Christian Dior Miss Dior Cherie

In many ways, the evolution of the Dior fragrance line mirrors the evolution of its fashion line. Dior’s glory years were during the 1940’s and 50’s, the years of their ultra-feminine, wasp-waisted New Look. The fragrances that Dior put out during that time period, such as Diorissimo or Miss Dior, were intended for elegant, sophisticated New Look women. These days, elegant, sophisticated women no longer appear to be Dior’s target audience. The classic Dior fragrances have been reformulated to all hell, and in their place we have such monuments as Dior Addict 2 and Dior Addict Shine.

However, there are still a few bright spots in the Dior line. We discussed Hypnotic Poison the other day, and now we turn to what is probably currently Dior’s most successful fragrance, Miss Dior Cherie. As you are probably already aware, Miss Dior Cherie bears no resemblance whatsoever to its predecessor (beyond the very cute bottle). It is not particularly elegant, and it is most certainly not sophisticated. It does, however, smell very, very good.

MDC is a vivacious, whimsical strawberry fragrance, with a touch of what must be the lightest jasmine note in all of perfumery. It smells something like strawberry lip gloss, with all of the delightful middle school associations that entails. Although the official notes list musk and “caramelized popcorn”, you really won’t find much beyond that very sweet strawberry note. Additionally, I want to commend Dior for hiring Sofia Coppola to create the cutest ad campaign of all time. So much more charming than all of those “sexy sex sexity sex” ads out there.

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Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison

Was ever a perfume created that was better suited to femme fatales than Hypnotic Poison? There’s the name, of course, and then there’s the apple-shaped bottle in a shade somewhere between dried blood and Chanel Vamp, evoking temptresses from Eve to Snow White’s evil stepmother.

Who I always thought was pretty fabulous, personally. Is that Vamp I spy on those nails?

Finally, we come to the fragrance itself. With vanilla and coconut as its most prominent notes, one could not be blamed for expecting HP to be just another girlish, flirtatious vanilla. Instead, it is that rarest of things: a vanilla for grownups. A fabulous bitter almond note gives HP a seductive edge over its vanillic brethren. The effect is something like seeing a confident, sophisticated woman, perhaps clad in a sharp YSL suit, in a room otherwise populated by sorority sisters.

A friend declared HP “overly mature”. In a world where, at age 23, Heidi Montag felt that she needed ten different surgeries, HP may indeed be a “mature” fragrance. I, for one, am thankful that such fragrances still exist. However, I won’t deny that this is a strong, heady fragrance, and is probably best in smaller doses. I find Hypnotic Poison to be absolutely beautiful, almost poignant in its darkness. It’s the best of the Poison line, for my money.

OH MY GOD YOU WERE SO PRETTY BEFORE WHY WHY WHY WHY

By the way, if you have a different answer to the question posed in the first sentence, please share it in the comments!

Miss Dior Cherie L’Eau

Mother Nature, who apparently feels pretty bad about that whole Snowmaggedon thing, has decided to bless Maryland with absolutely fabulous weather. It’s 70 degrees, the sun is shining, and that most glorious of flowers, the purple crocus, heralds the approach of spring. Finally I have the opportunity to break out Miss Dior Cherie L’Eau, a recent flanker for the uber-popular Miss Dior Cherie. For some of us (me me me me me), the original Miss Dior Cherie was akin to a screaming toddler whose face is covered in ice cream- a gooey, overly sweet mess. These folks will be pleased to know that MDC L’Eau bears absolutely no resemblance to its predecessor (or to Miss Dior, but I was pretty sure that went without saying).

The official list of notes provided by Sephora claims that MDC L’Eau contains strawberry leaves, pink jasmine, caramelized popcorn, strawberry sorbet, and patchouli. This is rather bizarre, considering that MDC L’Eau does not smell like any of these things. MDC L’Eau opens with a citrusy top note and segues into a very delicate gardenia note, which then mingles with a light musk. MDC L’Eau can be thought of as a more feminine take on the traditional cologne. It has a refreshing quality that reminds me of my favorite flavor of gatorade, the light blue Glacier Freeze. There’s something very Easter-y about MDC L’Eau. It’s as if the perfumer created it using pastel colors, as opposed to the neon pink of original MDC.

