Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Dolce Vita by Christian Dior

If I had to describe Dolce Vita with one word it would be "golden". This is regardless of the bottle and packaging.
I have a strong connection with south eastern Europe. Dolce Vita manages to incorporate many naturally occurring from that part of the world very artistically. There are the aromatic wood notes, sweet fruit as well as spices. The result is quite abstract and not at all edible.

Ultimately, this may not be entirely high-brow, but not everything has to be. It is still much further away from being trivial. In fact when following up on several comparisons with Serge Lutens' FdB many people found it unworthy of that comparison, especially in its most recent edition.
I discovered the fragrance in 2007 and sadly didn't buy it until now. But I find it unchanged apart from a now relatively short life-span on the skin.

To me it's extremely beautiful, very unusual in the current boring climate, and definitely a happy scent.
17th May, 2015
I came onto this fragrance late, after it had been reformulated. Whatever it was before, and however it's dissed now, the wonderful thing about the current Dolce Vita is its bright sunny character. There are few that make me smile like this one. There are ones more complex, I suppose, more well-done, but not many with a happier personality. Worth a month of psychoanalysis.
The peach-apricot floral really comes out on my skin, with a golden yellow cordiality. Some background hay gives a warm outdoor languidness, that dryish note that speaks of hot sunshine. Combined with the voluptuous but not sugary fruit, it gives an air of the height of summer. This isn't a garden scent though, or a rustic one. No soil, no green leaves, thankfully no cliches of boring overdone wood or trite vanilla. This is that moment of sitting in the sunshine of an outdoor cafe, next to a large pot of blooming heliotrope, with it's sweet, charming character, eating a bowl of peach flambé with a friend - convivial, urbane and urban. It's golden open character brings to mind Theorema, though Dolce Vita is freer and less food-oriented. This one is more about the pleasure of food, that air of sophistication that speaks of the enjoyment of the good things in life, whatever that means to a person, but even more the enjoyment of life itself.
It has a warm heliotrope powdery drydown, mellowed by a touch of wood and a fuzz of vanilla. This one dodged three bullets. In the present moment of ubiquitous woody drydowns, vanilla, and sugary fruit, this incorporated all three but speaks of none of them, which was refreshing.
21st April, 2015 (last edited: 04th May, 2015)
Genre: Woody Oriental

In Perfumes: The Guide, Luca Turin tells us that Dolce Vita started life as one of Pierre Bourdon’s variations on his Féminité du Bois for Shiseido before he submitted the formula to Dior, and I smell no reason to disbelieve the account. Granted, Dolce Vita is a lot more “féminité” and a good deal les “bois” than the original, with more obvious floral notes and powder decorating the original’s core accord of cinnamon, fruit compote, and resinous cedar. Dolce Vita is sweeter, milder, and much less incisive in character than the Shiseido. Until the drydown, where the cedar and spices assert themselves more clearly, Dolce Vita hews closer to a conventional fruity-floral oriental style than to the paradoxically rich, yet transparent woody oriental nature of its predecessor. Given that both Féminité du Bois and Donna Karan’s related, but somewhat grittier Chaos are both back on the market now, I wouldn’t be inclined to chasing after the comparatively bland Dolce Vita.
12th June, 2014
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Rarely is peach so beautifully represented as in this composition. The supporting cast was perfectly arranged to make the star shine that much brighter. I feel this might have been a friendly yet trite piece, had it not been for the cinnamon and sweet woody backdrop wonderfully amplifying the fruit's natural essence. It's very well constructed and super pleasant. Dolce Vita is a simple scent. If you like the idea of apri-peach over a bed of cinnamon, sandal, and white petals, this will delight you.

12th April, 2014
I fell in love with this scent when I was still at university. I still love it and wear it on special occasions. It has a feminine and light but still powerful demeanor. Not for the workplace, as it can be very distracting.
Most scent last on my skin for a very long time, about 10-12 hours.
My other half finds it "acidy" the first couple of hours.
01st November, 2013
Very ladylike!

A very classy and joyful aroma! Sweet cinnamon, a concoction of peaches and abricots plus a hint of cardamom. Extremely lady-like, perfect for evenings, deep passion in a bottle! :)

26th September, 2013
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Floral cinnamon 3/5 stars

It is really the magnolia that initially stands out on my skin, with a peach note following. In the drydown a somewhat synthetic cinnamon appears, and later heliotropes with vanilla dominate the base, but not cloying. Overall subtle with limited silage and projection, and about three hours of longevity. A lighter Dior.

