Diana Vreeland’s countless, fabulous, funny, and dead-on quotable lines have not only filled books and a documentary, they’ve also become universal truths (“Elegance is refusal” comes to mind). Fittingly, the legendary editor’s grandson, Alexander Vreeland, has sifted through her countless bons mots to anchor an eponymous perfume collection. “How could one not find these fragrances absolutely divine?” offered Colette’s Sarah Andelman. “It’s like suddenly being in the same room as Diana Vreeland.”
Though Vreeland was typically over the top in her love of fragrance and flowers — like color, fashion, travel, and all things stylish — the line shies away from the past. “My grandmother was interested in creating an olfactive area: candles, incense, and potpourri,” Vreeland said yesterday at Colette in Paris, hinting at things yet to come. “It was about much more than what she wore; it was a part of who she was. She would turn a room into this whole world of scent. She didn’t look back; it was always about the present.”
Vreeland called on the talents of several IFF perfumers as well as art director Fabien Baron to transpose the infamous editor’s philosophy into saturated compositions of scent and color — all adorned with an equally flashy tassel. Outrageously Vibrant is an iconoclastic chypre with a rose bouquet and a lashing of cassis by perfumer Carlos Benaim; Perfectly Marvelous, billed as a “lacquered red sandalwood pimento accord” with jasmine and cashmeran musk, was born of the proclamation, “If it isn’t a passion, it isn’t burning, it isn’t on fire, you haven’t lived!” A heady tuberose with crushed green notes is dubbed Simply Divine. The fashion legend’s love of orientalism finds a tribute in the amber Extravagance Russe, and her passion for sandalwood is captured in a sensual ode to India called Absolutely Vital. What would the icon have said about the other Vreeland-isms currently splayed across the facade and walls of Colette? Said her grandson, laughing, “She would have been stoked!” Diana Vreeland Parfums, $185-$250; neimanmarcus.com and bergdorfgoodman.com. Available exclusively at Colette in Paris, Selfridges in London, and, as of tomorrow, 10 Corso Como in Milan.
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