Isabey Gardenia

MoodScent4 Project: Playing The Diva Perfumes

It’s with great pleasure I am writing a new episode together with fellow bloggers Sam from I Scent You A Day, Megan from Megan in St. Maxime and Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies.

Together we choose a different subject every couple of months and link fragrance to mood or occasion. This time we have chosen to write about “playing the diva perfumes”. Due to moving houses I haven’t written in a long time on my website.  I am very glad to do so for this special festive event. My perfume collection is not completely unpacked so I was slightly limited in my choices and reviews. But let’s continue and play!

Madonna Truth or Dare

Madonna Truth or Dare Perfume Ad

Each of us might have a different image of a diva, To me a diva is a larger than (daily) life grand lady, preferably dressed in a long red velvet dress with feathers, wearing a faux fur coat, demanding and getting a lot of attention.

Vivien Leigh as Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind


If I were to play a diva with perfume this would be with a lush white floral fragrance from night blooming flowers like gardenia or tuberose. The perfume would have strong sillage* and leave a beautiful scented trail when walking down the crimson velvet stairs in the theatre or opera house.

Isabey Paris Gardenia

Isabey Paris Gardenia

Isabey Paris Gardenia Eau de Parfum comes to mind. Isabey Gardénia was created in 1924 and won the gold medal at the prestigious International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris in 1925. As its face it had operetta singer Yvonne Printemps. Isabey Gardenia is a lush bouquet of white creamy flowers of tuberose and exotic ylang-ylang oozing vintage luxury from a bygone era. It leaves a harmonious veil of sandalwood, soft iris and musk which lingers for hours on the skin.  A luxurious, mature and well balanced fragrance which makes you feel glamorous and like a diva from the roaring Twenties.

Its notes (according to the LuckyScent website) are Tangerine Peel, Ylang-Ylang, Orange Blossom, Gardenia, Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine, Iris, Ambergris, Musk, Sandalwood.

Yvonne Printemps

Yvonne Printemps

Robert Piquet Fracas and Madonna Truth or Dare 

Other fragrances to play a diva would be tuberose classic Robert Piquet Fracas, created in 1948 by Germaine Cellier and said to be worn by Madonna. Fracas is still packed in a box somewhere so I can’t go into much more detail unfortunately. Madonna launched her own Fracas inspired fragrance Truth or Dare in 2012. Truth or Dare was discontinued but the shower gel and body lotion are still available online for very reasonable prices. You can have a lavish affordable bath in true diva style and still be able to pay your mortgage or rent.

Concluding: My personal picks to play the diva were creamy tuberose centered fragrances like Isabey Paris Gardenia, Robert Piquet Fracas and Madonna Truth or Dare bath products.

Have a look on the blog of Sam from I Scent You A Day, Megan from Megan in St. Maxime and Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies to read their choices. I am very curious how they play the diva, aren’t you?

How would you play the diva? Which fragrances would you choose?

*Sillage: meaning the scented trail left by the wearer of a fragrance

You can read my full review of Truth or Dare here.

Special thanks Vicky, from The Perfume Lounge, Amsterdam

Disclosure: all fragrances mentioned in this article were bought by me

Daphne du Maurier Rebecca, What perfume would Rebecca wear?


In my English Classics Bookclub we just discussed Daphne du Maurier Rebecca. I brought perfumes to suit the main caracters in the book. Rebecca was written in 1938 and filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940. I found it an interesting and at times haunting book with the dead Rebecca de Winter in the leading role. It starts with the very catching and famous sentence: ‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.’

For the three main caracters Rebecca de Winter, Maxim de Winter and the young nameless second Mrs de Winter I choose fragrances which would suit them as a person. It was great fun to do. All of the fragrances were from my own perfume collection so I could bring the bottles for people to sniff. *

Rebecca the first Mrs de Winter, beautiful, ruthless, evil and chameleonic with the people around her. I choose the rich floral and creamy Isabey Gardenia for her glamorous evenings at the Mandeley estate in Cornwall. For her secret life in London I choose the darker mysterious Mona di Orio Oudh Osmanthus. In the book the clothes of Rebecca were  said to smell of powdery of azalea (rhodondendron) but I have never found a scenting azalea or a fragrance centered around azalea.

imageMaxim de Winter, widower and a handsome elegant man in his forties.  In the beginning of the book Maxim walks out of the bathroom while shaving to meet the young nameless (soon to be) Mrs de Winter. An intimate scene, which inspired me to look for a  classic cologne like Aqua di Parma Colonia.

The second Mrs de Winter, very young, attractive, a bit of a grey mouse in my opinion but others from the Book Club saw her as girlish, pretty and not yet fully developed. As she did not have much money I chose a cheaper fragrance. There are many references in the book to flowers in the garden like azalea, roses and lilacs. The beautiful, lilac centered discontinued Yves Rocher Pur Desir de Lilas would have suited the young Mrs de Winter. The others thought so too. Maxim de Winter could have bought her a pretty fragrance like Dior La Collection Privee Grand Bal.

These are the fragrances I choose.  What do you think of them? Have you read Rebecca or did you see the Hitchcock film? Did you like it?



photograph 1 and 2 taken from the Internet, photograph 3 was made by me.

*I had asked people to comment on the Facebook Fragrance forum which perfume they would chose and got wonderful ideas like Worth Je Reviens, JHAG Lady Vengeance, Givenchy Monsieur de Givenchy. But as I did not own any of these fragrances, I choose scents which I could bring for people to smell. Nonetheless I enjoyed all suggestions and will try them in the near future.

Disclaimer: all fragrances which I brought to the meeting were bought by me. The large Dior Grand Bal sample was a kind gift from Tara.