24th September, 2013
Floriental with gourmand flourishes

I received a generous sample of D.V. (current forumlation) and though I didn't adore it in all stages of develoment, I think it's a very pleasing floral oriental that would appeal to a broad spectrum of fragrance lovers.

The opening was sweet and soft, with a touch of citrus that's not listed in the notes. Lily of valley, rose, and magnolia are the stated notes, but to my nose they blended together in a pleasant harmony. Creamy and very feminine.

The heart notes came to the fore rather quickly. I kept catching whiffs of ripe honeydew melon, although the fruits are peach and apricot according to the notes. A very sweet heart that lasted for a very long time. The sweet florals and the fruity notes began to remind me of exotic cocktails and flower leis on a beach somewhere in Hawaii, so if these types of notes appeal to you, this fragrance will delight you. A tad on the sweet side for my tastes but lovely.

The sandalwood/vanilla base is wonderfully rich and creamy. In fact, the fragrance reminds me of a dessert in many ways. Gourmand lovers, take note.

Sillage is strong and longevity excellent, almost 10 hours now and still strong.

Write Reply

250 Characters left

Post Reply

Pros: Floral fruity with lovely dry down
Cons: On the sweet side"

22nd September, 2013

The woody/vanillic/spicy Dolce Vita's cloud is cozy and finally a bit creamy, is rich and articulated by spices and green/floral patterns although a bit too common in genre nowadays, in the age of the intoxicating One Million and Hypnotic Poison. The combination of patchouli/bergamot/sandalwood and vanilla flanked by spicy/earthy notes imprints a classic luxury vibe, the rosey and soapy nuances are classy and well modulated, the final touch of heliotropic (coconut kind) powderiness is almost gourmandish and voluptuous although yet smelled elsewhere in a similar white kind of coziness. May be is the excess of spicy fruitiness, a sort of starring peachy cinnamon (yes a bit raspberrish and with the pungent lily's touch), the element that slightly bothers the accomplishment of my full pleasure so that i prefer to rate this fragrance as an average one in spite of its undeniable quality.
16th November, 2012
I've thought that Egoiste took a traditional rose/sandalwood/patchouli attar and twisted it into something French. In turn, Feminite Du Bois draped Egoiste in burgandy velvet and drenched it in wine and butter and berries until it was THE ultimate dense gothic perfume. Then, Dolce Vita came along and stripped away all the gothic finery and Arabian luxury, leaving bare the bone structure. That's not to say that Dolce Vita feels minimal, it just has a lot less happening than its older siblings.

It starts with an explosion of ionones, that hyper-bright violet over vague suede. This is supported by an unusual sandalwood that almost smells like buttered sawdust. There's a little bit of a red wine smell, as well as some fruits and a slight aldehydic brightness, but the star of the show is that buttery suede/lumber smell.

It's funny to read the reviews here. Some people like it because of the name. Some people like it because it's Dior. And a bunch of people think it's boring. I don't think it's boring, but I do think it's a calculated attempt to make a Feminite Du Bois with broader appeal and less dark weirdness, so there is a carefully planned dullness in Dolce Vita. But it's not boring...
30th October, 2012
For me it's all about the cinnamon and maybe that's why I associate this with winter. It's Christmas and ginger bread men. It's cloves and cinnamon in mulled wine. I don't think of Italy and Vespas... Weird...
25th February, 2012
very elegant and classy,smells wonderfull!after an hour or so the vanilla notes remain but there are also traces of lemon and soap at the base notes i think. Very sensual without being very loud and annoying. One of the very few perfums that i have purchased for the fourth time. Unfortunatelly the body lotion and shower gel are not in the market anymore.
15th February, 2012
Happy.. happy.. HAPPY! I cant help but smile when i wear this fragrance - it's literally sunshine in a bottle! A sniff of this transports me to a sun-drenched, secluded spot in the south of France, sipping champagne cocktails and laughing softly whilst wearing a feminine full-length sun-dress & wide-brimmed hat, dripping with gold jewellery!
OK.. so my description leaves a lot to be desired, but somehow this scent makes me feel flirty, feminine, relaxed and youthful, yet refined, classy and 'grown-up' all at the same time.
For me this is the perfect scent for summer.
08th September, 2011
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Let's start by saying that this is a rather unique fragrance. It has a certain powdery and musky quality which could take you either side of the fence. Love it or hate it you can't deny that this is a very intriguing scent.

Sweet it definitely is, however this isn't synthetic or sugary sweet, it's more accustomed to being powdery sweet, almost a sunny and warming scent.

