WHEN it comes to the Chypre fragrances of the “roaring twenties,” one may think of lavish costume parities, Parisian chorus girls and prima ballerinas lavishly spritzing themselves before dashing onstage – and such things certainly come to mind when inhaling Roja Dove’s Diaghilev which is inspired by these redolent classic fragrances.
The scent will be sold at the V & A, to accompany its autumn exhibition “Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballet Russes 1909-1929,” showcasing the work of famed artistic director Serge Diaghilev, whose productions revolutionised the world of ballet and brought Russian culture into the spotlight.
It was Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes who first came up with the idea of using movement to evoke emotion (whereas previously dancers were simply admired for their technical ability), who reintroduced male ballerinas, and who bewitched audiences the world over with their avant-garde costumes and production design. To achieve the latter Diaghilev enlisted the talents of Picasso, Cocteau and Matisse among others, and their collective vision brought about the beginnings of the Modernist movement and cemented Diaghilev’s reputation as one of ballet’s foremost innovators. Thus Dove’s Chypre-inspired fragrance is a fitting tribute to a man who spent his life in pursuit of sumptuous and dazzling displays.
Diaghilev remains faithful to the traditional Chypre formula of a citrus-based top note – in this case a spiky bouquet of bergamot, orange and lemon, floral middle-note, here here a beguiling blend of Rose de Mai and Jasmine, and woody base note, with oak-moss, patchouli and vetiver creating a warm and alluring after-effect. Once it has been on the skin for an hour or so, one gets the feeling similar to looking out at an empty stage after just having watched a great performance; the initial spectacle may be a distant memory, but the element of fantasy still remains.
by Viola Levy
Diaghilev will be available from September at the Victoria & Albert Museum and at the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie at Harrods for £75 for an 100ml Eau de Parfum. www.rojadove.com
The exhibition Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes 1909-1929 will run from 25th September – for more information please visit www.v&a.com