The Perfumed Dandy’s American Scents: the nineteen90s… White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor Catch a falling gem-studded star 

Why dear Dandy? I hear you ask.

Why would you choose such a throwback to another age to represent the 1990s?

(And please I do mean the perfume not the divine Dame Liz!)

Was this not the decade where aquatics took on all others and swept the board? The age of minimalism where less realy did mean less but sold a whole lot more?

Well, yes, yes, yes and YES!

The 1990s was all those things, but it was also the dawining of an age, the entrance of an epoch, the birth of a brave new world.

And that world dear readers was dominated by the Empire of the Celebuscent!

Little could the violet-eyed one have known whe she and ‘her people’ employed the creator of Lauder‘s iconic White Linen and YSL‘s Paris to create this hard, cut stone aldehyde that they would open the floodgates.

Ms Taylor probably thought she was joining the realms of the chosen few that had gone before her: Mae West at the time when the talkies were a novelty, Alan Deloin and Catherine Deneuve with appropriate Gallic dignity and  uber heiress Gloria Vanderbilt in lending her legend to what would become a line of fragrance.

Oh how wrong she was!

Look at us now a little over two decades later drowning in the dregs of the latest Britneys, Kylies and endless Kardashians (and hundreds more “stars” entirely unknown to anyone except their birth mothers).

So Elizabeth Taylor‘s White Diamonds earns its place as the American scent of the 1990s not for its staying sales power, nor indeed for being a still (just about) well-made, up and down white floral chypre with aldehydes in abundance,  but mainly for its status as the spray that showed the way one big chunk of the fragrance trade would go over the next twenty years.

Whilst Liz might have winced at some of her scented bedfellows these days, The Dandy is sure she would be more than a little overjoyed at her everlasting status as a trendsetter.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy


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16 responses to “The Perfumed Dandy’s American Scents: the nineteen90s… White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor Catch a falling gem-studded star 

  1. Dear Mr Dandy,

    What a perfect accolade! The world of celebuscents both fascinates and repels me. In the end I just had to think if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, and I have indeed found ooh, let’s see now, around four I like out of the thousands we are drowning in. Interestingly, Antonio Banderas has been producing fragrance since 1997, making him the longest standing male celebuscenteur, I believe.

    My favourites are SJP Lovely, Jessica Simpson Fancy Nights or “new Cab Smell” as I call it thanks to Australian Perfume Junkies, Hilary Duff With Love which is like Tropical Wood and Tobacco and is fabulous, and Heidi Klum Shine, which is next on my to buy list and has won a FifFi award.

    I tried White Diamonds a few years back in my 20s and thought it too “grown up”. Now I am *ahem* more mature, and have developed more discerning taste, I am going to try this one again. So typically of Dame Elizabeth, even her perfume wears jewels around its neck.

    Your friend

    • Dearest Iscent
      Ah of course you are our very own celebuscent afficionado…
      Do they still make Alan Deloin… if they do he may yet pip Antonio to the King’s crown.
      Interestingly all the scents you mention approvingly have been voted to the top of The Hit Parade by The Dandy’s readers, or are hovering just of stage in the wings – great minds surely do think alike.
      I’m sure you might think more favourably of Liz now, this is no National Velvet of a Perfume for Who’s Afraid f Virginia Woolf… so not one for kids…
      Of course th greatest of them all was Catherine Deneuve’s wonderful eponymous scent…. if only I could get my hands on a full bottle.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  2. I do love the dab of snark you added in your latest entry, sir. Eagerly looking forward to your thoughts about the 1980s! =)

  3. Lilybelle

    Lol at the stars known only to their birth mothers. 🙂 So true. Kate by Kate Moss is my celebuscent. I didn’t buy it because of her name, though. It was on a clearance shelf and I liked the scent. I like SJP Covet, too. There is a Snookie scent called Snookie *Couture*! That almost seemed more sad than funny. Do you know who she is, Mr. Dandy? I like White Diamonds, and I did wear that in the 90s. I still think it is a nice floral chypre. I don’t think it would be for me today. Mikhail Baryshnikov (how do you spell that?) had a fragrance in the 80s.

    • Dearest Lily
      Oh gosh, I don’t have the faintest idea who *Snookie* is! I will search the web for answers.
      I think you have taken quite the right approach to these fame fragrances, sell should be the only deciding factor as to whether to wear a scent or no.
      Now Mikhail’s pirouetting perfume really does appeal… more hunting to be done!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  4. You had me at three little words. Elizabeth, Taylor, Diamonds.

  5. Miss Misty

    I wasn’t really aware of Celebrity Scents untill the 2000’s.
    Maybe because in German the word celebrity isn’t always used in a positiv context I dismissed them for a long time. There are a lot of celebrities but not many stars among them. Dame Elisabeth Taylor certainly was the latter.

    • Dearest Miss Misty
      Oh, I can assure that it is not only in German that the term ‘celebrity’ is used less than positively.
      You are quite right in the case of Dame Elizabeth, ‘star scent’ might be more appropriate. Though for my money it is Catherine Deneuve who has the greatest perfume to her name.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  6. Not sure if it was intentional but “Alan Deloin” made me chuckle 🙂

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