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Thursday, 31 October 2019

Dolce Vita by Christian Dior - review

* Image courtesy of fragrantica.com


I don't think I've ever done a fragrance review before on this blog (although I have given you my favourite scents), but considering that I'm going through a fragrance phase at the moment, I thought I would give it a go.

The reason why I haven't written fragrance reviews before is because scents are so personal - perhaps more personal than any other beauty item - and they can smell different on different people so I don't recommend blind-buying one, even if you think you'll like it. You just never know.

Anyhoo. I really love this perfume and always have. I bought my first bottle at 16 and I still love it at 39, so that should tell you something. It’s definitely my signature scent, and although I’ve tried so many perfumes over the years, I’ll always come back to this one.

The brand describes the top notes as comprising lily, magnolia and rose, with peach, apricot and cinnamon in its heart, and sandalwood, heliotrope and vanilla in the base. It's marketed as a sweet oriental fragrance with a spicy, woody base - and I think that's right, although I don't find it to be too heavy, which some oriental and spicy/woody fragrances can be on me.

For me, this is one of those fragrances where I struggle to nail down any particular note because everything fuses together so beautifully. Yes I can smell peach, apricot, cinnamon and vanilla, but they don't sing out and identify themselves too readily, which I think shows how well-balanced and blended the fragrance is. There's also a touch of leather to it, which I think helps ground the scent and give it some oomph. 

In terms of overall effect, this perfume smells yellow, smells like sunshine, smells like happiness and light to me and I just can’t get enough of it. It’s silky sweet but not cloying, full of life and somehow open and mysterious at the same time. Somehow fun and serious at the same time. When I wear it, I feel like myself. That’s why I always wear it on the happiest of days and also during dark times. A whiff of this always pulls me back to the mark.

I have seen this described as smelling like Coca Cola, and while I'd never noticed that myself, now that it's been mentioned, I can see why people would say that. There's a little sweet fizz in there, and while I wouldn't call it a gourmand fragrance, the sweetness stops the woody spices from being too much.

And while yes it's a distinctive fragrance, I don't think it's off-putting and you can spray it liberally to stand out or just spray a little so only those who come close will sense it (which is how I prefer to wear my perfumes - I don't want to clear a room).

I've never gone too long without a bottle, purely because I miss it too much when it's gone. What I also love about this scent is that it doesn't smell like any other perfume I've tried, and I've never known anyone else who smells of it, which of course makes it feel even more like my signature scent because I'm the only person I know who wears it.

In terms of sillage and longevity, both are good - although these days the fragrance doesn't last as well on me as it used to, perhaps because the bottle I have is a little old (it wasn't on display when I bought it, and the sales attendant had to find it in a storage room - so perhaps it doesn't sell well anymore and some of the available bottles are rather old). It's still the same scent, though - if not as concentrated as it once was. This seems to happen with a lot of perfumes these days: that is, they're reformulated and end up weaker.

The other thing I like about this fragrance is that it largely smells the same throughout its life (except after hours when most of the scent is gone). I like this because some perfumes can smell better or worse on me depending on how long I've had them on, but this one's consistent so it always smells good. And while yes it settles after the first half-hour of wear, that's all it does: settle. It doesn't change.

In sum, this is a wonderful perfume and I suspect I'll always love it. Not a lot of people seem to own it, it's not as easy to come by anymore, and it's definitely distinctive so you won't smell like everyone else. The sillage and lasting-power are also good, despite not being as strong as they were with the bottles I bought in the late 90s and early 2000s, but the strength and longevity are still better than a lot of other fragrances on the market these days so that's a plus.

My signature. Definitely a keeper.

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