I may have smashed a bottle of perfume yesterday but I more than made up for it today. At the flea market, not only did I find a pure perfume of the legendary Shiseido Inouï, but also, as well as a ragbag of samples and rather spiffing, and certainly outlandish ties, an exquisitely perfect 30ml ‘esprit de parfum’ bottle of the unsurpassably elegant lily- of-the-valley, Diorissimo.




To be honest, I almost didn’t buy it. I had spent enough, and such perfumes don’t suit me, no matter how beautiful they may be. However, we had left, carrying our plastic bags stuffed with bargains, and oddities, yet I found myself stopping in my tracks at the exit of the building in Shinagawa and thinking. I just couldn’t leave it. It was calling me. That smooth, soft-edge bottle. The gold and ivory cap. And the fact that it was a perfume strength edition (30ml!) of Roudnitska’s masterpiece that I had never seen before in my perfume hunting exploits.




I went back. 3000 yen (or thirty dollars!). It smells so dense, and creamy, and chic; so much more involved and involving than the fresher (and more feminine) eau de toilette; the muguet and rose, and fresh woodland greens swirling together in silent, cold, inspiration, like the breath of marble; an atrium. That underlying, brilliantly subliminal addition of a sly and perfectly judged civet. The boronia flowers; the amaryllis. An almost otherworldly coronation of white and green that is mature; immaculate, fitted; magical.




Smelling this perfume you can smell Paris. A Paris that has possibly disappeareed. . The hard, inviolable whiteness of a hatbox at Avenue Hoche. The slipping off, assuredly, of a glove for a specially designed dress fitting. A chamber; an assistant: a sequestrated, closed off inner sanctum. A Parisian, haute couture, and unattainable world of almost  cruel, and unspeakable, luxury.




Filed under Flowers


  1. Ahh, you put things so well. I could picture the old Paris your describe as I have only been to PARIS at that time. I’m glad you went back and bought the perfume!

  2. I am so pleased you went back for Diorissimo. It is such a glorious reminder of a long gone period in time. You expresse perfectly it’s magic, wear it well and with much happiness.

  3. Persolaise

    :-O :-O :-O :-O :-O

    If you ever find another one, please let me know. I’d sell my soul to the devil etc etc…

  4. Lilybelle

    I’ve never seen Diorissimo in Esprit de Parfum. I didn’t know it existed. I wore Diorissimo parfum in the early 80s, and the edt as well. Soooo lovely. Today, Diorissimo is…well, you know. I think I may have to fly to Japan just to go flea market shopping with you.

  5. WOW!!! Speechless…. one of my personal perfume “unicorns”. One day I swear I’m going to hop on a plane to Japan, and work those flea markets. Ironically, I’m wearing Diorissimo Extrait even as I type. A true masterpiece and the reference LOTV. Congratulations! (he said, green with envy… 😉 )

    • I would love to first hand experience a man successfully wearing Diorissimo. The idea completely intrigues me. It smells so WRONG on me it brooks no argument.

      Also, please read ALL my pieces on flea markets so you know the reality: you could literally come for two weeks and not find a SINGLE GOOD PERFUME. Honestly. You have to remember I have been here twenty years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s