It means ‘delicious bean’ – and the bean in question is tonka. Soft, powdery, cocooning, this is as cosy-yet-sexy as perfumery gets, created for Dior by in-house Perfumer-Creator François Demachy. As he explains: ‘I wanted to compose a fragrance that would be a representation of the tonka bean and celebrate the duality between its sweetness and its surprising touch of bitterness.’
As if tonka wasn’t warm enough, it’s accented here by Madagascar vanilla – and the result is certainly sweet, yet never tips into over-sugariness. The first gourmand fragrance from Dior – filling quite a gap in their portfolio, actually – it’s masterful, if a little unusual for the house. (Because this is one to seduce die-hard Guerlain fans to be unfaithful with Dior. Which we’re sure they’ll be generous about, since both come under the umbrella of luxury goods house LVMH.)
If you love vanilla, you’ll completely adore this. But there’s much more going on, under the surface. It’s a little bit green – tonka has a fresh herbal ‘hay’ quality – and a lot smoky. It’s silky-soft, wrapping it round you like a shrug on a cold night. But this is no ‘Slanket’: as blankets go, it’s couture.
Dior is famously enigmatic with their ingredient lists, but we get touches of hazelnut, rose, caramel and whispers of vetiver, too.
So: even if La Collection Privée fragrances would blow a hole right through your budget and out the other side, we encourage you to seek out and try this – and to spritz your way through the whole collection, actually, over time. Because this is haute parfumerie at its finest – and the collection a scented education in itself, putting certain ingredients – amber, leather, patchouli, for instance – in the spotlight. (Find La Collection Privée in select department stores and Dior‘s own boutiques.)
And this? It brings out our inner Oliver Twist, and has us asking – please – for more.
La Collection Privée Fève Délicieuse from £165 for 125ml
Find it at Harrods, Selfridges and the Dior Covent Garden Boutique