Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Christian Dior Dolce Vita is what I would call an abstract dessert, a fragrance that has a mouthwatering effect without smelling like a candy bar. It is a cedarwood compostion delicately layered with stewed peaches and dusted with cinnamon and vanilla. Created in 1996 by Pierre Bourdon (with Maurice Roger), the creator of Iris Poudré, Yves Saint Laurent Kouros (1981), and Shiseido Féminité Du Bois (1992, with Christopher Sheldrake), Dolce Vita opens up with magnolia and watery lily, the transparency of which allows a glimpse of a hot cinnamon note. The presence of cedarwood hints at the connection with Shiseido Féminité Du Bois (1992), but the heart of Dolce Vita is miles away from the plummy darkness of its predecessor. Dolce Vita strays into the spiced peach territory. Where Féminité Du Bois is brooding, Dolce Vita is sweet and bubbly.
The composition dries down to an elegant blend of cedarwood and sandalwood layered over balsamic vanilla and oakmoss. Its almond notes give the drydown a delicious sweetness that vacillates between a flaky pie crust and an almond candy. The dark resinous notes temper the sweetness, preventing the composition from becoming overly sugary and gourmand. Although designated as a feminine fragrance, Dolce Vita would be ravishing on a man.
Christian Dior discontinued Dolce Vita in the States, but it can found at various discount stores online. There is also a lighter version, called Eau de Dolce Vita (1998), with the emphasis on jasmine and orange blossom.