oh, never mind..

by Musette

First, I want to thank everybody for the kind words of back-support.  I’m on the mend and plan to NEVER (nebber! ebber!) bail on my yoga therapy again.  Backs really are not to be trifled with.

Gimping along (my legs still are a bit numb but they’re not broken so walkies it is!)…I am marveling at just how random Spring can be.  We’re in mid-central IL, so usually have it a bit warmer than the Chicago area …even so, it hasn’t been that warm, so why are huge clumps of daffodils jamming the foundations of houses?  Well, some houses.  It’s weird.  In one block there are 3 houses with clumps in full bloom while the houses next door to them, with daffs planted in exactly the same places, aren’t even in bud yet.   Maybe the bloomers come out in the dead of night with their hairdryers, like competitive tomato growers?  It’s stuff like this that keeps me occupied, so I don’t think about my numb legs.  Or Diorama.


HaHA!  Yeah, there’s Perfume Stuff  in here.  I promised to take another sniff at  the current Diorama and measure it against current Diorella….and I did.  Twice.  Actually, 3 times.  Honestly, the things I do for you! (I won’t relive the Diorama/Iris 39 smackdown.  That was just painful)

Friday I spritzed Diorama alone, thinking perhaps I’d been distracted by Thursday’s  Diorella side-by-side.  Uh, no.  Diorama (hey, did you know?  It’s NEW!) is unrelievedly boring.  It’s not ugly, it’s not fierce.  It’s just…vaguely tiresome and boring.  Because it’s Dior and they really should know better, I was going to try to scramb up some miffedness and have at them but this is like  that date that’s so bland that it’s not even worth recapping to your friends.  12 hours later you’ve forgotten you even went out  and in 2 weeks, when you run into the guy at Starbucks, you have that vague feeling of having seen him somewhere……?  Described as a fruity floral,Diorama is Froot Loops with a splash of cheap tequila and maybe a hit of one of those chemical mixers guaranteed to give you a raging hangover.  Whatever ‘floral’ they are talking about clocks in around 4 hours.  Angela calls is a ‘wan rose’ .  I’m thinking more ‘rose on the autopsy table’.  She gets cumin.  I would’ve paid somebody to get a hit of cumin.  I got vase water with rotted mint stems (I think that’s the cedar).   I am not even going to waste your time railing against the injuries done to the memory of vintage Diorama – I accept that it would be impossible to replicate Roudnistka’s 1949 masterpiece.  But it’s as if they couldn’t be bothered to even sniff the original when they cobbled this wet mess together.   I’m having difficulty working up even a soupcon of real indignation here, it’s that boring (hey, did I mention it was BORING?).  This is so not worth your while, Catherine.  Save your simoleans for the Nazgul.


Diorella, on the other hand, has stood the test of a sample, a decant…and now a full bottle.  It’s a weird little scent, fully capable of keeping your interest without pulling on your arm all day.  I liken it to that slightly weird guy in the corner – he’s not even geek-cool but there’s a little something that keeps drawing your attention.  Chat with him awhile and there’s a quiet humor and intelligence that is intriguing and the next thing you know you’ve been married to him for 12 years, have two kids and the whole thing’s just fine.  I think that’s the Sicilian lemon talking – this never goes into Pledge territory, staying cool and bright.  Instead there’s this weird, petrochemical (good plastic) blast, followed by a very comfy basil/vetiver thingamajig, sort of greenery-yallery, rounded out by peach and honeysuckle.  Nothing sweet but nothing slicey.   I’ve only had a couple of minor hits of vintage Diorella but I think she wouldn’t mind being in the same room with this gal (or guy, if you prefer my ‘guy in the corner’ analogy).  This is definitely office-friendly, though you can weird it up with a funky attitude.  Or a shiv.


Diorella and Diorama, both at Saks/ $90 for 3.4 oz (though you can get Diorella for way less online).

  • Beth says:

    Musette, I’m finally catching up on my reading after being tied to the year-end-accounting stick. Oh My, I love me some Diorella. I found it FB worthy as well. The Dioressence is lovely too, but I hear that’s pretty much been raked thru the coals of reformulation. Mine’s a little older, but not houndstooth-vintage.

    I love the vintage Diors, and wish with all my heart they’d try a little harder to reformulate them closer to the originals. I’d buy every single one. I love the sparkly Diorissimo, the sexy Dioressence, the lovely Diorella, and haven’t even tried the vintage Miss Dior or Diorama.

    • Musette says:

      8-x on accounting!

      ^:)^ on accountants!

      Bless you, every one a y’all. Without you I would be languishing in the pokey!

      xo >-)

  • Barbara says:

    Diorella’s my all-time fave. The vintage is best, of course, with funky over-ripe melon notes and a dry down like suede. Although the stuff they’re selling today isn’t as weirdo-fabulous, it’ll do in a pinch.

  • Austenfan says:

    Wonderful post Musette! Glad to hear you are walking again. I loved the story of the mysterious behaviour of the Daffodils. Mine have been in full bloom for weeks now.

