Sunday, May 24, 2009

Frequent Questions: How do I date my Diorissimo bottle?

One might answer that question quipping you could dine it and wine it, but jokes aside let's focus on how you would date your Christian Dior Diorissimo fragrance in the sense of chronologising it; a question on the back of the minds of many perfume enthusiasts who are justifiably confused. It's kind of tricky, indeed, since Diorissimo has changed so many times and so often the details on the bottles are minor. In this guide we will try to sort out the different bottles and versions of Diorissimo, so it becomes much easier for all of our readers.

The initial presentation of Diorissimo, created by Edmond Roudnitska in 1956, came in what is known as the amphora bottle. A flacon of Baccarat crystal designed in the shape of an ancient amphora with curved body and a bronze bouquet of flowers sprouting off its top. That presentation held the parfum and is extremely rare and expensive nowadays. Basically it's a museum piece, therefore it shouldn't concern you when buying online yourself; I am including it for the sheer plush of its coffret and its reclining beauty.

The amphora shape in rather simplified form became the design for Diorissimo later on. Some of these bottles rise their heads from time to time, at costly prices. The stopper has a bulbous shape. The same design was recently used for the Collection Particuliere Passagere.

In the interim, today's bottle design was first conceived and introduced in the 1960s. This 1965 ad with the design by René Gruau shows two designs for Diorissimo: a tall cylinder of leveled glass with a wide, round silver cap with the name in a band across its breadth; and a smaller flask-shaped flacon with a transparent round cap and the name on a thick-paper insert on the front of the bottle, crowned by the characteristic little bow of parfums Dior.

The classic houndstooth design established itself in the end of the 1960s, the 70s, all through the early 80s. The juice appears darker than it was in real time, because of oxidation due to the passage of time. The versions circulating included Eau de Toilette and Eau de Cologne, lighter concentrations than extrait de parfum, but bearing all the radiance and beauty of the original formula. These are the bottles I recall on my grandmother's vanity as a small child. They were splash bottles, a usual design for the era, but there was also the option of attaching a spray mechanism, as depicted in this photo.

The parfum version was encased in the previous design flacons with the cap in gold. And an Eau de Cologne was also circulating in this tall presentation. Much later the same version took on a plastic spray mechanism with box still in black and white houndstooth and a pink oval on the front.

When LVMH took over Christian Dior in the mid-90s, all the classic fragrances in the line took another uniform shape: the flask-like bottle, topped with a rounded diaphanous cap; essentially a throw-back to the past. This design was extended into all the special limited editions of the Dior line as well (Dior me, Dior me not, Chris 1947, Dior Lily etc.)
Up till fairly recently the Diorissimo bottles circulating were these: pink box, Diorissimo tag in white oval. The bottle was shaped as usual, the letters cursive and on the glass itself, no sticker. This is the version that Luca Turin granted 4 stars in his "Perfumes, the Guide", saying"today's Diorissimo is unquestionably different from the older version although still a thing of great beauty". The colour of the juice was straw-like and lighter than before, although not as clear as present juice.

The extrait de parfum however took on a curiously clear tint which indicated the lack of certain heavier molecules. The oval with the logo is actually greyer than the photo indicates.

Diorissimo has very recently (2009) changed it packaging yet again to denote the impending restrictions implemented to the levels of hydroxycitronnelal (a lily of the valley aroma-chemical and the main constituent of Diorissimo's muguet bouquet): the newer white packaging with pink “oval” bearing the name states hydroxycitronellal further behind other ingredients instead of the slightly older batch of pink packaging with white oval. The change is subtle and very cunning: while right now the packaging can be an indicator of batches, the introduction of a different colour schema is an optical blurring, ready for further –and final- chopping off! The consumer will never be able to realise without minutely examining the allergens list, which -let’s face it- is not what most people do.

Diorissimo bottle collecting is also tricky because the fragrance does not keel well over the years, being rich in highly volatile essences and swiftly deteriorating aromata resulting in diminished freshness. Therefore caution should be employed when eyeing auctions of older bottles.

Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Frequent Questions

Pics via basenotes, perfumemaking.blogspot,a367.yahoofs.com, productserve.com and perfumeshrine


  1. Hey E! The vintage Parfum which I own (probably form the early 80s) has a dark pink juice and smells a thousand times better than the modern day concentration. I guess the LOTV is a lot more pungent and real in the vintage parfum than in the newer EDT, which I have and wear but just wish was as richer as the older ones. On the houndstooth bottle, I believe there were also lots made in the 1990s (correct me), and believe these were heavily reformulated and cheaper ingredients used. Of course, I believe Diorissimo is something that has gone through several reformulations since its introduction. Nonetheless, one of my all time favourite LOTVs and am really happy to have a constant supply of the Extrait here.

