Dior : Diorella

Created by : Edmond Roudnitska

Date : 1972

Genre : Floral (jasmine) wood

Concentration : eau de toilette

I often refer to Diorella as the feminine Eau Sauvage because in the literature that is how it is presented.  But when recently rereading Michael Edwards’ Perfume Legends : French Feminine Fragrances, I was surprised to read the following passage :

Diorella has been called a feminine Eau Sauvage, but Roudnitska disagrees.  “Diorella was not inspired by Eau Sauvage,” he claims.  “I worked with a different formula.  Like Eau Sauvage, Diorella has a touch of chypre, but apart from that, it has absolutely nothing to do with Eau Sauvage.  Of course I had made use of the experience I had gained from my earlier work, but if Eau Sauvage was the daughter of Diorissimo (1956), the formal structure of Diorella makes it the granddaughter of Diorissimo, without really being the daughter of Eau Sauvage.  Diorella was the transformation of quite another formula.”

I’m not sure I understand the convoluted geneaology, but having tested the latest formulation of Diorella recently I can attest that it is NOT the feminine Eau Sauvage, it is the masculine Eau Sauvage (and consequently, Eau Sauvage is the feminine Diorella).  Both start quite similarly but Diorella doesn’t have the citrus flourishes of Eau Sauvage.  One could confuse Eau Sauvage with an eau de cologne but never Diorella.  More importantly, Diorella’s  jasmine heart is denser and although there is the occasional soapy note its voice is in the masculine range.

As for classification, I’m going to disagree with Michael Edwards on this one who puts Diorella in his Citrus family, although I suspect he was working from a preformulated Diorella.  For me, it’s more of a floral wood, the floral part supplied by Hedione or jasmine.  Both men and women could wear Diorella but I think most women would prefer the lighter, citrusy Eau Sauvage as would most men.  It doesn’t surprise me that Eau Sauvage is available everywhere as opposed to Diorella which is a treasure hunt find… still beautiful but after wearing it for a few days, I prefer Eau Sauvage.

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8 Comments

  1. “One could confuse Eau Sauvage with an eau de cologne but never Diorella.”
    I couldn’t agree more.

    I love Diorella! I have only smelled modern Diorella, and I enjoy it so much, I don’t care if I ever smell the vintage juice.

    Reply
    • Diorella IS very beautiful. I wore it for several days and will continue to wear it. But I have a soft spot for Eau Sauvage because my father wore it in the 70s. It brings back memories… particularly around this time of the year. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  2. Natalie

     /  December 15, 2011

    What a coincidence. Samples of Diorella just found their way to me yesterday. Knowing this connection (at whatever degree of distance) to Eau Savage makes me even more excited to truly sample Diorella, as Eau Savage is one of my favorite masculines.

    Reply
  3. I like your comment about Diorella’s denser heart, compared to ES. And ES definitely has a cleaner, racier citrus opening, no question. I wore ES a lot in the 80s but eventually moved on from it and a few years ago gave my last bottle to the man who had introduced me to it. I’m actually not sure he wears it much any more, either.

    But Diorella is a new love. I bought a FB earlier this year. Is it so hard to get where you are? I see it fairly often online, and also at my local department store (I’m in Australia). Sadly, these days Dior is only selling it in 100 ml bottles, so I paid more for it than I’d like.

    Reply
    • In Montreal, it is rare! The department stores don’t carry it. In my 6 or so years of collecting perfume, I have only seen it once and I bought their one bottle. Merchants complain of distribution problems. But you are right, it is readily available online. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
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