Perfume Chat Room, January 21

Perfume Chat Room, January 21

Welcome back to the weekly Perfume Chat Room, perfumistas! I envision this chat room as a weekly drop-in spot online, where readers may ask questions, suggest fragrances, tell others their SOTD, comment on new releases or old favorites, and respond to each other. The perennial theme is fragrance, but we can interpret that broadly. This is meant to be a kind space, so please try not to give or take offense, and let’s all agree to disagree when opinions differ. In fragrance as in life, your mileage may vary! YMMV.

Today is Friday, January 21, and we had snow a few days ago! It didn’t last beyond one day and night, but it was so pretty while it was falling. I’m thankful that we were able to get some needed masonry done in our garden before the cold temperatures and precipitation; and I was able to run around and add mulch to the root zone of some precious plants. I also clustered pots on the ground together as a small measure of protection. Our cold spells are rarely so cold that outside plants are actually threatened, as long as one takes some simple measures. I do keep some garden “frost blankets” on hand in case of need.

The fragrance blog and community Now Smell This had as its Friday “community project” to wear a Dior fragrance in honor of Christian Dior’s birthday, which resulted in a discovery — I may have more fragrances from the house of Dior than any other, which I learned as a result of looking for options to wear this week. This did surprise me, as I hadn’t really planned such a focus, but it results from a few things.

One, two of my earliest fragrance loves — the first two high-end scents I bought for myself — were Chanel No. 22 and Dior’s Diorissimo. Of the two, I wore Diorissimo more often, as it felt less formal than No. 22, much as I do love that. So I’m inclined to take an interest in Dior fragrances.

Two, I have a monthly scent subscription that has been offering decants of Dior’s “Collection” fragrances, and I’ve been collecting those. I like several of them very much, including La Colle Noire and Gris Dior. (The decants may tempt me toward a full bottle at some point — shhhhh! Don’t tell.).

Three, my trip down the fragrance rabbit-hole began when I read Turin & Sanchez’ “Perfumes: The A-Z Guide” and decided to renew my acquaintance with today’s Diorissimo. I made the rookie error of sampling the eau de parfum, a later creation, instead of the eau de toilette, which is closer to the original, and was taken aback at how much it seemed to have changed. So I went on a quest for a substitute, and thus the madness began. As part of that, I started to seek out vintage Dior fragrances, often in minis, so that added to my Dior stash.

Today, I’ll wear vintage Miss Dior in honor of M. Dior’s birthday today and his heroic sister Catherine, for whom the fragrance was named and whose love of flowers inspired it.

Collage of Dior family photos
Christian and Catherine Dior; image from http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Having survived the Nazis’ torture, prisons, and a concentration camp, she came home to Paris after the war and became a noted florist and wholesaler of flowers, together with the man she loved, also a Resistance fighter.

Miss Dior perfume, vintage ad

I know some of you, like Undina, deliberately track exactly how many fragrances you have from a given house. Which ones show up most often in your collection? Any surprises?

Vintage ad for Miss Dior fragrance
May Melange Marathon: La Colle Noire

May Melange Marathon: La Colle Noire

Happy May Day, and welcome to the May Melange Marathon! In previous years, I have written blogging marathons in the month of May, celebrating the lovely lily of the valley in a “May Muguet Marathon“, and my beloved roses in a “Roses de Mai Marathon.” This year, I wanted to write about a number of the green fragrances I love, but I didn’t think I had enough to post about one daily for 31 days. Also, I have some new (to me) muguet and rose fragrances. So the solution is to go with the theme of “April showers bring May flowers” and write about a melange of scents that evoke different aspects of a garden, with a mix of florals and greens.

First up: Christian Dior’s La Colle Noire. Launched in 2016, it is named for the Provence estate of designer Christian Dior, outside the legendary perfume city of Grasse. One of the reasons that Grasse became so important in perfumery is the abundance and quality of the roses that are grown there for their essential oil, especially the “Rose de Mai”, or centifolia rose, also known as the Provence rose. Perfumer Francois Demachy wrote of La Colle Noire:

“In the springtime, the Centifolia Rose takes over the garden of La Colle Noire, Christian Dior’s beloved home in the Grasse region. It is an extraordinary time, when the flower’s plump, honeyed and fruity scent lingers in the air. This fragrance is an ode to that magical place and the unique rose that grows in the land of my childhood.”

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Fragrance Friday: Les Fontaines Parfumees

Fragrance Friday: Les Fontaines Parfumees

Welcome to the new home of soon-to-launch Louis Vuitton perfumes, plus sibling Parfums Christian Dior (Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior are both owned by LVMH): a restored seventeenth century perfumery in Grasse, France, with the enchanted name “Les Fontaines Parfumees”, or “The Perfumed Fountains.” It joins the previous purchase and restoration by Parfums Christian Dior of the Chateau de la Colle Noire, twelve miles away in Callian and former home of the legendary designer Christian Dior himself. Continue reading