Notes: pear, rose, woody notes.
Belle de Jour is named after the Luis Buñuel film starring Catherine Deneuve. One of the Dior SAs kept mentioning the film as I was purchasing this. This fragrance doesn’t evoke the film for me, however I’m sure Dior executives want people to imagine themselves as Catherine Deneuve circa 1967 while wearing this. Belle de Jour is one of the newer releases in the Maison Chistian Dior line, formerly La Collection Couturier, formerly the Dior Privée line. Let’s hope Dior will stick with this Maison Christian Dior title! To make it more confusing, some Maison fragrances are the original Privée scents, but relaunched. (For example, Gris Montaigne is now Gris Dior.) Belle de Jour is one of the entirely new compositions.
I tried Belle de Jour on a rainy New York September day, just as the weather was turning to Autumn. I spritzed this on at Saks, and then wandered around midtown in the rain, passing Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, The Palace Hotel, and crossing over to Lexington. The city was grey and chilly from the rain, but I felt contented because Belle de Jour was radiating a pleasant warmth around me. I get some lovely sillage out of this. It’s not a beast, but more like a very pleasant and fragrant cloud.
Belle de Jour opens with a pear note. It’s not necessarily juicy, but it’s fresh and very easy to identify as a pear note. Fragrantica, for some reason, lists the opening note as peach, but it’s clearly pear. The fruit blends right into the rose note. I normally don’t fall for rose scents, but it’s extremely smooth and easy to wear in this composition. The rose here reminds me of Liaisons Dangereuses from Kilian. That one from Kilian does contain peach blended with rose, and it’s much more carnal. Belle de Jour is sensual, but I don’t find it to be carnal or sexy (which is kind of funny, considering the Buñuel film).
The Dior SA also told me that the dry down is musk and woods. I couldn’t get anything more specific out of her. There are all different types of woody notes, but Dior remains vague about this. The dry down here reminds me of the musk in Tocca’s Margaux, which I love, and I don’t always love musk! Belle de Jour’s dry down is a warm, rich musk. It feels decadent without being over the top. Thankfully, it doesn’t smell overly synthetic either. Again, the rose blends seamlessly into this dry down before the last floral traces fade away.
In fact, the striking thing about Belle de Jour is that it’s an exceptionally seamless and smooth composition from start to finish. There are no rough edges here, nothing odd peaking out between the seams of the composition. Sometimes I enjoy a scent that has a strangeness to it, something that makes me think. In this case, I enjoy Belle de Jour precisely because it’s so beautiful in an effortless way. It feels pretty and luxurious without trying too hard. As I walked around rainy midtown Manhattan, not even caring about the weather because I felt at peace while wearing this scent, I knew Belle de Jour had earned its place in my collection. Reader, I went back to Saks later that afternoon and bought it.
Maison Christian Dior fragrances are available from Dior and from Saks in store. I purchased my 125 ml bottle from Saks.
Photo taken by me.