I dedicate this Autumn to – Diorella!

Okay, so it is spring for most of you, but read on.

Most of us know what it is like to associate a certain perfume with a particular time, event or person in our lives. The summer that you met your future partner was the summer you were wearing Kenzo’s Flower, or EL’s Pleasures (or whatever) every day, and just once whiff brings back that wonderful time. Mostly this happens by accident, but sometimes you can predict it. Dee recently had to decide what perfume to wear on the day she was to say goodbye to her family dog. The problem in such a situation is how to choose a perfume that is suitable, and comforting, without ruining it for the future.

I have recently fallen hard for Dior’s Diorella. A chance remark by perfume pen-pal Barbara, in a blog post on green scents, sent me back to it. I had spritzed it in a shop once before and had thought: ‘Mais oui! Very nice, very French, trés chic!’, but somehow I was not moved. The fact that it is generally only available in quite expensive 100 ml bottles probably had something to do with that!

This time I meandered over to eBay and had a look. Snap! A nearly-full 10 ml mini, going at a bargain price, was mine. Dior used to produce these very useful little bottles for several of its perfumes; I have one in Miss Dior as well. I wish I knew when they went out of production (please comment if you do). I don’t know how ‘vintage’ my Diorella is, but no later than the 1990s, I’d say. Anyway, bottle and juice turned out to be in tip-top condition.

Famously, Diorella combines the bracing citrus of Eau Sauvage with a very sexy, over-ripe fruit accord that her more restrained older brother perfume knows nothing about. Look at that gorgeous woman that Christian Dior’s friend René Gruau created for Diorella. Isn’t she wonderful?

I have been wearing Diorella about every second day. Normally I try not to do this with a new perfume because I fear that I will tire of it within weeks. But this time I’ve thrown caution to the wind. Soon it will be winter. I’m not sure that Diorella will wear well in the cold; perhaps, but in any case my winter scents will demand to be worn. So while our lovely autumn weather holds, I’m sticking to Diorella.

Why not? John Keats knew autumn as the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, which fills ‘all fruit with ripeness to the core’. So if, from now on, autumn is always the season for Diorella, I’ll be happy.

What about you? What memories, good and bad, are conjured up for you by perfume?

14 thoughts on “I dedicate this Autumn to – Diorella!

  1. A couple of months ago I wrote a post exactly on the topic of my memories related to Diorella (http://undinaba.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/first-love-diorella/ – I don’t know your policy on giving links, so edit it out if you do not want it here).
    For me this perfume is forever associated with my first school love and is significant because of that connection. I do not wear it too often but I enjoy it every time and love having it in my collection.

    Most other perfumes that made into my collection (not samples) have their own stories and I switched from the “read only” mode to writing my own blog because I suddenly felt an urge to write down those stories to… honor (?) my perfume “loves” and “likes”.

    1. Hi Undina, that is a remarkably brave post. I’m not sure I could have done that. Thank you! It seems to me that Diorella is so good, and has so much character, that it could be especially evocative and special for many people.

      Thanks also for the warning in your post about discounters and duty free shops. I often wonder about how long perfume can possibly last under those lights. It’s a worry.

      Sadly, a FB of Diorella where I live sells for about $180-$190. Urrk.

  2. It seems that most of my memories – at least my adult ones! 😉 – are conjured up, one way or another, by perfume…

    Acqua di Parma, because my father wore it
    Magie Noir I associate with the one who gave it to me first…
    Paloma Picasso, Paris, Coco and Cabochard with an old boyfriend. (It was the Eighties, what can I say? ;))
    Jicky, because it was my first ever perfume
    Miss Dior (the original) – was my second full bottle purchase
    Chanel no. 19 – a mainstay of my entire adult life, and it went so well with the blue Mohawk and Doc Martens..;)
    Dioressence – one of my original SIAB ‘fumes…(Sex In A Bottle! Results guaranteed!)
    Narcisse Noir – my Descent into Gothdom (I never quite recovered!)


    1. What a fabulous list! There are a few 80s memories in there for me too. American perfumistas, in compiling such a list, will nearly always mention something like Love’s baby Soft, or something by Victoria’s Secret. I see you don’t, and nor would I, having drown up in Australia. Avon provided my perfume training wheels, but after that I skipped straight to Chanel.

      In Australia, the inexpensive end of the market was also covered by Lentheric, Yardley and, later, by the Body Shop. Coty too, I suppose, but I don’t remember seeing Coty scents as a child. Perhaps they were still expensive.