Peach seems to be the most dominant note to my nose. Subtle hints of rose, lily, apricot, coconut, vanilla and woodsy notes make up a majority of the fragrance. In a way Dolce Vita can be interpreted as a tropical scent, being slightly beachy.

Unfortunately this fragrance disturbs me. I'll blame it on the musky vanilla which makes me think of dark and damp cellars and second hand dress stores.

Overall, the lasting strength and sillage are equally good. Distinctive and generally well received, Dolce Vita may not appeal to me but I'm sure others will enjoy.

11th June, 2011
Sweet--indeed sweet, but in a drier floral-reminiscent way. I think it would be a nice fragrance to wear in cold weather, to remind one of warmer flower-filled days-not woody on my skin, too sparkly sweet to make me think of woods, or smell outstandingly woody. I don't love it, but I like it, and I can't imagine it offending anyone.

It's one of those beautifully balanced fragrances, absolutely unremarkable on my skin, but pleasant. The right day could bring out Dolce Vita, the right day could give its not- light-but-not-heavy sweetness some kind of depth and allure, but I never had that day. This is not what I imagine when I hear the term "la dolce vita", although it is definitely la dolce vita di qualcuna.

Somebody once described this scent as one of the "boring sweets" (if you said this, let me know, identify yourself!) I agree with this statement, although it is classy, and it really stands out for a boring sweet--compared to most everything on the market today, it is superb!

Actually, it's kind of more interesting in warm weather, since it seems like a safer kind of fragrance-a gentle Oriental, not Floriental, not Oriental Woody, and none of the strength, but definitely not hollow. I only owned a bottle for a while, but I wouldn't mind having it again!

21st March, 2011
I put on my skin dolce vita and i feel very elegant.

This fragrance is soft-warm and creamy, the kind of smell i will use in a beautiful sunny day, but I think it would be also very suitable for night.

Dolce vita is the kind of perfume that makes you feel glamorous, without being very vain.

Don't be alarmed, the presence of sandalwood, rosewood and cedar are very week, prominent notes are Peach, coconut, vanilla, cinnamon and a tender and creamy citrus side.

If Doce vita would be released today, i think it would have a great success, so i don't smell the old lady thing.

Very good fixation for a eau de toilette..
28th January, 2011
Hmmm... Although I was somewhat amused by the early hint of b.o. (cumin?) that at least one other reviewer noted, I was actually shocked by its quietness. Really... it seems rather weak.

During the drydown I also started to get the sense that I had smelled it before. Gres Cabaret came to mind, and so did Chopard Casmir. The woody fruitiness of Dolce Vita is similar to these two, bit without the sillage of either.

Final analysis: It's pleasant and lasts well on the skin, but you don't get much 'bang for the buck'.
02nd October, 2010
Dior used to make some of the most beautiful fragrances: Diorama, Diorling, Diorella, Eau Fraiche etc; even Poison was a showstopper in it's day. Unfortunately I really can't think of anything positive to say about Dolce Vita. It's an aggressive, nondescript sweet floral, more reminescent of air freshener than haute perfumery. Allure smells very similar on me.
28th March, 2010
elegant and sophisticated, i wish it was stronger though
27th March, 2010
I was an inturn in the Beauty Salon at the Danish Parlament in 1996,
the resident stylist was a big fan of Dolce Vita, so she made all the ladies
of the government use this.
All of Christiansborg Palads oozed Dolce Vita - and it was divine.

So sweet, so ritch, so feminine ... gotta love this!

13th February, 2010 (last edited: 22nd March, 2010)
This is the first fragrance that made me desperate to own it. After wandering the perfume counters without a clue, my nose was getting tired of all the acrid nastiness that passed itself off as grown-up scent. As soon as I tried this, I knew I would wear it. It is a delicious spicy warm scent with some sweetness. On me it makes me smell like me only better, rather than burying me under a cloud of foreign smells. This is the perfume I wear most of the winter, and the one on which I get the most compliments. One bloke at work even asked what it was because he wants his girlfriend to smell like that.

