Yesterday was the kind of spring day that belongs to poets. You know, “Come fill the cup and in the fire of spring/the winter garments of repentance fling.” Or “Oh to be in England now that April’s here.” Or: ” O! how this spring of love resembleth/The uncertain glory of an April day!” There was nothing uncertain about yesterday’s April day — birds were singing, the sun was shining, bees were buzzing, and euphoria was in the air. If I’d found a fire those winter garments of repentance would be dust. I didn’t , but the drive to the library was as intoxicating as running to keep a tryst with a lover. There’s a medical term for it: Spring Fever.
Before I went to bed I reached for my bottle of Dior’s Diorissimo, sprayed a veil of it into the air and walked through it. This 1956 fragrance is the essence of spring, the essence of lily of the valley (mueget des bois, if we want to get all French about it) and the most perfect single note perfume ever made. (I think there may be some jasmine in there, but it’s a background presence.)
You might have read my thoughts about the smashing “Perfumes: The Guide” by Turin and Sanchez back here:https://cheapcheer.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/the-free-squirt/.
I hope I sold a few copies. I looked up Diorissimo today, and I’m going to quote from the entry because why even try to evoke a fragrance in words when they do it so much better than I? I’m not going to try.
“…a truly Mozartian fragrance, with a catchy, jaunty presto tune like the overture to The Marriage of Figaro.” The authors think that the modern formulation isn’t a good as the 1956 version, but they’re not damning the new one with faint praise.
“The best way to describe it, it seems to me, is as the voice of a great soprano reaching retirement. The melody, the timbre are there but some of the high notes are a little forced and have lost the effortless soaring, the liquid fluency of old. Up close, this thing shouts a little. But it has tremendous radiance and at a distance still works fine as likely the most distinctive fragrance of all time. LT. ****”
I think the musical analogies are perfect — I’ve always said that the beauties of music and fragrance are similar. They’re abstract, emotional, intellectual and ineffable. Diorissimo’s a spring song sung by tiny white bells.