If there ever was one constant throughout my perfumed life and awareness it was a general aversion to muguet, especially as it's manifested in Diorissimo. Yes, I've always known that it's a classic, but for long decades this particular iconic 1956 Dior perfume symbolized to me a whole genre of ultra floral fragrances I.Could.Not.Stand. Too thin? Too airy? Too kelly green? Too watery? All of the above, probably.
In later years as I've come to research, understand, and admire the work of Edmond Roudnitska I still couldn't deal with Diorissimo. I understood it on an intellectual level, but despite numerous experiments and sticking my nose into countless bottles of vintage Diorissimo it just didn't click.
Until I found vintage set of pebble Dior bottles circa 1962. Cue angels singing and frantically waving their carillons. All of a sudden Diorissimo offered the perfect balance between tiny and delicate blossoms and an ethereal sweetness. Gone was the watery note that usually comes with lilac; as a matter of fact I couldn't smell any lilac, and that was a good thing. The greenery in that bottle was a bit faded, the flowers somewhat more fleshy and the muguet, lily-of-the-valley, was just the right combination of heady and dainty. But that was just one teeny tiny old bottle, and as much as I tried I couldn't find this particular version of Diorissimo parfum anywhere, so I started wondering if it even existed or was just the product of a very specific and somewhat freaky aging process that required Earth and the Moon to be in a particular alignment.
I mostly gave up on Diorissimo until I had the unbelievable fortune to happen upon a nearly full amphora bottle (see top picture). It was one of those finds of a lifetime and I won't tell you how little I paid for it or you'd hate me with every fiber of your being. There it was again, my Diorissimo, in all its elegant glory, a spring morning with realistic green leaves crushed between the fingers and a thousand of beautiful white blossoms welcoming the new day.
Has this ever happened to you? Was there a perfume that took you years to understand and love? What made you change your mind (or taste)?
Images: hprints.com and myvintagevogue.com.
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