    Diorella is one of my great favourites. I have both current and vintage Edt, and I have a small bottle of extrait ( vintage). The current edt is still good, but I prefer the richness of the vintage version. The extrait is out of this world gorgeous!

    I have never smelled Diorama and I can’t say I feel tempted to do so now.

    • Musette says:

      Ah! Yer KILLIN’ me with the extrait! I don’t think I could stand it. My vintage references are so far back in the Wayback machine….thank Floyd!!!

      xo >-)

  • Darryl says:

    I think Diorella’s release date a good 22 years after Diorama may have played a part in its lesser evisceration by reformulation – the closer they are to us on the timeline, the more recongizable their current versions seem, no? I have been lemming Diorella something fierce lately – never smelled the stuff, current or vintage – and descriptions like yours are not helping. :x

    • Musette says:


      I think you would like it. It’s a faithful ‘reinterpretation’ of the original in my exceedingly ignorant opinion.

      And 😕 you present an interesting hypothesis….I think it is probably even more difficult when a particular fragrance has been off the charts for awhile. Mitsouko lucked out, having never left rotation…but the long-losts..well, it’s more of a crapshoot.

      Diorama crapped out, alas.

      xo >-)

  • March says:

    So…. you didn’t love Diorama?


    The current version I tried dries down to something like Diorella, and that’s the nicest thing I can say about it. :)>-

  • Tamara*J says:

    Maggiecat your story was the best I’ve read in awhile<3
    How lovely!

  • maggiecat says:

    About five years ago, this guy kept trying to talk to me in Satrbucks and I was in a BAAAAD mood having just had a miserable break-up with someone and I could not believe this guy’s nerve…except he made me laugh, and then we started to talk, and then we drank too much coffee and decided we needed to go out to dinner… We’ve been married now for a year and a half. The great love of my life. So, you’re saying I should try the Diorella, huh? (wore Diorissimo to our wedding, BTW). Thanks for the great post.

    • Musette says:



      That is THE best story, evah! Heck, you could try Diorella – but you’re already living it! Next time you’re in a Saks or if you come by my house in 3:-o Land …but don’t beat feet anywhere to try it. Like I said to Tiara, it’s good – but it’s not THAT good!

      xo >-)

  • Tiara says:

    Since you just described my husband and my life (except we’ve been married about 3 times that long) I really need to get on the stick and rustle up a sample of Diorella. Nice to know I can forget about Diorama and I’m not about to jump into the vintage rabbit hole.

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend!

    • Musette says:

      Thanks! I’m doing way better. Now it only hurts a leetle bit instead of the shrieking 24/7-can’tbreathe-ow-crap-OW! thing I had going for a few days.

      WOW! and ^:)^ on you and your husband!!! I don’t think Diorella can touch you guys with a stick! It’s good – but it ain’t THAT good!

      xo >-)

  • Tamara*J says:

    Darling I’m sorry your poor back went out!
    I hope that it stays right for you, poor bebe.. :(
    I know what you mean about the new Diors…I tried, really to be a good sport about them but….nope. I love the classics and cannot abide what they did to my bebes….it’s a damn shame that some will think, this is what Dior is??? Without really knowing…. that’s why I have my vtg. Miss Dior and all my girls are getting to know her, so it’s not forgotten someday…at least not in this house!


    • Musette says:

      I think the House of Dior should give you a medal. Srsly. The venerable old Houses will live on because of folks like you (and some others of us – not me, alas; my peeps would rather cut my hand off than let me spritz them with a vintage)

      xoxo >-)

  • Rappleyea says:

    Great reviews, and I loved your guy in the corner analogy!

    • Rappleyea says:

      Meant to say also that there are different varieties of daffodils with different bloom times: early, mid and late spring.

  • mals86 says:

    A classic Musette post. I heart you.

  • Catherine says:

    Ah, Musette, that breaks my heart like nothing else perfume related could! :((

    But on a happier note, I recently got in a box of tea from Mariage Freres in Paris. As a lark, I got their tin of Lily of the Valley green tea. The scent reminds me so much of Diorissimo–the good, old version. It’s not quite as good, but it’s beautiful nonetheless. And delicate. So delicate for tea. I should send you some.

    In unrelated news, I’m moving. To Oklahoma. The boyfriend got a new job. This is a perfect excuse to come down to Chicago in the spring and sniff perfume with you. So please keep doing your yoga and get well. xo

    • Musette says:


      You’re moving to………OKLAHOMA?

      What happened to Berlin?

      But hellz to the yes! on coming down – let me know and I’ll de-gimp!

      xo >-)

      ps. don’t send the tea. you can BRING it!

  • Kristin says:

    You can weird it up, with a funky attitude. Or a shiv. Heh. Love ya :)

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Glad to hear you are on the mend, Anita! Numb legs are no fun- feels like you sat on the loo too long!! ;)
    As always your reviews make ‘me laugh out loud – thanks for the giggle and the money and skin real estate saved!