Memory Lane Monday: Tatiana by Diane von Furstenberg

TatianaPatty’s post last week about big white florals really got my gray matter working on the subject. And in an ever so timely manner, what should arrive in the mail the other day but a sample of vintage Tatiana by Diane von Furstenberg. Now that was a BWF back in the day. I remember having a small bottle of it (and a mini, too, I think), and loving the elegant quirkiness of its slightly off-kilter, faceted bottle.

I’ve read that the scent was named for the designer’s daughter. And something about Tatiana also brings to mind ballet and dancers (was that part of its advertising, does anyone recall?). Or perhaps it just sounded to me as if it should be worn by a beautiful, talented Russian ballerina. (Editor’s note: Now that I think more on it, perhaps I had somehow interwoven it in my feeble brain with the vintage scent Pavlova? But that’s another story and scent.)

Anyhoo, according to the good folks at Fragrantica, Tatiana was launched in 1975 and the bottle was designed by Serge Mansau.

Its composition: top notes: bergamot, hyacinth and orange blossom. Heart: gardenia, jasmine, narcissus, rose and tuberose. Base: amber, musk and sandalwood.

It’s sweet but potent, with some gardenia and OB in the mix and most evident, a pretty hefty dollop of raspy jasmine coming through. Even with these big guns, though, it still manages to sparkle a bit before winding down to a soft white glow.

Sniffing this, thoughts of Serge Lutens’ A La Nuit, Sarrasins, White Shoulders and Jungle Gardenia are running through my mind. There’s also some Coty Sand & Sable in there, too, tickling the memory bank and another scent or two that I can’t quite recall.

I remember now that even back in the day that I preferred wearing it dabbed or at the most with one small spray, as it did create a fairly intense cloud of scent. Even now, I dabbed a bit too much, and when my wrist got near my throat I coughed a little. I’m definitely enjoying this blast from the past but need to handle it with care.

Also, I’m thinking there were Tatiana body products (a clear shower gel in a slightly frosted plastic bottle, perhaps?), but my memory on this is a bit hazy.

Did any of you love this beauty back in the day? Or do you still have some Tatiana that you wear now? Not sure about its reformulation status, but maybe some of you can weigh in on that. I did see some photos of boxes and bottles that looked unfamiliar to me, and I’m a little afraid to try a blind buy on anything that might be a newer formulation.

I purchased my sample from the Miniature Perfume Shoppe.

Photo borrowed from Fragrantica.

  • Neyon says:

    I absolutely love particularly authentic-smelling lovely white florals 🙂 Lots of gardenia plus jasmine is a dream to me

    • Ann says:

      Oh, yes! I think you might like Tatiana very well, especially the vintage. I haven’t had the chance to smell the newer version though. Do let us know what you think if you get to try it.

  • Dina C. says:

    I remember the name and bottle, but I don’t think I ever sniffed it, which is too bad because I think I would’ve liked it based on the notes. I’ll have to look for it next time I see vintage scents for sale.

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, Dina — nice to see you! Do give it a try if you see it in your travels, or the MPS has samples (no affiliation). I feel sure you would like it — or at least appreciate its BWF-ness!

  • Mary K says:

    I do remember this one and I wore it ‘way back when the unreformulated (Is that a word?) version was out there. I can recall what it smells like. Guess I must have worn it quite a bit!

    • Ann says:

      HI, Mary K! Glad to see another Tatiana fan. I don’t doubt that you can recall how it smelled; she was not a wallflower and most definitely made an impression, which is saying something considering all the HUGE fragrances that were out then and came after.

  • jen says:

    Tatiana was the scent salespeople recomended when my fave perfume, Casaque, was discontinued. Tatiana was nice but not as deep or delicious as Casaque.

    • Ann says:

      Jen, I have never tried Casaque, but I’ve heard people rave about it. It sounds lovely — especially if it’s deeper and richer than Tatiana. Here’s hoping that you can find some to enjoy again!

      • Ann says:

        You piqued my curiosity, Jen, so I began poking around. I see two scents called Casaque, one by Orlane and the other by Jean D’Albret. Which one did you love? Or is it the same scent but with different distributors?

  • foxbins says:

    Tatiana was my “signature scent” back in the days when I thought I had to have one. It was a glorious thing, and my love of BWFs probably springs from it. I remember my sister bought me a bottle some years later and it smelled nothing like I remembered, It was my first realization that fragrances could be reformulated almost beyond recognition but still sold under the original name.

    • Ann says:

      Very cool, foxbins! I think it did prime our noses for all the other BWFs to come down the pike. So sorry about the reform disappointment but keep your eyes out for some original juice. As I mentioned above, the Miniature Perfume Shoppe sells samples, if you just want to see if you still love it.

  • malsnano86 says:

    I loved Tatiana… bought a mini when I was in my first year of college. However, it… er… “disappeared” during a visit home, and to this day I suspect that my mother, never a BWF fan, “disappeared” it on her own.

    A few years ago I bought a used bottle of Escada Margaretha Ley, which has a striking resemblance to the Tatiana of my memories (the small bottle I bought on eBay was undoubtedly reformulated) – with that creaminess and the spicy aspect mixed with the armloads of white flowers.

    • Ann says:

      Mals, that is too funny!! Wonder if you asked her about it now, would she ‘fess up? 🙂 Was that Escada the one in the tall-ish red bottle with the gold ribbed top? If so, I remember liking it as well. We are having a fun blast from the past today, aren’t we?

  • Suzanne says:

    Oh, I absolutely loved Tatiana. As a young girl, I purchased it for my mother and ended up sneaking sprays of it all the time. Thanks for describing how it smells, Ann, because as much as I loved it, I haven’t smelled it in so long I kind of wondered how it would compare to the white floral perfumes I wear now.

    • Ann says:

      Hey, dear! I love it that you were a “scent sneaker” with Tatiana. Just think of a hybrid with bits of all the scents I mentioned above and you’ll kind of get the idea. 🙂

  • CbSutcliffe says:

    I totally missed this one back in the day. I’m surprised since it sounds like something I would have been drawn to.

  • Hey Ann,
    Someone I know, but can’t remember who, LOVES this one. I tried it but can’t for the life of me remember anything other than BWF about it.
    Portia xx

  • wooddogs3 says:

    I just recently encountered and liked vintage Tatiana. The newer one in the taller somewhat faceted bottle has a strong bug-spray note to my nose.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, lady — nice to see you! Very bummed to hear about the bug-spray note on the newer one, but good to know. It’s vintage all the way for this baby, then. Thanks!

  • Ellen says:

    I used to wear it a lot, but I have no memory of it now. I’d love to get a sniff. I’ll check the Miniature Perfume Shoppe. Maybe they’ll have another.

    • Ann says:

      Ellen, the MPS sells samples of it. That’s where I bought my little vial to try. Think I may go back and get another one at some point.

  • Artist says:

    I love this because it is my oldest and dearest friend’s Holy Grail perfume! When it was discontinued she stalked EBay etc and purchased every bottle of the original she could find. She says the reformulation is not the same.

    • Ann says:

      So cool that your BFF loves Tatiana and so do you! I’m sorry to hear the newer version is not the same. 🙁