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Monday, April 21, 2008

Perfume Review: Christian Dior Diorissimo

By Beth

Finally, finally it is becoming spring! This time of year you will find me in the garden singing Beatles songs with my hands happily buried in the dirt,talking to my plants! I buy flats of flowers way too early, plant huge pots of herbs and take as many long walks in the woods as I can. I just love that smell, when the last of the snow is gone and the air is fresh and green. I’m a big believer in seasonal fragrance, certain times of the year will always live powerfully in my imagination and never disappoint me. I fall in love with everything and everyone in the spring, I kick up my heels, I play, I dance and make love with abandon. I fantasize about Beltane fires, I dream of picnics in the park with my friends! I make May wine! My husband accuses me of being an incurable romantic and I’m quite sure that he’s right about that! But doesn’t spring do that to everyone?

To my husbands delight, the arrival of spring means that I also begin to wear as little as possible, with the exception of Diorissimo, a fragrance by the House of Dior that hardly needs any introduction at all, especially this time of year! It is my favorite springtime perfume, an absolute classic and for me once April cometh nothing else will do. Of all of the lily of the valley fragrances, I believe that Diorissimo is truly the most beautiful and I don’t live well without it! Sometimes in the dead of winter, I’ll spray a bit of Diorissimo just to remember!

I now need to bite my lip, blush a bit and admit that I tried this fragrance for the very first time at age 16 when I discovered that it was Mick Jagger's favorite. I spent many a day in front of the mirror styling my hair, lining my eyes like Marianne Faithful and trying to become as mod as possible. Before Diorissimo I had been in love with Coty’s Muguet du Bois, but once I bought my first bottle of Diorissimo I was smitten. Alas, even though I spent many a summer following the Rolling Stones , Mick never discovered that I was alive, but my husband who also lives large in my imagination (and even larger in real life!) did and he adores the fragrance! Every time I spray myself with Diorissimo, he buries his head in my hair and sighs. My son told me once that if he ever found a girl that smelled like it that he would marry her on the spot.

Diorissimo may appear innocent, but it casts quite a spell! Diorissimo is Muguet du Bois on steroids, a true Lily of the Valley fragrance that seems the only one of it's kind to really capture the essence of that beautiful little flower that appears for a fleeting few weeks in May. I’m really a purist when it comes to Muguet fragrances. I really don’t understand most of the perfumes that seem to fall into that category, to me they have nothing in common with that incredible scent. Lily of the Valley is such a lovely flower and every spring I bury my head in my bunches of it. I am lucky enough to have a gorgeous patch of it that I have loved since childhood, that lives in a quiet corner in my fathers garden. It is such a fleeting moment of time, that brief two week period in May when they bloom, so very Shakespearean. Diorissimo captures that moment for me perfectly. It is innocent yet very sexy, modern and at the same time very traditional, a truly iconic fragrance. It is very dressy, totally classic with black crepe and pearls, yet completely playful with hemp and linen. It is restrained yet sensual by nature and totally chic. Diorissimo is my Chanel. Although I adore wearing it for elegant dinners, I love to wear Diorissimo when I go riding and it smells even better mixed with the scents of saddle and the wild ramps of the springtime forest. Yes I know, it’s all part of my Lady Godiva fantasy, but I can hardly help myself!

At this point, you can still find Diorissimo online, but the only store that I can find it in is Saks Fifth Avenue. If you’ve never tried it please do. You will love it, I promise. For the record, this is one fragrance that I enjoy the Eau de Toilette version better than the Parfum. I’m not sure why, but it could have to do with the vast quantities of it that I spray!

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Blogger tmp00 said...

You've inspired me to write my own review of this- I can only hope to come close to yours!

10:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Madelyn E said...

Hi Beth
Great review of my Favorite Spring perfume . Diorissimo- is the creme de la creme of lily of the valley scents.
i have many happy memories of this classic scent since 1974 . I was a nursing student at Syracuse Un. I remember joyfully walking around campus and in particular doing my Maternal-Child Nursing rotation. ironic , working in Labor and Delivery . being immersed in the wonder of "birth" in the season of renewal. Diorissimo - is a blast of green surrounded with the floral heart of liy of the valley and a musk dfrydown. It is invigorating. I have the EDT - however I am curious aboutr the parfum.

11:16 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Hi Tom!
Thank you so much, I'm so glad that you loved the review! I love Diorissimo and I can't wait to enjoy your impressions of it! I hope that you'll write it soon!

12:12 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I just adore this fragrance and agree with you completely. Creme de la creme is the perfect description. Your remembrances were wonderful to me, I always feel hopeful when I'm wearing this one, almost innocent (if that's possible!)! For me, the perfume is simply too strong and the lily of the valley gets lost too quickly. Try it though and let me know what you think and thank you for your kind words, I'm really glad that you enjoyed the review!

12:19 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Diorissimo, I love it especially while sprayed in my hair.
I am a bit surprised that it is Jagger's favorite scent.

5:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Bryan said...

I already love the gorgeous scent. I have been snubbing the edt for the extrait, but you have inspired me to get over myself and spray with some abandon. Brava, and your happiness is contagious, no small feat for this somewhat depressive guy. I adored the review. Thank you.

