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.
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
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?)
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!