Elizabeth Taylor's Diamonds and Rubies is one of my favorite perfumes of all time, one I've worn for years, yet I'd never tried White Diamonds. When I did, purely by accident, I wished I never had.
The bottle, you see, was sitting on the shelf at the drugstore, uncapped, for reasons unknown. I was reaching for a bottle of nail polish, and somehow managed to brush the sprayer with my sleeve, thus spraying this on my shirtsleeve, and worse still, my watchband.
Heaven help me. The shirt's been washed twice now, and the watchband -- metal, mind you -- has been all but Cloroxed, and I can still smell the acrid, awful scent of this perfume on both. It's like I'm dragging every old lady at church along with me everywhere I go each time I wear the watch, and it's very possible that the shirt's headed for the nearest Goodwill. Words cannot describe how badly I hate this perfume. It's so bad, in fact, that I don't even know how to describe the perfume at all. The closest I can come is floral air freshener sprayed in a stinky litter box.
White Diamonds fragrance by Elizabeth Taylor is one of my favorite fragrances for several reasons: the scent lasts, the price is very reasonable, it is accessible (you can buy it at any drugstore) and I always receive compliments when I wear it. I know that this is always touted as an old lady's fragrance...but it reminds me of the classy, sophisticated perfumes of the past...you can just imagine Madmen's Betty Draper wearing this with her cupcake dresses or better yet, Joan, from the Madmen office...as she drifts by looking gorgeous, this beautiful scent just captivates all the men! I know that sounds silly but that is what perfume is supposed to do...make you feel gorgeous and sexy right?! Don't be turned off by the strong scent on the first spray b/c you will be overwhelmed by it...but as it wears down...it's just lovely...it lasts and lasts. There is a reason this is still the top-selling celebrity fragrance of all time. Give it a try, I guarantee you will be hooked.
I believe the low rating for White Diamonds can be ascribed to two things: 1) A bias against floral fragrances as the fruity and aquatic scents have dominated the last 12 years or so, and; 2) A snobbery toward celebrity scents. While White Diamonds isn't one of my personal favorites (I go for woody scents), it is a lovely, feminine, well-blended floral with decent staying power. Why this floral fragrance should be considered "down market" while the Chanels retain their glamour is beyond me -- well, actually, it isn't, because it's simply due to marketing, isn't it? And the price is reasonable too (although doubtless the snobs consider this another strike against White Diamonds!).
My signature scent. Very classy, elegant, rich, and seductive. I'm 21, and get many compliments when I wear this -- The scent lingers on my skin and lasts all day. You are never truly dressed without a little perfume. Stepping out with WD, I feel sexy, confident, and absolutely beautiful.
This perfume in my opinion smells like something a more mature women would wear, I personally do not think it suits younger women or even women in their 30's. I would say someone in their 50's would enjoy this scent. To me white diamonds is a very powdery scent which tends to remind me of baby powder. I don't know about you but baby powder is not something i want to smell like. This perfume is not at all my thing I don't' like it on me or on anyone else.
A multitude of flowers, tempered by creamy Egyptian Tuberose immediately brought to mind a bath of scented oils. White Diamonds reminds me of the strong power fragrances of the '80's-ladies who wore suits with shoulder pads, short skirts, high heels and big hair and weren't afraid to say no, because they knew who they were, what they wanted and where they were going.
I recently met a woman in the fragrance department of a store who told she only wore this perfume and was constantly on the look-out for others to no avail. We had a lively discussion over the old-time perfumes and I suggested some new ones for her to try. We parted happily after our discussion, two mature women, of an era passed, where perfumes were once delicate and feminine, then turned to a heavier insidious oilier vibe-the musks, the patchoulis, the vetivers, then on to the powerhouses of the '80s'. We've enjoyed our true gourmands, our real vanillas, our basics. But now we see the insipid fruity blends. The mixes that are flash-in-pans, the slap their names on and call a designer perfume. And we wonder what will become of this younger generation when they mature? What will be their baseline to cull information from?
Not so with Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds. The aldehydes, of course, immediately hit you, but so does the bergamot, taming the bright florals of lily, carnation, jasmine, and ylang-ylang. But you expect this. The citrus of neroli, violety resemblance of orris root, light spices of cinnamon, hints of Turkish Rose, the hypnotic headiness of narcissus are all blended so well it's no wonder this fragrance is becoming a classic. Amber powders the mix well, while the oakmoss and patchouli give it its mysterious undercurrent. A light musk and a bare inkling of sandalwood all combine to make White Diamonds a perfume definitive unlike any you'll smell and one you'll always remember. This is a love/hate relationship perfume. It is for the experienced wearer, for the lover of perfumes that understands and appreciates the correlation of notes as they are applied.
