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Friday, January 07, 2011

Christian Dior La Collection Couturier Parfumeur - a Non-Review

By Marina

I haven't been this excited about a release of a collection since Chanel's Les Exclusifs. Unfortunately, while Chanel met and even somewhat exceeded my expectations, Dior...not so much. I can't really blame my lack of excitement over what I am smelling on my olfactory ennui, because I am over my olfactory ennui and am trying new things with renewed interest. Don't get me wrong, these are masterfully blended, elegant, quality creations, but...something feels flat, falls just a little bit short of hitting the right spot...the way the first three in the collection, Cologne Blanche, Bois d'Argent and Eau Noire hit the right spot. It feels like the new entries have already been done, some done too many times, and done better.

Perhaps, there comes the time when a perfumista...a fumehead...a fumey...a scent addict...a lover of fragrance has to ask herself a rather arrogant question: is it possible that I have by now smelled so many scents, that it has become impossible for a new release not to smell like something else? Or are brands really just repeating each other and themselves, with minimal variations? In other words, is it me or is it them who is at fault for not having any chemistry together? Of course, chemistry is a tricky thing. Everything might be just right on both sides, yet sparks won't fly.

Anyway...this lack of chemistry prevents me from wanting to do proper detailed reviews of La Collection, I apologize for that. Below are basically just notes I scribbled for myself...

Mitzah. Burnt, stale Ambre Russe.

New Look 1947. J'Adore goes lady-like. Genteel, decorous and recherché to the point of blandness. A debutante with an overbearing mother. Or one of those faces which, even if you see them every single day, you wouldn't recognize when met on a street.

Vetiver. Well, it's a vetiver. Interesting smoky note (coffee?), nice sorrel-like undertone that I enjoy in vetivers. But maybe a little too on the sour side. Maybe a little too ordinary. Sycomore it is not.

Granville. Too sour. Not enough pine and not enough pepper. A grey suit with an unpleasant green sheen. Boring but strangely creepy. A perfume for an FBI agent from the 50s.

Leather Oud. Has every major brand now done an oud scent and we can put the trend to rest? I love oud, but the ubiquitousness and overexposure can make anything boring. The scent is wonderfully elegant, in that minimalist manner that few creators can actually pull off, although many try, but it's not an oud-oud. And the leather note is rather half-hearted. The composition is too subtle and short-lived overall. This, along with New Look, will probably be the most popular in the collection, certainly among people who like their ouds and leathers on the tame side and among the oud and leather beginners. Oud purists and leather fanatics will shrug shoulders and yawn. Still, the best in La Collection.*

*I decided not to smell Milly-la-Forêt and Cologne Royale since they represent the genres I am guaranteed not to be able to appreciate. Of course, as irony would have it, one or both of these were probably the scents I'd have hit it off with.

Available in Dior boutiques and on, $225.00 for 8.5oz.

Please tune in tomorrow for the first post from PST's new contributor, Birgit/Olfactoria who will be blogging with us on Saturdays. Her first article will be discussing candles for winter days.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dior´s collection leaves me strangely unaffected too. With me it is not that I have already smlled too many perfumes, I am not even close to your scope of experience, but somehow these don´t exite me either. I appreciate their look, the fact that they are well done, but I don´t connect emotionally. Don´t know why! *shrugs*
Thanks for the announcement, M. ;)

2:45 AM EST  
Blogger Tama said...

I just ordered a sample set of all 10 of these, mostly because my stinkin' Dior boutique CLOSED. I am looking forward to trying them. Most of the people I know who have tried them have loved New Look and hated Leather Oud so seems to be a tad mixed.

2:48 AM EST  
Blogger carmencanada /Grain de Musc said...

Marina, possibly there's a little bit of both -- there's a point where we *have* smelled too many things to be surprised. But there isn't necessarily a lot of original stuff being put out either. This Dior collection particularly annoyed me because it's such a knock-off of the Chanel Exclusives, all the way down to the magnetic caps...
I don't think it's you. I think it's Dior.

4:24 AM EST  
Blogger Ines said...

This effectively killed my wish to try Mitzah as I adore Ambre Russe and don't want to smell an inferior version of it.
LIke Olfactoriastravels said, I don't seem to be able to hit it off with Dior either.

5:25 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given the price of this new oud, I think I'll call Oriscent and get a sample pack of the real thing, or just put on a dab of my oud shamama from India (heavenly). Too many oud perfumes lately-- I'm ouded out!

5:42 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

"I don´t connect emotionally"- so well put, that's exactly how it is in this case.

7:18 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Would like to now what you think when the set arrives.

7:19 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you :)
I didn't know they even had magnetic caps! :)

7:20 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh no don't go by my impression. Who knows what my skin does to the scent, it might be different you. I am a fellow AR by the way :)

7:21 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Me too. Although I did like By Kilian Rose Oud. But again, it's not an oud-oud :)

7:23 AM EST  
Blogger Karin said...

Oh! Sorry to hear it. I recently purchased a sample set of these from Perfumed Court. Haven't tried them yet.

8:47 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I hope love or like some or at least one of them!

9:01 AM EST  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Eh, there are just too many of them released at the same time. That is my main problem with the whole thing...

9:32 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

True. It's tiresome for a sniffer. And the odds are against so many being exceptionally good.

