Why Don’t You…Wear Diana Vreeland?

Diana Vreeland

Diana Vreeland

Her name was pronounced Dee-Ahn, never Die- Ann.  People who worked with her rapidly found that out.  Not that Diana was affected, she was simply, completely, utterly, and unapologetically, inner directed.  This may be a  euphemism for being eccentric, but the line between genius and madness is notoriously thin, and eccentrics frequently straddle it.

Diana Vreeland Parfums is the attempt to commercialize the reputation of the late editrix of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.  Perfume seems an odd choice for that task since I don’t remember any statement from Mrs. Vreeland on perfume, except for a lone endorsement of Glamour. Clothes and shoes I should have thought, were more her sphere.

Perfectly Marvelous

Perfectly Marvelous

The perfumes are imaginatively bottled in the shades of red, orange, amber, hot pink and purple that were in Mrs. Vreeland’s preferred spectrum, and they’re pricey, $250.00 for 100 ml.s and the line fluctuates in merit.  But that always happens when a number of perfumes are released at one time.

The names though are genuinely fun.  They play off of DV’s habit of plopping an adverb on top of a perfectly serviceable adjective like an extravagant hat on a linguistic hat stand, as in: Simply Divine a perfume dominated by a high quality jasmine, along with the other usual white floral suspects, tuberose, and orange blossom, sandalwood, and musk. It’s a Fracas of a production, staged by Clement Gavarry

The perfect red, according to DV was in children's caps in Renaissance paintings

The perfect red, according to DV was in children’s caps in Renaissance paintings

Extravagance Russe is an amber, and reminds me of Ambre Russe and Oriental Brulant though it’s less interestingly put together than either of those, with amber, musk, vanilla, and some resins.  Still the scent’s high quality and lasting.  This was also done by Clement Gavarry.

Outrageously Vibrant is Carlos Benaim’s contribution to the line and is a fruity chypre with a very bright cassis note over a correspondingly camphoraceous patchouli, plus rose. OV is Chypre Fatal to all intents and purposes. If you want a less dandified version of the Coco Mademoiselle concept, this is your chance.

Perfectly Marvelous is a peppy jasmine with sandalwood and pepper and is really quite charming.  I  liked this one and there is some pop and sparkle to the composition.  The perfume was written by Celine Barel and actually seems appropriate to the spry DV. Endurance is average- about three plus hours on me.

Absolutely Vital is a small disappointment because the mix of sandalwood, jasmine, rose, opoponax, myrhh, and vanilla is really beguiling when you first smell it.  Absolutely ‘s not so familiar either, but the ingredients here were expensive and the volume is turned down too low- especially for $250.00- until the perfume’s as breathy as Jackie Kennedy, making you lean in to catch every nuance of its conversation.

Pretty as it is, and AV is very pretty, this oriental floral just doesn’t hang about long enough to justify the price. However this too was done by Yves Cassar who also composed Tom Ford for Men, one of my favorites in the Ford line. If only AV had lasted longer than barely 2 hours on my skin I might have considered a purchase of this hymn to all things Indian. (Shouldn’t this have come in the hot pink bottle by the way, since pink is, as Dee-ahn  famously remarked, the navy blue of India?)

Ms. Vreeland's Living Room

Ms. Vreeland’s Living Room

Oh well, two out of five isn’t  bad. I read that the fragrances are also going to be available in 50 ml. bottles which may make them a bit more affordable to us, the great unwashed, hoi polloi, those who have only rinsed their children’s hair in dead champagne…once.

Because of the holiday, this post will run until Sept.5th. Happy Labor Day!






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7 thoughts on “Why Don’t You…Wear Diana Vreeland?

  1. Gaia (The Non-Blonde) in the post about these releases did cite Mrs. Vreeland on a perfume use. And Jessica (Tinsel Creation) also did a post on the topic.

    I like those bottles and will sniff them all if I get a chance – just because that name didn’t mean much to me until I read all the posts about this person – but, in general, I never liked monetizing of somebody’s memory.

    1. I shall have to see what they both thought of these.

      Basically although Perfectly Marvelous and Absolutely Vital weren’t bad at all, I sort of agree that monetizing a reputation makes me a little uncomfortable. Anyway when I smelled Absolutely I noticed that I had no sandalwood scents and bought Nuit de Noel for 24.99 on the bay.

      I may be cheap-but I’m happy!

  2. Hmm, I haven’t encountered this line, but I do like the sound of Perfectly Marvelous and Absolutely Vital. Names are a bit corny, mind, and as you can imagine, I would want to put another ‘l’ in ‘Marvelous’…;)

    1. Oh the names are a bit much but those two were the standouts of this line.

      I can see Absolutely Vital working for you but that sandalwood note does go on… Don’t know if you are a sandalwood person or not and for AV you have to be.

      Perfectly Marvelous is a hard name to pass off with a straight face 🙂

  3. Simply Divine sounds like the sort of thing I would like… the bottle price, not so much.

    Incidentally, I am sampling Carven Le Parfum today and finding it very nice. Big, not-too-chemical jasmine notes plus some… freesia? no, I think it’s that sweet pea we were talking about recently. Pretty. Girlish. Not terribly innovative, but extremely pretty. Smells like a Francis K – I generally get along fairly well with his stuff, although the Elie Saab was waaaay too much patchouli for me; it screeched.

    So far this doesn’t. It’s cleaner than the Elie Saab, perhaps, but it is soft and wearable. I don’t know about you, but I do have times when I need a soft-and-pretty wallpaper scent like Daisy, or like this maybe.

  4. You would like Perfectly Marvelous but no more than Florale Romantique is my guess, and these are no better than Guerlain Elixir Charnels, and cost about the same.

    Glad you like the Le Carven because that was one of my faves too last season. I was not so keen on Elie Saab but Le Couture is much better another Francis K and very sweet but sort of sweet abstract??
    Le Carven is so romantic- in a nice French way.

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