Slapping her sobriquet on a bottle wouldn't have made Liz happy. She needed to make the perfumes work. She was successful in her goals. As with all of her fragrances, sillage is strong, as is the longevity. There is so much going on from start to finish, it is a joy to experience. This is a daytime or nighttime fragrance to wear, one to make you feel and experience strength.
I can understand falling in love with this perfume, and why someone would make it their signature perfume. It is complex. It's warm and surrounding. There are quite a few in the line to sample, and if you have the opportunity, give as many as you can a test. They are fascinating perfumes.
Top Notes: Aldehydes, Orange, Lily, Neroli, Bergamot.
Middle Notes: Italian Orris Root, Carnation, Cinnamon, Jasmine, Egyptian Tuberose, Turkish Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Narcissus.
Base Notes: Amber, Patchouli, Musk, Oakmoss, Sandalwood.
I did what other reviewers have recommended and only sprayed a little and then wait a while before sniffing. Some people have said that smelling this immediately after spraying will put you off because it is so strong. Well I waited 15 minutes and it is still one of the strongest, most powerful fragrances I have ever tried.
To me it is very strongly floral, powdery, with a spicy note to it that I can't quite name. I have a large sample size of this and I can't bring myself to keep it. I am one if those people who prefer lighter, fruitier fragrances rather than the strong, classic perfumes and White Diamonds definitely falls into the latter category. Not one I will ever wear (or ever hope to smell again) but I am glad I tried it.
I'm sure on "regular" skin, White Diamonds can be ghastly and overwhelming. But on my skin with it's formidable perfume killing chemistry that turns Angel, Opium, and Aromatics Elixir into soft skin scents - White Diamonds is lovely.
Initial spray is harsh and will hang in the air for at least 15 minutes after spraying. But once that's gone, what is left on my skin begins as a fresh and borderline soapy floral that dries down to an elegant jasmine bouqet. Not the current candy version of jasmine either. It's the deeper, more sensual version(closer to reality without being too indolic) It lasts HOURS on my skin and has nice sillage(which is nothing short of a miracle for me). If I had to compare to any other fragrance, it would be J'adore. Except that J'adore turns overly sweet & metallic on me and is kind of a boring 'office scent' to me, while White Diamonds is more complex and elegant.
If your skin is of the very dry or perfume eating variety and you like elegant florals, ignore the reviews and give this a try. It's a clean, elegant, and feminine.
Probably the nastiest smell I ever tried...luckily didn't spend real money on it!
I just adore this classic white-floral chypre with a fizzy aldehyde top, a lovely scent which to my nose is not at all aggressive or difficult (as opposed to, say, Opium, Giorgio or Aromatics Elixir). Yet somehow WD gets pelted with the dreaded "old lady" insult. I've concluded there are two types of "old lady" frags: those that have the potential to smell cryptic and funky due to heavy spice/animalic notes; and those that are simply vintage in feel. WD is the latter.
Fragrances of this much character and complexity may be out of vogue, especially for those under 35, who are accustomed to body sprays and fruity celebrity scents. But when WD launched in '91, it was an instant hit and continues to be the best-selling celebrity fragrance ever because it is beautiful! Opens with a champagne-like soapy sparkle and segues quickly into fresh white tropical flowers on a plush and glamorous woodsy base. Sillage is epic if over-sprayed; just 1-2 pumps of the EDT is plenty, and not too near the face. Worn judiciously, WD is feminine and soft and classy-- a real classic to wear with jeans or to a soiree. Beats that overly staid and formal Chanel No 5 with its hands tied behind its back, and at 1/5th the price.
I should say that I had to give WD a few chances before falling for its charms. It is strong and distinctive, and for a while I wasn't sure I liked it (I had been favoring simpler, sweeter scents at the time). I think many folks are basing their reviews on first sniff, either from the tester or on skin. You do indeed get an initial blast of "holy aldehydes and giant flowers, Batman!" that instantly marks WD as NOT a follower of current trends. But now I just love it, and wonder why I ever found it hard to wear. It's a good reflection of me, as it was of Ms Taylor at the time: voluptuous, living fully, owning the pleasure of mature womanhood and taking no prisoners. I like that I've aged into enjoying WD-- but even a younger woman could find it a terrific signature, provided she doesn't mind parting from the crowd in her outlook and sophistication. A great perfume!