Simply Divine by Diana Vreeland

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by Daisy Buchanan

There is no real point to perfume unless it smells like a Shakespearean love potion.

Perhaps I can grudgingly admit that there is a place for the nation’s favourites, we all love clean sheets and apple pie and it is not always appropriate for everyone to smell like a meadow orgy - certainly not all day long. But that’s what I smell like at the moment. I’ve sprayed Simply Divine by Diana Vreeland into every crevice. I am an addict, a voluptuary. I smell, unequivocally, of sex, or rather, what I think sex should smell like, which is not bodies and sweat and skin but tuberose exploding within an eagerly yielding giant gardenia. The firefly awakens, waken thou with me.

The top note is tuberose. It is a borderline aggressive tuberose, a little bit RuPaul, a little bit Cher in Moonlighting. I love it because it’s so blowsy, so defiant and so utterly unapologetic. It’s not a bruised flower, it’s not all brassy front with a fragile heart - it is the scent, I think, of self love. 

Someone once told me that men do not like smelling tuberose on women. (My husband has not said as much, but he prefers me smelling a little weirder, and woodier. He has a tender nostalgia for freesias, because I was wearing Dior Forever And Ever the day we met. He’s bought me another Vreeland fragrance before, Extravagance Russe, which I also love, it’s the very essence of Romanov splendour. Having read over 400 pages of Anna Karenina I can say with some confidence that Kitty Shcherbatsky might wear it on very special occasions.) 

I have a theory about the anti tuberose brigade, which is as follows. It’s to do with the simple part of Simply Divine. The haters want to believe they are hip to the tricks of the sexy white flower. They resent having their senses manipulated in plain sight. These are the people who claim not to like sunsets, chiffon frocks, the Rivoli bar at the Ritz, movies with Marilyn, or milk chocolate. They would sooner be scratchily sophisticated than yield to the heady call of a damn good time. I think you have to be quite grown up to appreciate a heady white floral - because you’ve stopped minding about seeming grown up, and you’ve realised that the only thing worth taking seriously is pleasure itself.

Simply Divine does NOT make you work for its pleasures. It is a little woody and warm, tailing off with a murmur of tonka bean and “cashmere wood” which, the internet tells me is a very light musk and not the world’s poshest and most pointless construction material. It is a fragrance that buttles itself, heating itself up for your comfort, the lover that lies on your side of the bed before you enter on a winter’s night so that you never have to feel chilly sheets against your bare skin.

However, Simply Divine isn’t a fragrance you would wear to make someone fall in love with you - but it will make you fall in love with yourself. It’s possible that you will wear it and leave a line of drooling suitors trailing in your wake - because it will make you hold yourself differently. You will feel golden, shining and replete. High on your own confidence and supply. As self satisfied and magnetic as Beyonce and Jay Z, Drunk In Love before the fall. If you see me this summer, I’ll be floating in my cloud of tuberose, an individual bower of bliss, rendered less than sober by potent petals alone. (Although this perfume does pair well with pink champagne.) If you need to retreat from reality and live in a heavenly, scented world of your own, you need a bottle of Simply Divine.

Simply Divine by Diana Vreeland,

£180

harrods.com

Rebecca Humphries