Dioressence opens up with a pungent green floral accord that grows progressively more powdery as it develops. The green notes and powder become seasoning for a "doughy" rose that soon dominates the composition. Because it remains relatively dry and green, the rose in Dioressence is neither heavy nor heady. Instead, it remains quite crisp and relatively bright. Once settled, Dioressence continues for some time on its green and rosy way in a relatively linear manner.
Only after an hour or more do traces of spice and some woody notes emerge in the base. These soften and sweeten the composition while providing some additional complexity. Dioressence is notable for the clarity of its construction, if not for any great longevity or projection. It doesn't really excite me, but it is a very finely tuned, dignified, and understated scent that would work well in a professional setting.
Barbara Herman describes this as a spicy, floral chypre with an initial green note. Heady and intense – for experienced women, glamor, cigarettes and champagne.
Turin describes it as an Orienta l"Green" Chypre – 4 stars
Ingredients as per Ms. Herman:
Jasmine, Geranium, Cinnamon, Carnation, Orris, Ylang, Tuberose
Patchouli, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Vanilla, Musk
My sample was a pre-reformulation edt. I found it a warm, slightly spicy, light chypre – reminiscent of Breathless (Charbert), but with no lasting power - longevity nil. What I got of it was lovely and tres sophisticated, but sadly gone in an instant.
What begins with "D" and has four syllables? Dioressence. What else? Disappointment. This cannot be the dynamic fragrance that influenced a generation. It is attractive, but not earthshaking. It is warm and vaguely animalic, but not overtly sexy. Because of its history, I wanted this fragrance to grab me by the neck and shake me like a tiger. If there is anything to a name, it should mean The Essence of Dior. By the same token, it is odd that the primly named Miss Dior carries a bigger whallop. Most of the time, when I like something on a paper strip, I love it on my skin. Even if I hate it on paper, I sometimes love it on my skin. I loved Dioressence on paper, right from the start, so I was prepared to go ape over it on my skin. The first whiff was animalic, fecal, which got my attention. But the opening note faded quickly, politely, and softly into the background, leaving the rest to develop into a sharp, then tangy cinnamon and sweet/sour floral combination, and then progress into an earthy geranium and patchouli aroma, still mildly dirty. I love chypres and patchouli and all of the notes contained in Dioressence. Altogether it strikes me as a good, but not glorious fragrance. Maybe the modern version has changed drastically from the vintage? Or am I only expecting too much from a legend?
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Classic, but definitely not a summer scent. Goes well with cashmere sweaters, though. I'm undecided on this one - some days I love it, some days I can't stand it.
Which hasn't stopped me for having it in my wardrobe, so I guess I love it more than I hate it.