I've branched out since then, but it remains my favorite of all time. On my third bottle.
05th January, 2010
This is a lovely, cedarwood scent accented with rum-soaked fruit notes. The floral top notes disappear after five minutes, making this an ideal scent for guys who don't want another Terre d'Hermès-inspired wood fragrance. Luca and Tania say the reformulation is no good, but I haven't tried it.
02nd January, 2010 (last edited: 23rd February, 2010)
This was a particular favourite of one of my cousins for a couple of year. She absolutely adored this scent, and I always associate this fragrance with her whenever I smell it. However, there is a particular note in this fragrance that smells of body odour. To me this fragrance smells like someone who doesn't wear deoderant, but wears perfume! I thought the idea of wearing fragrance was to smell nice and appealing yourself and others, not of BO! Unless thats the type of thing you are into of course... Maybe the body odour smell is the whole "sexy" part of this fragrance that many people here have commented on, the smell of the human body in it's natural state. Not for me I'm afraid. This would have been a nice fragrance minus the BO note. Apologies to my cousin and all DV lovers!
12th November, 2009
Sophisticated, uplifting floral ,sandalwood ,vanilla combo that makes it irresistable to me. Sweet but not overly sweet, perfect for any occasion ... I just love this scent.
Ths fragrance is subtle,chic but lasting.
The bottle and packaging are wonderful, so Dior and I am a sucker for Christian Dior fragrances !
26th October, 2009
bbBD Show all reviews
United States
Bourdon's Dolce Vita is a close relative of the Serge Lutens 'bois series' (Bois Oriental, Musc, Violette) and a direct descendant of the unparalelled Feminite du Bois (Shiseido/Lutens). *FN1* Apply Dolce Vita to one hand and Bois Oriental to the other and the resemblence is totally unmistakable. Like Bois Oriental, DV's topnotes present a lush, rich collection of fruit notes supported by florals. The hints of apricot, cinnamon, and peach give it a distinctly oriental feel and distinguishes DV from the typical fruity/floral. Like Feminite du Bois, DV maintains a distinctly woody base, but it then adds a big dose of vanilla and heliotrope to sweeten and impart a powdery, almondy feel. Compared to Bois Oriental the Dior is more brash, less refined - but it's also more bold, more fun (and a hell of lot cheaper and easier to purchase).

For an EdT Dolce Vita packs a good punch of sillage and longevity (as is typical of many Dior EdTs). I'm surprised that I don't see more guys review it or mention wearing it. It's certainly not as unisex as something like Hypnotic Poison, but if you are male and enjoy Lutens' fragrances - Bois Oriental in particular - then Dolce Vita won't be much of a jump to make. The girls at my local coffee shop act as my sounding board for my various fragrances, and of everything I've worn in the last two years nothing has received such an overwhelmingly positive response as Dolce Vita (I was wearing EdT layered with parfum). It seems that DV is one of those chameleon scents that becomes very feminine on a woman but then works as a woody/oriental on a guy. A quick note on the hard-to-find parfum... it's an excellent choice if you want a focus on the woody base with less sillage but greater longevity.

Dior has cancelled Dolce Vita but ample stock remains at most online discounters... for now.

FN1 - Turin & Sanchez, Perfumes: The Guide p.101
13th September, 2009
More of my bottles were Dior. Two bottles of Dolce Vita have been finished, because it was my husband s favorite (Not mine).
Too woody for a mostly floral lover. I was against it.
But it has a magic. After a couple of hours it mutates on the skin and has completely another volume. Maybe this is why it is more attractive to men. I have had to convince my husband that I do not like it. I was not in love with it. And the first seconds it really disturbed me.

I would recommend it the same.

Bottle is perfect.
And yes, "the name" for us Italians has another lovely meaning...
26th August, 2009
Dolce Vita is one of the most optimistic, sunny and happy fragrances that I ever tried. It feels like someone is smiling at you, and it has the ability to make a dreary day more cheerful, it's also very warm and somewhat sweet, but not sugary. I get a lot of peach, apricot and sandalwood and vanilla out of it. I would not call it a sexy fragrance, but it is very comforting and uplifting.
24th July, 2009
AnnS Show all reviews
United States
It's a nice spicy woods fragrance, but for me there is a muddle with the musks that makes it hard to wear and a little agitating. I highly recommend testing this one to make sure the musks work. Otherwise, I prefer the Donna Karan Wenge, Chaos, etc., for a similar type woody fragrance.
30th April, 2009
I remember getting this as a gift in 1998. I must have used up the bottle, since I do not remember re-gifting or throwing it away half empty. But honestly I do not even recall how it smelled. I think that is exactly how the scent felt to me. Very forgettable. If I am pressed to describe it, I would say it was sweet, but pretty light, and absolutely nothing memorable about it.
24th April, 2009
I love Dior Fragrances. This was my winter/fall fragrance until 2006. It is graceful and elegant. A true classic.
20th April, 2009