Dior j'adore Eau Lumière (2016) ≈ A Beautiful Incongruity {Perfume Review & Musings}


Review of Dior j'adore Eau Lumière edt

Dior released a new flanker to their pillar fragrance j'adore this spring with j'adore Eau Lumière. The name might make you think of a luminous, sunny, golden eau. In reality, it smells more like the white, cottony clouds which mask the sun. It evokes the shade more readily than direct light. If it is luminous in any sense of the word, it is thanks to an implicit chiaro-oscuro contrast and a sense of the affirmation of beauty over the mundane...

Eau Lumière edt opens on the characteristic smell of crushed, opulent white florals which is the hallmark of j'adore eau de parfum - or is it? It seems that that aspect of the floral perfume has been accentuated. The petals feel thicker; the bouquet is less lighthearted and certainly less fruity than the edp (I have a weakness for the edt - but where is it ?); there is now a sense that the j'adore posy has been put into a vase to wilt away on purpose - like you age good wine - so that notes of muddy water seem to add an old-world counterpoint to its prettiness enhanced by that sense of appreciation for things foul yet good.

We could parse and indicate this and that molecule. But it feels like a betrayal of my first impression of the scent, which was enchanting.

The new sensation is rather unexpected as the phrase Eau Lumière invites you to think of lighter, airier textures and of luminosity. Yet it does not feel that way. On the contrary, a voluptuous reference to the 80s pops into your mind with its floral-oriental richness: Oscar de la Renta : cream, powder and the train of a dress a mile long. It was launched in 1977 but that's a technical detail: it was right at home in the overstated 1980s.

There is however also a novel impression of fizziness and aldehydic chalkiness. This is the puzzling scent of j'adore I detected yesterday in a stairway : an intriguing cloud of familiar j'adore only creamier and more powdery than usual, tinged with the quietness of violets.

Smelling it impromptu and unwittingly, I loved it.

Musing upon the recent memory it evokes somehow, now that you think of it, the original floriental opulence of l'Heure Bleue by Guerlain, which is an avowed inspiration for Oscar de la Renta. Perhaps it is the addition of Neroli from Vallauris which creates something of the spirit of l'Heure Bleue while adding a tinge of romantic violet-scented melancholia - by association or by design. This is no melancholy composition yet the invisible, unspoken suggestion of violets, flowers and leaves all, brings up a note of interiority and a moment of pause in the bustle of the day. It's like cooling your cheek with an ice-cube when it's a little too hot, noisy and dusty.

The perfume thins for now espousing the expected contours of an eau de toilette. Yes, there is a certain lightness to the blend, yet, I know that the perfume lingers on in absentia - and not in a little way.

Another perfumery reference the new scent has been conjuring up for a little while is the violet composition John Galliano edp (2008). It has a similar fizz and liking for hot-iron aldehydes and white musks.

« Luminous » for some in perfumery just means not typically oriental and heaving under the weight of amber, animalic musks, opoponax, balms galore, and patchouli.

Eau Lumière seems to be an homage to l'Heure Bleue bowing also to a current taste for feminine creaminess and powderiness - see the number of perfumes coming out with the warfare cry « poudré » plastered on their flanks - while somehow riding on the 2016 olfactory wave of violet nosegays that you have started to spot all around.

Eau Lumière is a charming and satisfying composition which leaves a lasting material impression as I was able to experience it. Yes, there is freesia in it, a code note for more ethereal compositions, but overall it is very sillage-studied. This aspect reminds me once more of l'Heure Bleue.

Once I entered an empty computer room in a university basement and while no one was in sight, all living beings being elsewhere, except for me, l'Heure Bleue was filling the room where two dozens of computers had fallen asleep. The perfume had incredible presence, feeling like a real person, a soul, was inhabiting the place - a stark contrast to the technological, ambient coldness. The new scent has a similar impact : it smells like a beautiful incongruity. And after all, shouldn't all perfumes worth their salt smell like that, beautiful incongruities with no relationship whatsoever to logical reality ?

Fragrance notes are listed here

You can also read "Cool Powdery Perfumes are the Love Children of L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain"

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