In their book Diana Vreeland : Immoderate Style, co-authors Harold Koda and Richard Martin write of the former Vogue editor that,
"Seen or unseen, Vreeland insisted on the transfigured moment, the ordinary rendered extraordinary. Betsy Pickering Kaiser, for example, tells the story of a fashion shoot at which Vreeland, vexed by the insufficinecy of aura, made no visual change, but simply sprayed perfume...
...a gesture more than sufficient to alert model and audience alike to the uniqueness of the moment. Likewise, her controversial scenting of the entries of her exhibition was no mere affectation (or emulation of the commerce of department stores), but a desire to establish a precinct freestanding from the quotidian, a place where dreams happen even on the wafted scents of perfume alone."
Vreeland had strong opinions about the perfuming gesture; she liked it fully present and discernable, like an olfactory echo of her favorite color, red.
Alexander Vreeland, her grandson, has helmed a project about bringing the personality of the legendary fashion editor to life thanks to a debut collection of five perfumes.
They are called Extravagance Russe, Absolutely Vital, Perfectly Marvelous, Outrageously Vibrant and Simply Divine. The names are phrases that were typical of Vreeland's idiom. Each perfume comes with a distinctive message of introduction to the Vreeland universe.
Olfactive: Daring Sensual Floral.
"Why don't you?"
Ruby Bottle with Red Tassel
Perfumer: Céline Barel.
"Celine Barel was inspired by Mrs. Vreeland's quote, "If it isn't a passion, it isn't burning, it isn't on fire, you haven't lived!" to create Perfectly Marvelous. The end result is,
"an unforgettable fragrance, built around a lacquered red sandalwood pimento accord, draped in a daring Jasmine bouquet. Capturing the audacious spirit of Diana Vreeland and inspired by her favorite color, this fragrance is a passionate fragrance, built around a jasmine absolute from India, draped in a "glowing lava" accord of lacquered red sandalwood and pimento. Heady, elegant and voluptuous, jasmine sambac lends a glossy quality to the composition while evoking utmost eroticism. Cashmeran, a musk that evokes fire, combines with a mix of spices and resins for a crackling effect."
"Absolutely Vital, created by Yves Cassar, uses the highest quality natural ingredients from LMR, IFF's facility based in Grasse, France, to create this ode to Mrs. Vreeland's love for India and passion for sandalwood. A mysterious and enveloping woody composition of Indian sandalwood. This precious and refined wood is wrapped in a silken floral bouquet of Turkish rose and jasmine absolute from Egypt and softened with enveloping balms of myrrh resin and opoponax resin. Finished with nuances of vanilla, the skin is caressed in a warm veil of opulent sensuality."
"Simply Divine by Clement Gavarry is an ode to the unique beauty and complexity of the iconic tuberose flower. The fragrance authentically magnifies the opulent lactonic nectar of tuberose with its natural, green "crushed leaves," freshness, and a wink of nutmeg. To reveal the exceptional beauty and luminous expression of the tuberose, the majestic heart develops captivating notes of lush orange flower absolute from Tunisia and jasmine absolute from Egypt. The background enhances the mysterious and seductive signature. The depth of Indian sandalwood is softened with elegant accents of Orris, Italy, enveloping cashmere woods, balsamic nuances of tonka beans, and sensual musk to caress the skin in a warm veil of luxurious sensuality."
"Outrageously Vibrant by Carlos Benaim is the culmination of over two years in creating a red and slightly gourmand Eau de Parfum. A fearless, nonconformist fragrance combining a classical chypre structure with an unexpected twist of "creme de cassis." The richness of patchouli and sophistication of the rose bouquet are contrasted with the electric, saturated and exuberant facets of cassis to create a bold, daring and contemporary trail."
"Extravagance Russe by Clement Gavarry was created as an homage to Mrs. Vreeland's love of Orientalism. Capturing the essence of amber's sacred and mystical note in perfumery, the fragrance goes deep into the collective olfactive memory. It maintains the original codes of amber within a contemporary structure. The scent harmoniously wraps luxurious resins and balsams with precious vanilla bourbon and musk for an enhanced impression of skin like and captivating sensuality."