Now, a word about cost, which is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. MDC L’Eau is available at Sephora in only one size, 3.4 ounces, for $82. Trust me, you’re gonna need that larger size, because MDC L’Eau has no lasting power whatsoever. Earth to Dior: those Marc Jacobs splashes have similarly poor lasting power, but they come in TEN ounce bottles for $68. Because I find the price outrageous, it is unlikely that I would ever purchase this. I will just have to sigh over what a truly pretty fragrance this is.

Disclaimer: I have sampled MDC L’Eau many times at Sephora.

Gucci Envy

Has anyone tried the Fragrance Finder tool on the Sephora website? It is way too much fun. You tell them a perfume that you love, and based on your tastes they recommend new perfumes for you. At first it seemed gimmicky, but to my surprise, many of their recommendations were spot-on (for example, they recommended Guerlain Shalimar for fans of Editions de Parfum Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur, which is often considered a modern-day Shalimar). Of course, some are a just a little bit off base (lovers of the leathery Robert Piguet Bandit should consider… Bvlgari Rose Essentielle??)

Anyway, when Gucci Envy was suggested as a substitute for both Christian Dior Diorissimo and Chanel 28 La Pausa, I had to try it. Gucci Envy was created by one of my favorite perfumers, Maurice Roucel (the man behind Musc Ravageur and Lolita Lempicka L de Lolita Lempicka), so I was imagining something rich and hyper-sensual. Instead, Envy opens on a sharp, green lily note. Although it’s not what I was expecting, I still liked the opening quite a bit. It struck me as Diorissimo Light, a very pretty lily without the richness of Diorissimo. HOWEVER. After ten minutes, Envy began to smell distinctly soapy. Turns out I hate soapy, especially in the context of a rather powerful scent like Envy (like all Maurice Roucel creations, Envy has a STRONG presence). I can’t say I much enjoyed wearing this.

There is one thing that I love about Envy, and that is the ad campaign. The vast majority of perfume ads have at least some sexuality, but the Envy ads are hilariously over the top. Get a room, y’all!

Gucci Envy is available at Sephora for $50 for 1 ounce, $70 for 1.7 ounces, and $90 for 3.4 ounces.

Disclaimer: I purchased a bottle of Envy from Sephora (which is likely going back).

Christian Dior Diorissimo

When I smell Christian Dior Diorissimo, I think Britney Spears. Just to clarify, we’re talking Britney circa 1998-2002, right after Crossroads but right before “Toxic”.

Diorissimo does not in any way smell like Kevin Federline, being barefoot in a gas station bathroom, or attacking a car with your umbrella. Personally, I blame Madonna for that whole downward spiral situation. I mean, Brit was doing great until 2003, when they had that ridiculous make out session at the MTV awards, and the next thing you know she married that guy in Vegas for like 36 hours and then all of a sudden she’s knocked up with Kevin Federline’s baby and I would not wish that on ANYONE, y’all.

Just say no to Kevin Federline, ladies!

So why does Diorissimo bring Ms. Spears to mind? Well, Diorissimo has a definite “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” vibe. For the most part, Diorissimo is a very light, green, absolutely stunning lily of the valley fragrance. However, the very heady and slightly spicy top notes whisper, “I’m not that innocent.” From the very beginning, Britney embodied that tension between purity and sexuality. She was the virginal blonde with the sweetest smile, but she was also the barely-legal temptress who dressed up as a Catholic schoolgirl and danced with a boa constrictor.

Yeah, that happened.

Diorissimo reads true as a lily fragrance to me. It has a very natural vibe. I am actually finding it difficult to say much about Diorissimo. Perfect lily. What else is there to say? If you do not like the smell of lilies, this fragrance has nothing to offer you. I am fairly sure that I tested this in the EDP formulation (unfortunately one of the samples leaked all over the rest, causing the labels to smudge) but I suspect that I would like the EDT even more.

I personally think that Diorissimo is just beautiful, and very classy. My very favorite model, Naomi Campbell, wears Diorissimo, and she can be very classy indeed when she is not throwing cell phones left and right. Now, just because Diorissimo has excellent breeding does not make it at all boring. On the contrary, it is exuberant and vivacious. Diorissimo sparkles in the way that a particularly charming girl often does.

I am not sure how my beloved readers feel about Britney, so I apologize if this post was more than you ever wanted to know. I bear her an incredible amount of goodwill from her cameo as a fembot in “Austin Powers 3: Goldmember”. As I’ve mentioned before, that movie came out on my birthday, because Beyonce is very thoughtful that way.