  2. Alexandra13:11

    My bottle of Diorissimo is the last one, with pink “oval”, I got it few months ago and I thought it`s an older one (it was tester in a white box so I wasn`t sure). I like it, no obvious change, still smells great, pure floral but with some weight, not watery like modern florals.

  3. Is there a similar bottle chronology for other Diors? I have Miss Dior and Dioressence both in the tall, fluted columnar bottles with gold caps so I'm wondering if these would be from the 60s as well?
    Actually, the Dioressence is a parfum and is more square shaped. They do smell as if they have been 'cellared' a little too long, but the dry-downs are still beautifully intact.

  4. Hi T!! How are you darling? Hope you're having a lovely Sunday.

    Indeed the parfum was much more concentrated, there was also quite a bit of civet in the mix which enhanced the beauty and sheer radiance of the florals, made them scintillate. There was thus a naughty wink beneath the celestial primness, which was all the essence of Diorissimo really... Alas no more! Civet was quickly substituted due to costs and diminuing production. The natural extacts can be detected in older bottles thanks to the darkening of the natural jasmine oils.

    There were houndstooth boxes in the early 90s, holding the tall bottles with the plastic spray mechanism. Those were a bit less dense than the previous houndstooths, the ones I pictured. Everything changed in packaging when there was the relaunching of Miss Dior in the frosted etched houndstooth bottle, remember? They then brought out a series of body products in every scent in the line too, in pastel packaging. Very few of those survive today...

    I love Diorissimo myself and it aches me to see it yet again changed. I'm lucky I have a supply of the versions I like.

  5. A,

    yes, it is indicated that you got the latest batch. Did they have testers online so fast??
    It's prettiness is testament to just how fabulous it had been at its conception, eh?

  6. Hi M and thanks for asking.

    Miss Dior in the columnal bottle could be from the 60s. The ad shows the bottle quite well. Dioressence has got to be later than that, taking in mind it was introduced in as late as 1969. If you detect lots of ambergris in the drydown then it might mean it's a 70s-80s batch, depending on your bottle design. Here is one later example and you can see the original style in this ad.

  7. Ahem, I have Diorling in the amphora bottle and it cost me somewhat less than what I spend for that once-a-week heap of groceries. When I got it, I even didn't know that Diorling was discontinued long, long ago. The smell is very weak, though, so I suppose I may get the new version, or at least try (you said that it's available in Paris) and re-sell that.
    Anyway, I found a miniature of Diorissimo at mom's that may be around ten years old, comes from those packs sold at duty-free. Mom loves Diorissimo and so do I - the current version smells like paint thinner, though, no lily of the valley, just some icky chemical crap that makes my eyes water. Sadly, that's all I can say about the current versions of the old Dior fragrances.

  8. Hi L!

    Consider yourself very very lucky then!! (was it an auction or estate sale or something?)
    Alas, very recent news has it that the Dior headquarters decided to axe Diorling (not that it was very much publisized anyway) as well as Diorama. So I suggest you hang on to your amphora. ;-)
    As to Diorissimo, I was let down by the latest as well. It just isn't what Roudnitska envisioned.

  9. Good ole eBay.
    I have a friend in Paris so as you're more informed than I, I can give her instructions.... or I have an excuse to go to Paris maybe. Too bad that I actually dislike it there.

  10. ... and for your or anyone's viewing pleasure http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_PLcoXTpyvMo/Shv0NbDr03I/AAAAAAAAAK8/lBWF11VmeVw/s1600-h/diorling2.jpg

  11. Thanks for yet another invaluable article on packaging and reformulation of a fragrance important to me. New to the Perfume Journey, a few months ago I bought a tester bottle of Diorissimo on eBay. Based on your pictures and descriptions here, it is a recent but pre-2009 version, and since I've never smelled the earlier formulations, it smells lovely to me. However, I will continue to haunt estate sales to see if I can find an older parfum version. The bottle I have does lack the complexity I've come to expect from classic vintage perfumes.

  12. L,

    I'm sorry to report that lately Diorling is not even available in Paris boutiques either (on avenue Montaigne) as they have stopped production, per my sources. (I know...I instantly regretted splitting my own bottle some eons ago). Diorama is scarce too.

    Your pic is lovely!! Those things do surface up on Ebay once in a while if one is extra attentive.

  13. M,

    indeed the pre-latest reformulation wasn't too bad, so I'm not surprised. Of course the old batches are even better, but well, one can capture as much of the past as one can, eh? The whole vintage thing has me a little ambivalent, as I always notice that we can never be sure on how a thing was supposed to smell in its prime and our experience of it is a little tainted from sniffing it with the eyes of today (and the life "miles" we have treaded too)

  14. E,
    You are a fabulous, necessary, irreplaceable fountain of information.
    This is a such a timely piece for me. I'm trying to date a few of my vintage Diors - thank YOU!

  15. A,

    thank you honey for your most enslaving words of kindness. Really, I just try to be useful.
    Hope the piece helps you along in your chronologising. They're not making it any easy on us!

