Monday, October 15, 2007

Forget me Not : Diva by Ungaro

It is the third Monday of the month, which means Fragrance Bouquet and For the Love of Perfume are writing about yet another classic. For this month’s feature, TMH and I have chosen Ungaro’s Diva, a perfume that I have for a while been craving to see reviewed by dear TMH, as it is so close to her heart. I only discovered Diva a couple of years ago myself and am glad for it, as I do not see it nearly as often any longer. It is not that Diva is hard to find – it is in fact widely available and rather cheap at perfume discounters. But when it comes to local perfumeries, Diva is slowly being replaced by better selling fragrances. I do understand why – the shelf-space is limited and the fragrance market is rather oversaturated with new releases. Choices have to be made. It is a sad day though, when a beloved classic is being replaced, its space on the shelf taken over by yet another fruity floral.

Created by Jacques Polge, Chanel’s third Master Perfumer and current nose, Diva launched in 1983 and was succeeded by two different flankers, Fleur de Diva – a fruity floral- in 1997 and Divas – a woody musk scent whose notes sound absolutely delightful- in 2000. A child of the eighties though it might be, Diva does not have the quintessential powerhouse-fragrance feel many of its contemporaries have. The name in this instance is rather misleading: this is a much more subtle and ladylike floral-chypre scent, that oozes class. The opening is almost sour, full of vintage ambience. Quickly the aldehydic top notes amplify the sharpness of coriander and bergamot, imparting a sense of fizzy greenness on the skin. Once the initial “sourness” dissipates, Diva goes through a short stage in which it is quite reminiscent of Paloma Picasso with which it is very often compared – although I feel I must add that Paloma Picasso has more depth and feels much more layered. Even though there is no leather note in this scent, it is in this stage too that I get a definite impression of leather, a soft crack of a whip that stings oh, so sweet. The middle stage of Diva’s development is in turn a beautiful floral heart, with no traces of Paloma Picasso’s strong profile left and the cracking of the aforementioned whip all but a distant thunder. At first, the most prominent and easily picked-out note seems to be the gorgeous rose, concentrated and deep, changing colors in my mind’s eye from deep red, to match the potency of its scent, to creamy champagne, matching its spirit. Soon though, my senses get not so much awakened, but actually assaulted by the powerful imagery created by the ivory bouquet of white florals. An impression so strong, so powerful, of indolic jasmine, tuberose and fleshy gardenia, slaps me in the face abruptly and I breathlessly turn the other cheek, eagerly begging for more. I speak of imagery indeed, because the occurence always manages to be eerily visual. Diva’s mossy base is apparent from the beginning, but as the heart notes slowly fly off, the oakmoss becomes truly inebriating – chypre lovers will swoon with joy. This is a lovely, musky, mossy drydown, which makes excellent use of a thyme-honey accord. The effect is utterly lovely: beautiful, honeyed oakmoss with a hint of beeswax that makes me want to rub my nose against my own skin like a kitten. Those that enjoy Ivoire’s mossy drydown but wish it was a little less single-minded and a little more elaborate, are sure to love Diva.

Images: www.punmiris.com and http://commons.wikimedia.org


15 comments:

TMH256 said...

Oh, lovely my friend!! I find it very charming that we chose the same photo. Similarities abound. And I love your descriptions of the different stages. :-)

xo,
T.

Roberto Sedycias said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Divina said...

Hey T! It was a funny surprise to see we used the same photo! I'm glad - it gives the pieces an extra connecting point :)

Divina said...

Roberto - I have removed your comment because of the advertising under a false IT-consultant tag. I would have left it there, had you simply stated that ppl can visit that address to buy perfumes, but I will not tolerate false advertising here. Kindly be aware of this in the future. Thank you.

helg said...

Oh my, D! Really into BDSM? Reads like it, LOL!
Seriously, Diva is underrated and it's a shame it has been sidetracked by other things, more ordinary (but then so has Paloma and it's a double shame!). It was picked by SO as a gift once so it gives me wonderful memories.
Thanks for reminding us.

Divina said...

Tsk, tsk, tsk! It's called poetic license, but I am glad the writing was evocative enough to leave you doubting for a minute, there! :)

helg said...

Oh dear, it was supposed to be a *joke*! I thought you saw through that. Oh well, maybe it wasn't very successful.

BTW, you won the mini :-)

Divina said...

I was joking as well! I already thought it might be misconstrued so I added the smiley to show my intentions...but I guess it didn't do its job!

And yay! A new one for the collection!

Dust Glitter and Vapor said...

What a beautiful review! I'll have to try this now, as I love a good beeswax note. I didn't know about the Polge connection.

Hugs to you dear!

Divina said...

Hey you! Your post today was absolutely peeeerfect! What a way to start my morning! Thank you!

winx61 said...

I am waiting my Diva from USA... I am happy to find that Diva has other lovers... bye winx61

Cris Rosa Negra said...

Dear, great review! I am taking time to know Diva, since I am not an enthusiastic of Paloma Picasso and some aldheidic notes, but you convince to try this one.
Thanks
Cris Rosa Negra

Divina said...

Hey Cris, so nice to see you again! :) *hugs* I hope you liked it, although it is a bit of a difficult perfume, I think.

Anonymous said...

Dear Divina. Just stumbled upon this blog when looking for reviews for Diva. Nice article indeed, and it helped me find that particular note that has me wrinkling my nose slightly (i bought Diva recently as one of the oakmoss scents that will surely soon disappear.. had to have it.. plus the bottle is COOL!). It turns out it is probably the beeswax (not quite my cuppa tea).. still, very happy i have it in my collection though! cheers Wendy

Divina said...

Ah, the moment I read that there was a note giving you trouble, I knew it was that one! Many people have problems with honey and beeswax notes (including me - love beeswax, generally disagree with honey). Rest assured though that Diva renders it beautifully and very realistically. Congratulations on your buy, enjoy it in good health!