I picked this up very cheaply at a Vintage Fair here in Birmingham, quickly sniffing out the bottle to check it still smelt good… it certainly does!
Diorissimo opens with a clear, clean and green lily of the valley with a powdery lilac (and a very light citrus). It almost has a slightly “peachy” feel to it in the opening, an not-quite-ripe green peach and maybe even apple? The fruit accord isn’t dominant however, slightly alcoholic even (maybe the top has been tainted a bit… my bottle unfortunately leaks a touch after all…). The lily of the valley isn’t the powerful waxy and slightly spicy beast of the gorgeous Carillon Pour Un Ange, but more delicate, feminine and a touch “soapy”.
There’s a dewy scent of fresh greenery and a little heady jasmine, reminding me of the honeyed jasmine of First by Van Cleef & Arpels (without the aldehydes). There’s a light spice of lily – but all in all, the lily of the valley and lilac dominate… giving off an almost “laundry-clean” vibe, but all round more perfume-y. Whilst the lotv is pretty realistic, the rest of the composition smells undeniable-y dated, although too classical to smell old-fashioned… if there is such a thing. It’s quaint, very pretty, very delicate on my skin but with a spring-like throw (that somehow conjures up green melon? – although it’s not aquatic).
Underneath Diorissimo has the slightest civet rich musk, but it’s cleaner to my nose than many seem to get… all on top of the most subtle transparent woods and green. To me, Diorissimo remains relatively linear, gradually fading away in time not too dissimilar to how it started – fresh from top bottom, seamless, green and floral. Of course it’s not at all a challenging wear, but very, very pretty <3
Recently a generous friend on Basenotes sent me a huge sample goody bag of vintage juices. Vintage is an area I’ve never explored, and having tried a couple of these now, I feel like it’s an area I can imagine exploring a little more. I don’t think I’ll ever be spending 4 x previous retail price on half a bottle of used juice, but these have definitely been very interesting to try.
For now, I’ll start with one of my favourites of the bunch…
Poison Esprit De Parfum opens with a harsh, medicinal intensity. A clove note pushes to the foreground, along with the rich fruitiness of red and black berries. This spiced berry mix brings to mind the subtle heat of candied cinnamon and a tiny high-pitched screech of anise – a sweet, rich stew that on blind sniff I could’ve easily mistaken for a good Lutens.
After a couple of minutes, the florals present themselves. A creamy tuberose is hidden in the distance, but it pulls that medicinal opening into the heart. There’s rich jasmine sambac in here, not quite indolic but luscious and full bodied like a bouquet – paired with the tuberose, the white florals are syrupy sweet and overwhelming, they take on a honeyed texture that coats the skin in a dense layer of floral juice, rather than a scattering of dated petals. I use “overwhelming” in the best possible way, it’s almost edibly delicious and not at all as loud as I imagined.
A smokiness comes through from the base, a trail of incense? Maybe even sweet myrrh. The resinous undertone definitely brings to mind smoky incense and rich amber, sweetened with a rich vanilla. This oriental is pretty huge – the aroma is that of such a dark lacquer, it becomes almost gothic – I’m kind of craving for a sharp metallic edge to be cutting through the heart of it. Thankfully the sharp incense just about fills this craving.
As it dries down further, a heavy chop of timber sits underneath – sandalwood, maybe even cedar? Something raw, dry and smoky, it hits hard with a masculine edge, keeping the power of the opening throughout the life of Poison Esprit De Parfum. Along with the clove note that I still find prominent, there seems to be some kind of green, herbal mix trailing throughout the spicy floral. Whether it is a hint of rooty vetiver in the base, or there is some other clever work at play – something green and almost culinary seems to hind underneath the syrupy florals.
This is an impressive piece of work, full of textures, pitches and colours – but seamless in its execution. I have actually never smelt the original Poison (but have a little sample of it next to me which I will look at in time), but knowing its popularity, I don’t feel like I have smelt this before. Whilst it smells quite familiar – I can’t imagine it being particularly true to this juice.
The Esprit De Parfum smells like a classic – as pathetic as that sounds – but it is a high-personality, rich fruity floral with an oriental twist, that I think would be extremely hard not to enjoy unless you have been scarred through its overexposure before. For me, who has never smelt a Poison (knowingly), it’s a delicious scent that I wouldn’t say no to having in my collection.