  16. lali00:05

    Thanks, this was v-e-r-y helpful!
    I now know that my bottle of Diorissimo Eau De Cologne can be dated to somewhere between the lat 60's and early 80's.
    I do have one more question, to which I couldn't find an answer on the web... Do you know if they stopped making Diorissimo EDC and if so, when?
    Many thanks, Lali

  17. Lali,

    you're most welcome, glad I helped. These series of articles are meant to be helpful after all, so happy you said so.

    I haven't seen the EDC for some years now and believe it has been stopped. If they do have some stock bottles, they should have them at the Paris headquarters boutique to where you can make a phonecall and ask.
    Here is the info:

    Christian Dior Headquarters
    30, avenue Montaigne
    75008, Paris, France
    Tel.: (+1)
    FAX.: (+1) Press Office
    Veronique Benard-Vilnet
    Tel.: (+1)

  18. lali18:36

    Thanks again!

  19. Anonymous15:53

    Thanks so much for this very helpful information on dating Diorissimo bottles. Is it possible to be more specific about when the simplified amphora shape was made since I have one of these - in a pink box with gilt lines and grey oval on the front - the box hinges open at the top. It is 7.5 ml parfum. The amphora has a code on the bottom (and on the cellophane wrapping) which says 2R 066 - does this allow dating? When I wrote to Dior about another bottle which had 01 at the end of the code they said it was made in 2001 so I wondered if 066 meant it was made in 1966? It probably isn't that simple though! In hopes you can help, thank you

  20. Anonymous04:10


    I have a bottle of 50ml diorissimo in a ribbed bottle with a white plastic cap that has CD printed in gold on top. The front has a retangular label with white background and gold frame and words also printed in gold. Do you know which period it came from? Some web sites still carry it so I don't think it's that old. I do remember seeing that bottle around 10 years ago. Google images show this bottle with a rectangular box that has the classic black and white houndstooth pattern.


  21. Rebecca12:08

    Hi there, I was wondering if you might be able to help me. I recently acquired a 10ml bottle of diorissimo esprit de parfum which is encased in a silver, houndstooth pattered covering. The bottle is refillable and is a spray. I've tried looking for it everywhere online but can't seem to find it. I'm trying to find out if the bottle is genuine, and if so if it is worth anything. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

  22. Hi Rebecca and thanks for asking here!

    I think you refer to the rectangle refillable purse sprayer which has also a cap, shaped exactly like the stopper of the splash bottle of Miss Dior in the frosted houndstooth-patterened glass bottle, right? I think those are from the 80s-90s. I believe the Miss Dior is golden while the Diorissimo is silver. I haven't seen any of the latter in real life, though. But the design if so is legit and if the smell is OK, you have a nice acquisition there!

  23. Anonymous03:22

    I have the amphora bottle right now on e-bay!
    go check it out!
    will go to highest bidder-no reserve

  24. Hi. I have a vintage bottle of Diorissimo that I acquired at an estate sale, and I was wondering if someone can help me date it. It is in a pink box with a white oval, and it's a Parfum. It has a clear glass bottle, a silver lid, and a gold band that has "Diorissimo" engraved on it. Can anyone help with tis?

  25. Hi friendsfan,

    the color schema and details indicate a prior to 2009 date, but after 1995. Hope this helps!

  26. please please help what of the Dior fragrances will smell similar to the Miss Dior with the houndstooth pattern I wore on my wedding day in 1962

    1. Hi Shirley and thanks for stopping by and asking!

      The one you had been wearing is still being made with a minor tweak or two (shouldn't be too bothersome), though not widely distributed as far as I know. It's now called "Miss Dior Eau de Toilette Originale" or "Miss Dior Extrait de Parfum Original".
      You can find distribution on the Dior website:
      This bottle style reprises the style that was "live" till mid-90s.

      Hope that helps!! :-)

  27. hi!! The Candy Perfume Boy has a bottle that looks like mine, he says it's from the 80s. https://thecandyperfumeboy.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/image1-20.jpg It's not amongst your examples. Is it really from the 80s? I bought mine from a Canadian retailer, they called it "vintage pack" version and that could mean anywhere from 3 to 30 years? lol The bottle is so darn cheap, thin plastic white cap but the scent is lovely. :) I can link the product page but I'm worried it would be caught as spam.

  28. Hi Boop!

    Yes, the bottle is the old style sprayer which circulated in the 80s all right. You are lucky. I have a Miss Dior one in this and smells delicious!

    "Vintage" can mean anything online. Choose with discretion!

  29. Very interesting article! I just diacovered Diorissimo and I am in love. I have the choice to purchase a clear bottle in pink box but with a tag on the bottle round white saying Diorissimo EDT and a frosted bottle no box with name engraved. Noth bottles are flask like and the second one has no box. i am confused LOL! Which one is a better choice? Thank you :)


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