6:26 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

How lovely you are !
I love your soul, peeking out at me, through those eyes.

Maddie- how eloquent are YOU ?
Kudos, baby.
What an evocative commentary.

Re: extrait-
It's been a looong time-
But I think that perhaps something so extravagantly beautiful as this, might be better used as EDT-
For the liberal , more diaphanous quality you derive from 'clouds' of it.
Perfume was a bit on the heavy side, very sweet, and definiyely ONLY for 'those who dab', lol.
[NOT that that's a negative !]

8:20 AM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

Beth, what a gorgeous review! You make me want to go romp about outside and celebrate the season.

I'm a mad romantic and an early planter too, but for some stubborn reason I always plant from seeds... which is foolish, because sometimes the blackbirds devour my efforts. :)

8:52 AM EDT  
Blogger donanicola said...

Heh Beth, beautiful review - I can feel your joy! This was one of my grandmother's favourite scents. I have a half full splash bottle of hers which sadly has all but lost its scent but I keep it in honour of her. Funnily enough your review reminded me that I bought a bottle for myself when a teenager but I found it too womanly back then. I need to revisit. Lilies of the Valley are such beautiful flowers - so deceptively simple looking. Nicola

9:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I adore it sprayed in my hair....tons of it, I just can't get enough of it right now. I read that about Mick in a Richard Avedon book. I was surprised but maybe it affects all Leo men like catnip :) At any rate, I was all over that one like bees to sticky warm honey!

12:13 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...


Definitely spray with TOTAL is the most fabulous feeling!
I'm so glad that you love the review and that it made you feel great. That makes me feel wonderful and I hope that you have an amazing day!

12:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

It is me, peeking out from the lily's last year in my fathers back yard. That patch has been there since I was a little girl and I loved to fantasize that it was my real home :) I'm really glad that you liked it!

When you said "Clouds of it" I had to laugh, that is exactly what i do with Diorissimo, spray on so much that I'm lost in it for a moment. I simply think that it's the loveliest thing to do with it, unbelievably satisfying! .

12:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Hi Ducks,

I bet you have really happy blackbirds though and these days that's worth a lot! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the review and I hope that you're not reading this but instead out romping, what a lovely thought that is!

5:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...


Definitely revisit Diorissimo! If you love true LOTV it will suit you gorgeously. It was probably too womanly for me back then, but I was so set upon winning the man's heart that I didn't even notice :)

5:24 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both your review and the fragrance are beautiful. I love LOTV. As a child I always wished for a bouquet of it for my birthday, which is in May. Happy memories, lol. I can so see your pairing Diorissimo with saddle leather and romping in the woods, lovely combination that.

7:13 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said... brings me back to simpler times, when I would spend spring weekends with my grandparents. Their yard was full of LOTV. Diorissimo reminds me of a particular dusk after a light rain in the spring, a 6 year old girl (me) picking LOTV, raindrops on my fingers smelling intensely of the flower, made me sing happy songs!

8:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Hi Sabina,

I love them too, so much! To me, they are the most beautiful flowers ever. I almost got married in May so that I could have them in my bouquet. Hopefully, you did receive some on your birthday. If not, there is always this year. I can't think of anything more glorious! Oh.....and an early happy birthday!

10:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...


Thank you for sharing that little girl memory. That was intoxicating, I enjoyed it so much. I can just see you as a little girl with raindrops on her hands and a twinkle in her eyes. Yumm!

10:07 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Romantic is an understatement, you Medieval Hippie. Mother Earth and the Goddess are smiling in honor.


8:39 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My comment got eaten yesterday so I will try again!

Lovely review - I LOVE Diorissimo, and I love your enthusiasm for life and the fragrance! It really is exuberant. The only LOTV scent that comes close to its equal is Caron's Muguet de Bonheur, a quieter Muguet scent that is purity itself; I love them both equally.

I used to wear Diorissimo quite frequently, and yes, I sprayed with abandon! It's the only way to go. :-)

4:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Thank you for your beautiful words! I haven't tried the Caron yet, although I keep meaning to. You have pushed me over the brink of desire with your gorgeous description and I am going to try to find some today! Also, I know that there is supposed to be a wonderful Guerlain LOTV. Have you tried that?
Abandon....Yes! I have never been accused of understatement!

7:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Helen said...

Two days ago I purchased my first bottle of Diorissimo. One, because of a longing for the beautiful fragrance of my mother's and two, because of a family funeral I was about to attend and I needed that comfort. Since then on a happier note, having sprayed yes, with abandon, went out to visit an exibition in a local winery and had a wonderful comment on my "lily of the valley" perfume - "what was it?" "It has the promise of spring!" Exactly. I adore it.

3:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this fragrance in 1972, long before Princess Diana confessed to wearing it. I loved the esprit de parfum best, because it really held the scent, yet was not heavy. I received compliments, no matter where I went. People in restrooms would ask me about my perfume. Alas, the esprit de parfum seems to have vanished, and the new company which bought Diorissimo added some strange chemicals to it.

11:42 AM EST  
Blogger La Profe said...

Beth, how lovely! I have anosmia (aka I can't smell, don't remember ever having smelled anything ever) and I find perfume reviews both fascinating and enlightening.

10:32 AM EDT  

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