, I have pined for them ever since.

9:57 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

march-

I wish they grew here as well- such a gorgeous smell

11:04 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my all-time favorite perfume--I keep coming back to it time and again. Whenever I wear it, men comment. I just don't understand why it was discontinued since it seems to be so popular. I read somewhere that it was Princess Diana's favorite, too. Does anyone know if there is any chance of it being revived? I go to online websites, but they all say "sold out." So, I don't know how to get any more. FYI--the only thing I've found that is somewhat similar is Jessica McClintock (original, square bottle).

Juanita

12:17 AM EDT  

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