Dior Vanilla Diorama Eau de Parfum is a boozy vanilla with a zippier citrus and pepper opening that lasts very briefly before the boozy vanilla, shades of cacao, and a bit of cardamom take center stage. For most of the time, rum and vanilla were the focal points, sometimes appearing creamier, milkier, or chocolaty but darker, spiced, and almost like a vanilla paste it was such a lush vanilla–more the vanilla depth than sweetness. The drydown saw the addition of sandalwood and patchouli but the vanilla was never out of focus.
It is described as portraying the “perfect Vanilla” with a “warm, intense trail with accents of rum and patchouli” that are “contrasted by fresh citrusy notes and highlighted by a denser cocoa note.” Here are the notes:
- top notes: orange, pink pepper, lemon
- heart notes: rum, cacao, cardamom
- base notes: bourbon vanilla, sandalwood, patchouli
A swirl of zesty orange and lemon started off the composition and then quickly peppered before the lemon reappeared and the pepper diminished. Green cardamom popped up against a haze of boozy vanilla that made the citruses smoother, creamier, almost milky. There was a whisper of cocoa powder combined with the vanilla in the first 15 minutes, but it was a more blended, subtler scent with less definable notes in the opening.
There was a sense of boozier, darker vanilla just lurking behind the corner with a touch of spice that finally emerged after a half hour; this resulted in a richer, darker, and more projecting scent than the opening would have suggested. It was, though, a particularly close-wearing scent with little sillage from the beginning. It was incredible just how much lusher and decadent the vanilla became without getting much sweeter; it was just headier, richer, boozier, and subtly chocolaty at moments.
After two hours, a darker, woody patchouli joined the boozy, spiced vanilla, which made it feel less sweet. It progressively warmed up, felt more spiced and ambery with subtle, woody undertones with a rich vanilla underneath. By the drydown, Vanilla Diorama was dark, spiced vanilla with creamy, lightly resinous woods.
For testing, I used 1/3 of a 0.7ml sample vial dabbed to the underside and topside of my wrist area on my left arm. I used an unscented moisturizer prior to applying the scent as this is also my swatching arm (aka, incredibly parched at any given moment) as I found scent did not hold well here otherwise.
I purchased my sample in January 2022; fragrances are known to be reformulated over their lifetime , so be mindful of when a review was made, e.g. a review from 2010 may not reflect what the same-named perfume smells like in 2022.
It lasted for four hours until it was a skin-scent and about 10 hours before it was quite difficult to detect on my skin. There was very little in the way of sillage and projection; it seemed to only hover a few inches above my arm from the first hour, but it wasn’t that soft against my skin–I just couldn’t really get any whiffs of it from afar (even in my personal bubble).
It’s a lovely vanilla, and if I didn’t already splurge on Loree Rodkin’s Gothic I, I might have considered this, but it’s not quite as heady and addictive as Gothic I is for me, which may be partially the lack of projection from Vanilla Diorama. I love living in a personal perfume cloud that doesn’t impede on others, but if I have to put my nose to my skin to really get the scent in the first hours, then it is a little subtler than I want personally.
- 250ml for $350
- 125ml for $260
- 40ml for $125
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