Etro Dianthus (2006) {Perfume Review & Musings}



Dianthus, borrowing its name from the Latin scientific term for carnation, is the latest perfume by Italian fashion house Etro. As with many Etro fragrances, the perfume bears a simple and elegant signature. There are no chichis here, the style is definitely not baroque, and the eau de toilette invokes simple fluid lines in a clothing.

It is a true eau de toilette; its relative lightness as well as the design of the flacon makes it be akin to a bath product, an impression which is confirmed by the soapy and clean undertones found in this carnation soliflore...

Dianthus Chinensis

Dianthus chinensis.jpg

The perfume contains top notes of citrus, Florida orange, Bourbon geranium, and rose. The heart is composed of pink pepper, ginger, carnation, and clove. Base notes are Atlas cedar, musk, and vanilla.

Dianthus is the first Etro fragrance to be labeled as a women's fragrance as the brand usually prefers to stick to an unisex categorization. The result, mind you, is not overly feminine. In fact, I do not sense any great degree of emphasized femininity in it when I compare it to Heliotrope; It is perhaps a bit richer.

The perfume centers on carnation and is fairly linear with only discreet changes. It starts with a candied carnation impression, gentle and soft on a light bed of powder with some pink pepper already titillating the nose as well as a zesty undercurrent running underneath. My first thought was Guerlain Shalimar meets Villoresi Teint de Neige meet carnation. There is also the soapy undertone I mentioned earlier. The fragrance continues to evolve becoming creamier and then a bit chalky. The drydown centers on a nice, creamy and mellow Atlas cedar wood scent. As the perfume progresses the cedar becomes smellier, closer to what some people sometimes describe as a "dirty feet" note. On my fourth take, I even detect that note sooner even thanks to the lingering drydown, and it even smells a bit like a ripe Pont L'Evêque cheese for a few seconds (indoles probably). The latter impression adds a little kick and character to the fragrance. Dianthus ends with a dirtier feel than with which it started. In its latest stages one is reminded of certain facets of Weil Antilope, only creamier and softer.

I find the drydown to be particularly interesting and a little addictive and for that reason alone would consider purchasing it. As I found out, repeated and continuous applications of Dianthus will only improve it and add depth to it. Please bear in mind however that even with the help of this operation the scent does not last very long on the skin, about 2 hours.


For other perfumes with a main carnation note, please also check our reviews of:

Floris of London Malmaison

Fragonard Billet Doux

Guerlain Terracotta Voile d'Eté

Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps

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2 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. Oh, I love my carnation, but you're scaring me with references to Teint de Neige ;-) and "powder"

    the dirty feet part sounds rather nice though

  2. Hi March,

    It is not unlike Billet Doux I should have added. All in all I think I would prefer to get Billet Doux because it is more contrasted and slightly more complex.

    I personally like Teint de Neige. It has a definite retro charm about it and the quality is very good. Of course, you need to like powdery scents as it epitomizes them.


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