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I got my paws on Dita von Teese!

Dita von Teese promo image for original Dita von Teese Eau de Parfum

Dita von Teese promo image for original Dita von Teese Eau de Parfum

Due to an alert Facebook aficionado, I found out that HSN now sells all the Dita von Teese perfumes in the U.S. And so now I have them!

Here’s a first report, for those of you who’ve been hearing about DvT’s surprisingly good-though-inexpensive perfumes and wondering if you should bite the bullet and try them. ( offers a gift set of the three 20 ml bottles for $57 right now.)

There really is a lot here for perfume lovers to love. The original Dita von Teese is a wonderfully rich wood/floral cocktail that has a small touch of what I call Laundry Musk in the base (this is usually what I fear most in inexpensive perfumes) but uses it wisely to make something wearable that otherwise might be too heavy. The floral notes aren’t made of finest Grasse jasmine, but instead they are really expertly blended. There’s nothing jabby or unpleasant about this formula, but it isn’t nondescript and boring either. It’s proof positive that perfumes like L’Extase are boring because they want to be boring. You can do a beautiful inexpensive wearable perfume; here, Dita von Teese (in conjunction with the company Luxess) has done it.

The 20 ml bottle is a great size, and the jewel shape is surprisingly comfortable in the hand and actually quite pretty. Instead of futzing with a cap (almost always the weakest part of a perfume bottle presentation), DvT has taken the Montale route of shutting off the mechanism by sliding a small metal sleeve around its neck, keeping the spray top from depressing. The lovely tassel is attached to this little metal collar, encouraging you not to lose it!

Dita von Teese Rouge

Dita von Teese Rouge

There is a flat side to the bottle, so it won’t roll on your bureau – something else I feared before I got to see the bottle in person. All in all, this is well-thought out packaging: black for the original Dita von Teese, red for Rouge, and purple (sparkly purple!) for Fleur.

I’m really wondering why the non-standard sizes – the smaller 20-ml jewel bottle, or the taller sizes in 50 or, oddly, 75 ml. There must be a reason. I’m delighted that the company offered the 20 ml size; for any real perfume lover, it’s so great to get juice in a smaller, affordable size; the 20 ml lets the bottle be even less expensive than a 30 ml/1 oz bottle would be, just by holding less (like the way half gallons of ice cream are now 1.75 quarts – but in a good way). They are, I think, sturdy enough for purse bottles, if you’re so inclined.

Of the three Rouge is the least to my taste, and that’s only at first sniff; after the perfume sets up it’s pleasant enough, but it just doesn’t call to me; it’s heavy and sweet and while it wants to grow up to be Shalimar it has nothing as distinctive as bergamot in it, it’s more of a melange and less well blended than the other two right out of the bottle. Rouge also has a red velvet bow tie instead of a tassel! It’s adorable and I will undoubtedly try it on skin. But probably last.

Dita von Teese itself is the one I would wear most. This is a flat-out beautiful, wearable perfume, in the category of White Diamonds (which I’ve also written about before, and which I love). It is somehow a little sexier – appropriate from Dita von Teese the brand, but I’m not sure exactly what makes it sexier. It might be the tiiiiiiiniest touch of indole in the floral note, a little bit of body – not skin, body – that fills out the bouquet and keeps it from being too clean. I like it very much.

(Maybe toes. Clean toes. Or the back of the knee? Hey, you picture your body kink, I’ll picture mine.)

Dita von Teese Fleur

Dita von Teese Fleur

The original is an EdP, as is Rouge. I’m not sure why they’re EdPs and Fleur gets to be an Eau de Toilette – they’re all pretty strong, as less expensive scents tend to be, and I’m sure they’ll wear like iron – unless it’s just that the company wants to give the “fresher, lighter” connotation to Fleur so as not to scare anyone who might actually be frightened of Dita von Teese the original, or Rouge.

24 hours later, on paper, these perfumes leave their core essences: Fleur is powdery with a light floral touch, Rouge is a slightly woody sweetness, and the original, Dita von Teese itself, still retains the most of its original character – that body-touched bouquet. On my skin Dita von Teese is rounder, less sweet, with a touch more obvious musk and slightly fatter, less ethereal flowers. The tropical edge (the note they report is “tiare” but goodness knows whatever molecule it might be) reminds you that it’s not meant to be No. 5; it’s more sultry. But the jasmine and rose heart is there.

Fleur would undoubtedly be my second choice – I love florals and I’m a sucker for a summer white bouquet. Fleur hits a great balance for me between things that are too light and tween-ish, like the Toccas, and something that’s really too heavy for summer, like Rubj or Chanel No. 5. In fact probably the thing that Dita von Teese the original could be most closely compared to is Chanel No. 5 (that aspect of a warm body somewhere in among the flowers that made the original Numero Cinq so shocking), so it’s appropriate that Fleur is the version where we just got the bouquet, maybe not the happy ending.

I can see Fleur being too Tampax Fresh Accord for some people, though – it is cleaner and lighter. But for younger girls it might be a lovely choice that keeps them off the Britney Spears juice for a while longer. Fleur is a great starter scent in the line for them. I’d admire the teenager who can pull off Dita von Teese the original. I’m in my forties and I’m not sure I can carry it off. It’s unabashedly feminine and sexy, just like all the other websites say.

I’m sure gonna try, though.


Images all swiped from promo sites. No editorial creativity here, sorry.

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2 comments to I got my paws on Dita von Teese!

  • I love the original (you may have seen my glowing comments) and really like Rouge. Fleur Teese I thought was awful, but I take your point. I’m really looking forward to trying Erotique.

    • Judith

      I really want to try Erotique. And also Kardashian Pure Honey, because Nick Gilbert has been liking it on Twitter (@nickrgilbert). I’m not proud of myself, but I do want to try them!

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