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.
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.
Pros: Floral fruity with lovely dry down
Cons: On the sweet side"
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.
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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.
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'.
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...
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.
From the notes, Dolce Vita sounds too sweet and generic for my taste, a fruity floriental, but I actually enjoy it a lot. It wraps me in a sweet, soft, rich floral/gourmandy/spicy/woody cloud. It does smell like a very feminine and sexy and voluptous woman in perhaps her 40ies, which is not me at all, but I still like it. I'm impressed that it's so not me and yet I want to keep it and wear it. Can't give it more than a neutral thumb though, it's not that original or interesting and it does lack a bit of sophistication in its gourmandy sweetness.
Though cedar is not always listed as a note in Dolce Vita, the fruit/cedar/spice mixture makes it a close relative of Feminite du Bois. However, there are a few synthetic notes in this composition that do not blend in well, and, depending on chemistry, can smell bitter. Barring this effect, the composition is lovely, so try before you buy.