Diamonds And Emeralds has the rare distinction of being the only perfume in my collection which cost more at the junk shop than it does in real life. Retailing now for around 10 miserable dollars, we paid more at a mangy thrift store in the down at heel area of Oppama than you would nowadays online. That said, there is actually nothing cheap about this gem. In fact, it is rather lovely.

(okay, the bottle is a bit tacky)

Sometimes compared to Givenchy’s Amarige (a not unfair analogy, though Emeralds is far darker, shadowy, less dazzling and sickening; and ultimately more interesting), this perfume is in essence a tuberose gardenia peach with an interesting dash of sage and patchouli as a more serious adjunct to a soft and lingering base note of ambered vanilla. Yes, it is adult, and ‘glamourous’ in an old school way ; fully rendered, missing nothing – but not tawdry. I don’t know why I suddenly felt like wearing this the other day (just a daring dash on the back of my hand) – perhaps it was the Oscar announcements (I was thrilled at Anna De Arma’s nomination for Best Actress in what I thought was the incredible ‘Blonde’). Or maybe the well balanced composition itself was just calling me at that precise moment, right for that cold, but sunny/cloudy day.

Ironically, I met D in the evening later in clouds of my beloved Chanel Pour Monsieur, which he hates on me, finding it dowdy and old hat and defiantly unsexy. I then proffered the back of my hand across the tempura set table to let him smell the smouldering green floral vanilla that was still purring, low key but gorgeous, on my skin.

An entirely different kettle of fish.


Filed under Flowers


  1. Although I haven’t smelled them in years, I think Elizabeth Taylor’s fragrances were better than we realized.

    • They SO were/ are. Honestly, put this juice in a niche tin, spin some crap around it, and it would probably do quite good business!

      I am going to shed my fears and wear it out in FULL one day soon – I was actually astonished by how much it suited me (confirmed by d’s reaction). The vanilla in the base was sublime: just right, not too much, not sickly, and tempered with all the other notes .

      Hurrah for Elizabeth.

  2. I absolutely adored all of Elizabeth Taylor’s fragrances. I felt they were very well crafted, and as you said above, if they were in a niche tin, people would be throwing wads of money at them.
    Diamonds and Emeralds has a great drydown to it. I really need to find another vintage bottle.

  3. Hanamini

    You’ve set me on another chase. It sounds wonderful. I wonder how vintage it has to be, as the EDT is indeed going for a song…

    • No it isn’t THAT good and it DOES smell how it looks – a bit sweet and chintzy, very American divorcée of the 80’s/90’s – we are not talking Weil elegance here – but for me there is definitely a certain warm grace that goes with the Graceland, if you know what I mean

      • Hanamini

        Nostalgia is fine in my book, as are American divorcées of the 80s/90s (I absolutely love Hermès’s 24 Faubourg, but I suppose that would be a French divorcée, or perhaps just someone happily married but having affairs); I can’t wait to try this. I’m going to give the others in the series a go too.

      • White Diamonds if you are feeling like a drag queen ; rubies is gorgeous after a bath for fortification

        I fear you will HATE all of them ( honestly ), but if they are cheap and you feel like adventuring in a more mutedly dazzling direction – go for it

      • ( and lest we forget : ET is not Hermes )

        ( thank god )

  4. White Diamonds was my mom’s favorite ET fragrance. Come to think of it, she always had bottles of ET’s Gardenia and Violet Eyes too. I always loved the glitz of the bottles but found the scents a bit matronly. Maybe I should try them again?

  5. Robin

    I’m sure you made it smell divine, N. I wish the ETs did the same for me. I bought the bunch of them twenty-odd years ago, blind, based on glowing reviews online. Gems, they said, smelling like a million bucks for all of 15 loonies a pop. How could I lose? I could not get them out of my house fast enough. Sad story.

  6. Hanamini

    Ah well, the small bottles in a coffret arrived. Two of them have that celery thing that bothers me (Diamonds and Sapphires and White Diamonds, though for a few seconds there was something pleasingly Ysatisy about WD), but Diamonds and Emeralds was nice, if sweet. It reminds me quite a lot of Isabey’s Fleur Nocturne, as well as Isabey’s Gardenia (both of which I don’t love but like, the latter more). I once also bought (and gave away) Isabey’s Route d’Emeraude as went in too sickly a direction. So: not an unmitigated disaster. Had I known sooner I could have spent less on full-price Isabeys; clearly what I think of as creamy white gardenia must have been to my liking. Diamonds and Rubies awaits a proper try without interference.

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