Diorama 
Christian Dior (1949)

Average Rating:  12 User Reviews

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Diorama by Christian Dior

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About Diorama by Christian Dior

People & Companies

Christian Dior
Fragrance House
Guerry Colas
Packaging / Bottle Design

Diorama is a women's perfume launched in 1949 by Christian Dior

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

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Reviews of Diorama by Christian Dior

There are 12 reviews of Diorama by Christian Dior.


It’s not easy to get your hands on vintage Diorama, so how can you decide if it is worth the effort and expense? Perhaps some comparisons will help. The resemblance between vintage Femme and vintage Diorama is evident, relying on their shared, lovely dried spiced peach notes. Comparing vintage, pre-reformulation Femme PDT to vintage Diorama parfum, Femme is definitely sweeter and fruitier, with Diorama feeling greener with a drop of galbanum on the top. Over time, their animalic profiles also seem different. Femme reveals the slightly sharpish tang of civet beneath the fruit, while Diorama has velvety musks, similar to those in vintage Miss Dior. Diorama's greater spiciness is also notable, with noticeable cinnamon and cardamom, making it more aromatic than Femme. In the end, Diorama might be more complex than Femme, making Femme seem a wee bit overripe and blowsy in its overt fleshy fruitiness, but, really, both are lovely.

There is no cumin to be found in either vintage Diorama or vintage Femme, but oddly enough, the reformulated Les Creations Diorama does feature cumin (as does the reformulated Femme). I cannot begin to explain why perfumers think smooth, peachy, buttery chypres such as Diorama and Femme should be reformulated by adding, of all things, cumin. (And I say this even though I like cumin, but it is a controversial and somewhat abrasive note, very different in intention from the original nature of these perfumes.)

So how about vintage Diorama's relationship to Mitsouko, the grandmother of all peachy spicy chypres? Again, the similarity is there. Tested side-by-side in the vintage parfum formulations, Mitsouko has much more incense, patchouli, and amber than Diorama, making Diorama feel fresher and more chypre-like in contrast. I have to confess that you probably don't need to hunt down vintage Diorama, if you are happy wearing your vintage Mitsouko. Matched against the great Grand Dame of Fruity Chypres, Diorama can feel a little bit like a beautiful Mitsouko Lite (not that there's anything wrong with that!) but when it comes to vintage Dior perfumes, resistence is futile for me.


The modern version of Diorama. I expected some kind of thin,synthetic mess. Most classics are obliterated with regulations, profit margins and unskilled hands of a new perfumer. I am pleased to say I was wrong. The opening is a strong tarty bergamot with the bright yellow ylang. Jasmine follows up and asserts the floral identity. It was bright and of substance, and made this hardened vintage lover reminisce of other fragrances in the past that had similar openings. Truly a rare occurrence in these times. I had a moment where I thought I may have wondered into Niche territory.

The familiar jasmine and rose begin to take over with a caraway note as an undercurrent. Plum and peach add the fruity echo from its past and adds body and dimension to the composition. This leans more floral than fruity floral.

Please note as some of you reading this that its connection to Femme comes to mind..but its not full of cumin. The caraway hints at its past, but does not send it down that animalistic Femme path.

Patchouli & cedar anchor modern Dioramas base. Modern regulations take its toll on Diorama here in the base as well as a lack of the famous prunol additive from the vintage. No oakmoss or animalics to weigh it down. It can be a good thing as these types are seen as outdated or out of vogue. The cost is longevity. Its a well tailored fragrance and Im off to get a bottle for the days I want a vintage feel but not its weight.

In its class there is Femme, and Parfum de Therese. I feel this is a great middle option at its price point and design. It is interesting to note that Demachy studied under Roudnitska, so Demachy is a good candidate to keep Dioramas spirit intact. Works in Fall and spring. A little light for winter.


(For the Eau de Toilette, a 1978 bottling)

Opens as a fresh green/white chypre with a noticeable lily of the valley note. Pretty sure there is some jasmine involved too. It's quite mellow. Watery isn't the best descriptor but this has a fresh watery quality to it. Light on its feet. I have to say, the decant I'm smelling has survived remarkably well, being almost 40 years old. It doesn't smell old at all, quality nor composition wise. There is a clear bouquet of fruit that starts to come out but is never sugary, heavy, or cloying – brings to mind peach and red berries. It's complimented by the florals and offset by an increasingly prominent green character that strikes me as mildly vegetal, perhaps a small dose of galbanum and/or violet leaf. It's not astringent, though.

Maybe 45 minutes in the fruits have receded, the white florals have come forward more, and the jasmine is clear as a bell…but instead of smelling like straight indolic jasmine, it smells like jasmine incense. I get an unlit incense vibe or some kind of resin. It has started to take on an oh-so-slight powdery feel, like super fine talcum powder with oriental underpinnings. It's so fine that “powdery” seems like the wrong word to use, but I'm at a loss for a better one. 90 minutes in and everything in pretty much status quo, except there is now a leathery component to the base. Given the time period, my bet is on castoreum.

Roudnitska is no slouch, that's for sure. This is an expertly balanced fragrance. Fruit that is never too heavy, jasmine indoles that purr rather than growl, on an airy yet substantial base of powder that isn't powdery. The good old days, am I right?

A friend says, "What's not to like? Diorama is gorgeous."

I couldn't agree more.


Genre: Chypre

Diorama starts out as a sweet and decidedly indolic white flower fragrance, dominated by jasmine, rose, and tuberose. It has a very satiny, buttery quality about it, a trait that I associate with floral scents of a certain mid-twentieth century vintage. (Patou's Joy is a perfect example.) Because it largely eschews aldehydes, Diorama avoids any "old lady" associations, and leans instead toward the sensuous and seductive side of the white flower spectrum. Compared to something like Fracas or Narcisse Noir, Diorama is a real lightweight!

As it develops, Diorama's white flower accord is joined by some oriental spices and subtle green notes, both of which help the scent remain buoyant, despite the heady tendencies of all those indole-soaked blossoms. Diorama mellows and softens with age, revealing a smooth, powdery base as it dries down.

What I like most about this scent is a certain balance, so classical in nature, which keeps at bay the overbearing lushness that makes some older white flower fragrances challenging to wear in a contemporary setting.


I never had the good fortune to try the original Diorama, but maybe this is really a blessing. Now I can enjoy the new Diorama without having to compare it to a past masterpiece. Having worn and loved the original Diorissimo and Diorella for many years, I felt betrayed by the ghastly shadows that now carries their names. Not so with Diorama (though I must admit I am curious as to what it used to be).

New, reissued Diorama is a favourite of mine for all year, all day, any occasion use. It goes straight to a powdery yet distinct floral accord with jasmine, rose, peaches and plum that slowly settles in a lovely mellow woody base. It is a kind of summary of all fragrances I love - it is not one of the most outstanding, but if I had to choose only one for a desert island this would be a contender.


Very peachy, very buttery, slightly animalic, very uplifting, very complex, the only Dior creation I actually like, but only in the vintage 1949 version.

Barbara Herman calls it fruity, spicy, and powdery, a cross between Mitsouko and Femme, sensual and carnal.

Turin calls it a "fruity chypre" but only reviews the re-formulation, which he dismisses as unworthy with only two stars.

The vintage is quite fine, one of the best fruity chypres I've encountered, very worth sampling.

Top note: Bergamot
Heart notes: Jasmine, Rose, Gardenia, Peach, Plum, Raspberry, Strawberry, Muguet, Galbanum
Base notes: Patchouli, Oak Moss, Vetiver, Violet, Labdanum, Castoreum, Civet

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