On This Day – and Every Day: A Profound Thank You to all our Veterans and standing (and reserve) Service Men and Women.
“Anita, you know how I feel about Diorling. 🙂 However I don’t expect miracles anymore. The old house of Dior is part of the past.
You might find the same structure but the ornaments are different. I see it like a different fragrance that happens to have the same name Diorling. 😉“
This was the wise intro to a conversation I had with the beautiful Celina regarding the new (2011) version of Diorling. Most of you know my deep and abiding love for the original – I have at least 4 early-ish iterations of this beautiful fragrance, which has been reinvented several times, since the 1963 Paul Vacher chypre creation which is full of leather, oakmoss and patchouli. Angela did a great comparison here back in 2008 and mentions a host of reformulations in the past (gasp!) 45 years! I was 11 in 1963, way too young to know Diorling – and Dior was not my mother’s House. So I came to the party way late and, like so many latecomers, full of rabid desire for the good times I missed. And several of the vintages I have hint of good times, indeed!
It’s weird to think of 1963 as vintage – that makes ME vintage, alas! But there you have it. And if I go down that Vintage Path of Comparison we will be here all day, with me lamenting What They’ve Done To Diorlingblahblahblah….and you know what? I need to get over it. Celina urged me to approach the 2011 version on its own merits…and after hemming and hawing about it, I did – sort of. Okay, I approached it first by comparing it to an 80s-ish version, which was, actually not all that great a version. It had a soapy quality to it, though the leather showed up quite early and stayed a bit longer than I expected – but it wasn’t as much fun as I would’ve liked. My Snob Self was stunned…..becauuuuuuse….well, okay! I admit it. I PREFER THE 2011 VERSION! There. Ya happy? The thing I exhort all perfumistas to retain, that Beginner’s Mind, slammed shut in my own brain, as I condemned the new version out of hand. Well. Hoist on my perfume petard and all that. I decided to quit while it was ahead – no way in the world could it compare to the earlier versions. So with Celina’s gentle suggestion dingling around in my brain, I took a shower and started anew.
The new version, by Francois Demachy, is a flat-out chypre, with little pretension to leather, though it shows up halfway through the midpoint. If I were to compare it to the original I would call it Reverse Diorling as the leather comes after the floral – but I’m not comparing, am I? This one has a little bit of bergamot fronting it, with the jasmine, patchouli and leather following and dancing around…it’s got that ‘new’ Dior Chypre smell to it, as if the whole reissue group is taking its cue from Diorella (and Michel Roudnitska). There’s a hint of the lemony-bergamoty-leather from the original Diorella but it’s not as lemony-leather as Bandit. If I were to compare, Bandit’s lemon-leather is an ivory-handled straight-edge razor, whereas the new Diorling is ….hmm…maybe a nice mother of pearl pocketknife. Both can kill you but the former will likely scare you to death first. Thesmooth bergamot comes sneaking back in during the drydown and is supported by a nice little (emphasis on little) hit of leather. And it has decent, wallpapery, longevity. I spritzed it at 8p and was surprised to find it still with me at 8a.
I know I’m stompin’ around this tune and not really getting to the point, which is “dangit, does it smell good and would you wear it!?” and the answer, blushingly enough, is yes. Not FB but I certainly don’t bemoan my decant. And blushing because I had to be (sweetly) scolded into Doing My Job, which is to rate a perfume on its merits, not on my own prejudices. And…..well, with the name and all it can’t help but be a reissue of one of my most beloved frags – it’s like I feared falling in love with another Rottweiler, now that my Georgie is gone. And that’s just dumb (no dog can take his place but there is always room in my heart and home for another. ). This is most definitely not the original Diorling but as Celina pointed out, I don’t think they were aiming for that. I think (hope) they were setting out to issue another in their Chypre series and did so without embarrassing themselves overmuch (as they did with Diorama, imo). 2011 Diorling actually smells more like a Roudnitska now, rather than the original Vacher. And that’s weird – but not too shabby!
And now a question for you: are you still in possession of Beginner’s Mind? Do you think it’s even necessary for a Perfumista, once s/he’s gotten past a certain sniffage point?