« Fleeting Moment/La Fuite Des Heures by Balenciaga (1949) | Main | Lauren by Ralph Lauren (1978) »

February 27, 2009



This morning when I was walking the dog I slipped on a camellia that had dropped to the sidewalk. It had the exact consistency of dog shit under my boot (and begins to look like it too as it browns and decays). It made me think about how beautiful these flowers (and all flowers are) when they are living, and how quickly they decay and take on a fetidness that most people avoid. As someone who enjoys the disgustingly pungent scent emanating from a horse's hoofbeds as you pick them clean, however, this is not the case with me. However, I find it perplexing that in my scrubbed-clean work life, I prefer the citrus-y, grassy, high floral antiseptic scents that Diorella does not abide by.

Perhaps I cannot appreciate Diorella and its complex perfume counterparts because I cannot integrate my own dueling desires?



You would like Cristalle by Chanel, then. Diorella is a post-coital, funkified Cristalle.


This is the loveliest review I have seen on Diorella. Intelligent and insightful. I'm really looking forward to exploring more of your blog!


Oh, a real reader who is not one of my friends! Thanks for the message, Heather. Glad you found me and hope you keep reading!


Hi there, I was delighted to find your blog when I was rooting around lfor anything written about the old Estee Lauder scents, all of which I've been lucky to obtain on ebay, since I am very wary of reformulations ; ) Speaking of which, I wonder if you are wearing new or vintage Diorella, as there doesn't seem to be any citrus opening at all with my vintage version, and that sounds like a typical "modernization" move. BTW, Vietnamese Beef Salad always sounded absolutely perfect to me as a description! Unlike you and most other Perfumistas, I am terrible about sniffing out notes, but strangely good at sniffing out the great stuff! Happy new year, and more more more!


Hi Qwendy, thanks for your comment! Stay tuned for more Estee Lauder vintage perfume reviews (Youth Dew, Cinnabar, White Linen, and if I can get my mitts on it — Celadon). The Diorella I have is definitely vintage — from the 70s I believe, a spray eau de cologne, with the characteristic periwinkle plastic cap and houndstooth checked box. (It's too weird to be the reformulation!) What concentration do you have? I think different notes are prominent depending on the concentration (edt, edp or pure parfum). For example, I keep hearing that Bal a Versailles is "dirty," but perhaps that's in the perfume concentration and not edc as I have. All this just means that if I really want to get academic about it, I'll have to compare every concentration there is in these vintages. (I need a separate bank account for this increasingly expensive hobby!) Anyway, thanks for stopping by and do come back! There is definitely more to come.


Hi again, I have the EDT in a rather squat oval bottle with a larger houndstooth than the classic Diorissimo or Miss Dior bottles, which are rather dumure in comparison. I am always happy to share vintage samples, feel free to email me (I think my name will connect you to my blog) to see if I have things that aren't in your collection. I just obtained and wrote about Vintage Visa by Robert Piguet, which is quite amazing! Of the Lauders, have you done Private Collection or Azuree??? They are my two faves...
Have a fragrant new year!


I haven't reviewed Private Collection or Azuree, but I'm adding them to my list! We will have to confer about vintage swaps, most definitely. Happy (fragrant) new year to you, too Qwendy!

Rita Long

I'm still working on this one-- and by I mean "work", I mean working my mind around it. I DO know I love it.
"Mango cream + fur" maybe? If there's mint in there, it's like the herbaceous opening, not the sinus-clearing mentholated tail: "mi." It does smell *creamy* to me-- like fancy-lady lotions-- fatty, almost. Bringing something into being that's never existed before-- how fantastic is that?


I got a free sample of Diorella with Cosmopolitan magazine when I was 20. I've loved it ever since and despite flirting with other fragrances - CK Obsession, Poison, Vent Vert to name a few - I have always returned to it. Can't say I notice the differnce between the 1970's version and today's, apart from the packaging - oh, your reference to the houndstooth check took me back - but then I don't have much of a nose. I came across your wonderful blog as I was searching trying to find the name of a perfume my father bought me in 1978. It was very musky, a trendy perfume of the time. But I'm getting no closer. Any suggestions ? This was in the UK.


Hi Sue, glad you found the blog! Diorella is indeed a beauty, and it was my gateway perfume to obsession. The new stuff is really nice, but it's missing some of those stinkier notes that I fell in love with. I wish I could answer your question about a musky perfume your dad got you in 78, but I'd need more details. There were tons of musky scents in the 70s. What did the bottle or box look like? How else would you describe the scent?


I got my first Diorella, a small spray decant of vintage, earlier this year. Now I have 2- 1.7 oz sprays from 2001 and 2004, and I'm trolling for more because I cannot get enough of this perfume. I'm 54 and I've never had a perfume obsession like this, that I can remember anyway. ;)

When I still had only the decant, I read your review and the mint toothpaste kind of put me off. I could smell it after reading that, and I do not like mint in a perfume at all. But then I forced myself to change that smell back into herbs and was fine with it again. Better than fine.

I've always got the over-ripe fruit, but yesterday was the first time I put some on and got out and out almost rotting garbage. And I REVELED in it, that's how much I LOVE this perfume!


Hi Carrie. Anyone who knows me knows that Diorella was my gateway drug/perfume, the one that led me down the vintage perfume rabbit hole. How can you not love a perfume that could smell, alternately, like honeysuckle, salt, jasmine, basil, citrus, mint AND rotting garbage? And who would be so daring to put the scent of something on the verge of going bad in a perfume? Roudnitska, that's who. A masterpiece. So glad you love it!


Not only did he put the scent of something on the verge of going bad in a perfume, he put it in a perfume that just happens to be THE perfect summer perfume.

I'm going to spend the summer, which is often in the 90s and 100s here, smelling like a working compost pile! I can hardly wait :D


"I'm going to spend the summer, which is often in the 90s and 100s here, smelling like a working compost pile! I can hardly wait :D "   A girl after my own heart. ;-)


I found my way to your blog from Goodreads.com, where I was reading a description of your new book. I came to your blog to see if I could find out anything about Diorella. I was first introduced to this fragrance in the very early 80s and wore it for several years. It became very difficult for me to find except in larger cities and then I had to ask friends to bring it to me when they travelled abroad. I am wondering where do you get either the vintage or the newer formulation? It was my favorite perfume and I miss it. Any help you could provide on locating it would be great. (I worry about ordering via the internet because I am not familiar with which vendors are reputable.) Glad I found your blog. BTW I agree with the earlier post that compared this to Cristelle, but it is just not quite the same. Good luck with your book!


Hi Cheryl,

I have bought all of my Diorella from eBay. If the seller has a good reputation, and accepts returns if youre unhappy with it, its your best bet. If you want a refresher on how its supposed to smell before you commit to a bottle, I suggest either ThePerfumedCourt.com, SurrenderToChance.com, or ThePoshPeasant.com for a 1 ml decant. This, for example, is vintage: http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-DIORELLA-CHRISTIAN-DIOR-1-8-FL-oz-54-ML-EDT-Splash-Sealed-Box-/121007716858?pt=fragrancehash=item1c2c9f39fa  This is not: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Diorella-by-Christian-Dior-Woman-EDT-Spray-Perfume-3-4oz-Tester-New-/281073447684?pt=fragrancehash=item4171487304

Good luck!

Monica Knull

I love Diorella and its not any longer available. Or yes and I can not find it? Please le me know if you know where I can buy it.
Thank you SO MUC

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Book

Order Here

Vintage Perfume Reviews