Ellie by Ellie D ~ fragrance review

Ellie perfume by Ellie D

Ellie is the fragrance debut from Ellie D, a line created by Jessica Dunne. Ellie was inspired by (and named for) Dunne's grandmother; Dunne reportedly wanted to "create a perfume infused with nostalgia with youthful and modern sensibility". The perfumer was Michel Roudnitska, and the notes include bergamot, tangerine, cyclamen, lily of the valley, jasmine, gardenia, rose, fig leaves, vetiver, sandalwood, musk, vanilla and coconut.

Ellie starts with bright citrus and greenery; the heart is a simply lovely blend of florals dominated by lily of the valley. The jasmine is ever-so-slightly indolic, and there is a tiny, short-lived hint of rose. The base is warm, pale musky woods with a mild touch of earthiness from the vetiver. The vanilla and coconut accent the lushness of the florals without drowning them in sugar — despite the fact that the coconut is quite noticeable, it does not have the tropical cocktail or suntan oil feel that coconut sometimes lends.

The notes are so similar to Debut by Parfums Delrae (also by Michel Roudnitska) that it is impossible not to compare them. Ellie is a warmer, more restrained fragrance, not so bright and crisp, and the link to Edmond Roudnitska's Diorissimo that is so evident in Debut is more tenuous here. The Ellie D website refers to Ellie as "ladylike", and that is exactly what it is: a quieter, calmer lily of the valley, still spring-like, but not so youthful or exuberant. None of that should be taken to mean that it feels old-fashioned. Both Debut and Ellie have more of a modern edge than Diorissimo, but even Diorissimo does not feel old-fashioned. To me, anyway. If it feels old-fashioned to you, don't tell me, I don't even want to know.

I was a bit alarmed that Ellie was being released in Parfum (extrait); the Eaux de Parfum that Michel Roudnitska has created for Parfums Delrae are strong, and I should think that Amoureuse in extrait would just about cause a dead faint. As it turns out, I needn't have worried. My one complaint about Ellie is that it is awfully light for a Parfum. It isn't quite as strong as Debut, in fact, it has less sillage, and the lasting power is about the same, maybe even a little less. I am generally too cheap to shell out for Parfum so I would have much preferred that Ellie was in Eau de Parfum, but I certainly would not like to see it any quieter than it already is.

Ellie D Ellie is $180 for 15 ml Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Ellie D under Perfume Houses.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This does sound beautiful, but I could buy a whole ounce of Caron urn perfume for that amount of money! I'd rather have my N'Aimez Que Moi.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The year isn't even half over yet, but I'm fairly sure this will go down as one of my top five favorite releases for 2007. May even be in the top three. Debut was a bit too sharp on my skin, but Amoureuse is one of my favorite scents of all time and I can definitely pick up on a connection between it and Ellie. I'm really looking forward to the next scent M. Roudnitska will be creating for Ellie D.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is not a bargain scent by any means, that is true!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It may end up in my list of favorites too…it is a really pretty scent. I'm not sure which I like better, Ellie or Debut, but I'm probably leaning towards Debut so I guess I like sharp. And I am looking forward to *anything* MR makes for anyone, LOL — he can do another 5 lily of the valley scents and I'll probably love them all.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Funny but Ellie reminds me of a modern version of Diorissimo more so than Debut, which smells more summertime-beachy on me.

    It is interesting, however, how they both have six, count 'em, six major notes in common.

    Nevertheless, this is a beautiful fragrance, and the lasting power is very good on me.

    I think of this fragrance as an homage by Michel to his dad. :) Michel is clearly one of my favorite contemporary perfumers.

    Amoureuse in parfum strength? Whoa! That would be a one-two punch to the senses. :)


  6. Anonymous says:

    I am so surprised that you find Debut more beachy, R, and closer to Diorissimo. I will have to put them all 3 on again then! I completely agree that Debut is more summery though.

    Amoureuse even in EdT would be stronger than most parfums :-)

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree about the ladylike quality of Ellie. It might a little too dainty and polite for me. I bet if I got any of that indolic jasmine I would have loved it much more.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I find this quite lovely; I guess I have a (well-hidden) ladylike side. Debut did not work on me, so (like R) I found Ellie more like a modern-day Diorissimo (though that is still really incomparable). A decant (evil word) was plenty for me, though (esp. considering the price). I appear to be addicted to parentheses (will stop now:)

  9. Anonymous says:

    My EFT :-)

  10. Anonymous says:

    What is with all you Debut haters, LOL? It is my favorite of the Delraes, although Amoureuse is gorgeous too. And hey, being addicted to parentheses (I do that too) is free, right?

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