Amouage Dia: A Memory in Glass


Amouage is a luxury brand: from its price tag right down to the pink crystal in the weighty glorious bottles. Amouage Dia was created by Jean Claude Ellena, a fact which I found out after trying it, and which didn’t surprise me at all. Jean Claude is yet to make a scent I dislike and this is a perfect example of his trademark “watercolour” style, all gentle edges and colours mingling softly.

When I first smelled Amouage Dia, it gave me a very strong reaction. Somehow, someone had bottled the exact smell of my Grandmother’s bedroom when I was around 11 or 12. I remember sleeping over in clean sheets, and fiddling about with the glass and bottles on her dressing table. Amouage Dia has captured this exact smell. It’s uncanny. Clean laundered sheets, pretty soft roses, and a hint of Elnett hairspray and Coty L’Aimant in the background. It’s a soft and gentle scent that lies close to skin like a reassuring secret. It was so vivid a comparison that I felt quite emotional. What a jolt! And what a happy memory to carry around in a bottle.

Sometimes perfume can be like a time machine, taking you back to a scene in your life so lucidly that you can almost hear people talking. Suddenly reality seems dreamlike. Who needs a Tardis when olfactory senses are so shockingly vivid at recall? My grandmother has been gone ten years now,  and this perfume seems almost magic in its ability to take me back to 1981 just via a scent. How I miss her.

Amouage has many notes listed, but the ones I can pick out are Turkish Rose Oil, Sage, Aldehydes, Sandalwood, and Soft Musk. As usual, JC Ellena has merged the ingredients so beautifully that they are almost hard to break up into pieces.

What I have is a bottle that holds a scent from my past. I don’t know how he did it.

It’s been emotional.


With thanks to Lisa Jones for letting me borrow her sample of Dia. You can buy Amouage Dia from The Fragrance Shop online and  Selfridges.  


4 thoughts on “Amouage Dia: A Memory in Glass”

  1. “perfume as a time machine” I second that! the only amouge I have ever tried was Epic Woman…and I adored it…but can’t afford it!

    1. Thanks brie. It is expensive! I borrowed a small sample from my very kind friend. I’m not sure I’ll ever own a full bottle. Anyway it would make me a bit sad, which I guess would save me about £200!

  2. My Mum swears my Nan wore lavender or Tweed. But when I smell Mitsouko I think of her – and it’s very much of her era. Your description has just taken me back to her bedroom and her dressing table and all the fascinating things on it that I was only allowed to touch very gingerly. Thank you! x

  3. Dearest Iscent
    I am so happy that you enjoyed your transtemporal travels so much.
    Your watercolour metaphor for Ellena’s compositions is splendid, though in my head he seems to work more like a pointilist.
    As is close up the fragrance can seem like so many dots and dashes, with elements of the workings out left on show, whereas taking a psychological step back allows the whole work of art to be appreciated fully.
    A splendid review for a splendid scent.
    Thank you!
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

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