9:35 AM EST  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Oh, the ennui! ;-)

You manage to be very funny even when you are half-hearted, M. I still want to smell them. After all, I must own ten different bottles of very slightly and yet importantly different red nail polish...

10:36 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Somehow polish is not the same :)
Loved you radio feature!!!

11:04 AM EST  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

Miles of "meh."

"Boring but creepy." Oh, dear. I laughed. It's rather true. Now I have an excuse to use up my little amount, though; inside joke for my boring outfit days.

And isn't the Leather Oud just the standard bearer for it all? Just what it says, like the Vetiver. But not too much leather, and a hologram of oud. Polite. Honest. A guest who doesn't cause any waves, and is forgotten 24 hours after the party is over.

12:39 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Great idea re: Granville...will do same :))
Yes, they are all very...prim and proper somehow. Nothing wrong with that! But...

12:45 PM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

Hmm, I am still curious, but I doubt I will see these anytime soon, since my local Saks closed last year. Nordstrom is unlikely to have these for a while, at least in my town.

I have always been a big fan of the older Diors of course, but it's been awhile since I paid attention - after the umpteenth Poison flanker I just went back to the vintage stuff.

4:07 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I can't think of one among them that's "you". But I might be wrong!!

5:42 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I'm interested in trying these but thinking that I'll be in thrall...

6:21 PM EST  
Blogger Katy Josephine said...

Thanks for your honesty about these perfumes. It's likely that, as perfumistas, our quest for quality increases the more perfumes we smell. The same is true for wine, food or any other passion that is pursued in life.

My nose has lost some of its pedestrian curiosity. I no longer need to smell absolutely everything. Celebrity scents are off my radar, for example. And many recent releases just don't interest me.

Of course, this, too could simply be a phase. I plan to go back and forth and dabble here and there forever.

Sycomore is a beauty. It got the OMG gasp upon first application and I have loved it since then.

7:31 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha. you are SO not alone in the been-there-smelled-that corner. i now think some companies are buying up the formulae to scents that have been discontinued and are simply repackaging them (with lesser-quality ingredients). it's almost as if everyone has "gone bond no. 9" and started being referential instead of innovative. it's probably cheaper.

and amen on the oud - it was fun for a while, but come on, that ship has sailed.

what i'm pining for is for francis kurkdjian to take on and blow my mind with a musk scent. after his absolue pour le soir, i just know he can do it. :)

oh, and i loved suit comment - although i could actually see myself wearing something like that... so i don't know if that's good or not!


10:06 PM EST  
Anonymous Natalie said...

I went in on splits of Mitzah and Leather Oud, and while I like the latter better, neither one knocked my socks off. Completely concur on the burnt aspect of Mitzah -- the opening reminded me of the burnt sludge of Wazamba (which I can't stand). The carnation-y drydown is the best part, but not worth mucking through the initial blast for!

Doubtless I sniff far fewer scents than you do, but I can relate to feeling jaded about the latest crop of new releases. The only new scent that has captivated me recently has been de Bachmakov -- not wildly groundbreaking, but really nicely done nonetheless.

11:40 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

The initial feeling of I Must Smell Everything is definitely gone. It's actually nice to once in a while read about a new scent and think, I don't need to smell that.

7:08 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I can't imagine which one of them can possibly thrill you...

7:10 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I need to spend some more time with Absolue pour le soir, so it would start speaking to be a little more legibly, so to say :) It is beautiful for sure.

7:12 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

de Bashmakov scent is lovely! And the one thing I like about Wazamba is the name. Wazamba!

7:13 AM EST  
Blogger Vanessa said...

I loved your image of a suit with "an unpleasant green sheen". Suggests, as you say, a slightly spivvy character - or possibly an ironing disaster.

This range has not crossed my path yet - hopefully when I can get down to London next. However, it does take a lot these days for me to sit up and say: "Wow!" A couple of the Atelier Colognes did that, and APOM pour Femme in Francis Kurkdjian's collection, and a couple of the new Van Cleefs last year, but it never seems to be more than a couple as a ratio of any new collection.

10:26 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Atelier Colognes, eh? I have to investigate, both you and Victoria like them. Spivvy is a great word1 :)

10:36 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh disappointment. I wanted something love/lust worthy here too. But maybe someone can put together a shortlist of desirable oud releases...since we all see that everyone is throwing in an oud entry?

11:19 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I will refer you to Victoria's excellent summary:

2:46 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reference to boisdejasmine....not sure how I missed that. Cheryl

11:19 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the . I usually read all these blogs and now I am glad I found it. By the way, In regards to dior perfumes, I would love to try this Collection since Dior is one of my favorite designers. I'll check if can get them for me since I usually get so many coupons by e-mail from them. I'll post back with my views as soon as I try them.

5:51 PM EST  
Anonymous Womens Perfumes said...

Great review! I have not tried oud yet..I know, I love the promo pic too, so enticing! Seriously lovely review, thank you. I hope to get the chance to try all the new Diors at some point.

4:02 AM EST  
Blogger LetMChooseUrScent said...

Have you tried Amber Nuit? I think it is the sexies fragrance ever! Funny enough, they are beating C...l in number of sells. Maybe because it is more easy to understand their smells to the main stream of customers...

5:23 PM EDT  

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