      Fancy Jicky being your first ever perfume!

      1. Well that’s the thing…I never knew brands like the Body Shop. Love’s Baby Soft, Avon etc. (we don’t have Avon in DK), although I did know Yves Rocher and Oriflame. Also, my mother was a perfume addict all her life, and she was the one who ruined me…for life! For a 14th birthday, she took me to Paris, to Guerlain and to Dior. At Guerlain, she told me – “Pick what you love.” Just to think…Shalimar, Mitsouko, Sous le Vent, Vol de Nuit – they were all still there, and yet…I walked out with Jicky. Oddball, even at 14…;)

        And she also gave me some unforgettable advice:
        “Never underestimate the importance of a good (ie. well-fitting) bra and a great perfume!”

        She was right. And I never have.

        1. Ah right, Yves Rocher is a brand I never had (and still don’t) and I’ve often wondered why people talk about it so much.

          Your mother sounds very special. A trip to the Parisian perfume boutiques at 14! I’m on fire with envy. And yes: ‘Pick what you love’ is right. Tania Sanchez says that about perfume too: ‘If you love something, buy it.’

  3. Lovely post. Interesting to hear how well Diorella is working for you in the Autumn. Whereas in other seasons I change my perfume everyday, in the Summer I wear Diorella constantly for weeks on end. As you say, the fruit aspect would certainly make it work for Autumn.

    I love my chypres and I adore Diorella from the opening limey blast, through the lightly floral heart and on to the gorgeous mossy drydown. Glad you are growing to love it as much as I do. I stocked up on about 4 or 5 bottles because I don’t care for the current weakened version but I’m lucky they sell for about £45 on Ebay UK for 100ml. So sorry to hear it is so ridiculously expensive where you live.

    1. Thanks Tara, nice to hear from another Diorella lover. I have begun to lurk on eBay looking for Diorella bargains, but I’m waiting on a decant on modern Diorella from TPC before I make a decision. If the 10 mls of Diorella that I own does turn out to be better than the modern stuff, then I’ll know to go vintage. (Both my local department stores sell Diorella but one does not have a tester and in the other the tester is broken.) Either way, it may not be a cheap purchase, so I want to be careful.

      I have to say that a colleague of mine wears the modern Diorella and it smells brilliant in her.

  4. Yay, Anne-Marie. You really scored with that little Diorella (I saw the same size bottle on eBay recently with only 1/4th left starting at $10. Bah!)

    I’m glad you’re wearing it and not letting it tire you out. Diorella is much bolder than her brother, you’re right. I just wish her Gruau incarnation would eat a sandwich!

    I have a strategy for never letting a perfume remind me of bad things: I put it away for a while, and wear it when I am happy. I don’t really have good memory perfumes, though. Just perfumes that put me in a good mood:

    Calvin Klein by Calvin Klein. A little-known gorgeous little fruit chypre.

    Calyx, also fruity, but please don’t think that means I like fruit that much!

    Musc Ravageur, because it’s va-va-va-voom sexy.

    Of course, Diorella! Because it’s fun and saucy.


    1. Hi Barbara, yes, that Diorella girl needs a big bowl of pasta once or twice a week.

      Fruit within a chypre structure is very acceptable. Look at Mitsouko, for instance. In fact I will be looking at Mitsouko very soon, tomorrow perhaps. I never wear it in hot weather.

  5. I’ve been obsessing about Diorella lately. I have never tried it, but what I’ve read about it, your post included, makes me want to snap some up asap!

    Dior Poison reminds me of hanging around the mall, spraying perfumes at the cosmetic counters, the SA’s handing out samples left and right, possibly to get rid of us giggling teenagers!

    Calvin Klein Escape reminds me of a lovely violinist I had fallen hard for many moons ago. He was never interested in me romantically and he ended up dating a woman with whom I shared a first name. I don’t like this fragrance LOL

    Eau de Givenchy reminds me of one of my closest friends.
    I love wearing it because it fills my mind with such lovely memories of her. It was her signature scent in our younger days.

    1. Thanks JoanElaine, I hope you get a chance to dive Diorella at least a sniff. Let us know what you think!

      Sounds like you made a lucky escape from Escape. Poison and EdG bring back some memories for me. I wore the latter for years, and still do sometimes in the summer. As for Poison, I knew someone who bought it as soon as it came out. Let’s just say: it suited her.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s