Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds ~ perfume review

Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds

It's disconcerting to consider Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds, a perfume supposed to represent the actress. After all, which Liz are we talking about? The ingénue of National Velvet? The tempestuous, alcohol-sodden seductress of Butterfield 8 and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The Senator's wife, depressed and overweight? Or maybe the laid-back Mrs. Fortensky?

I knew White Diamonds was wildly popular, but I expected it earned its sales among soap-opera-watching, chain-smoking elderly ladies. I figured it would smell of sharp aldehydes, cheap white flowers, and rubbing alcohol. Boy was I wrong. White Diamonds Eau de Toilette is a gentle white floral chypre with a soft, clean feel. Spring-sweet and soapy fresh. Classic, really. I'm hooked.

It seems crazy, but when Parfums International launched White Diamonds in the fall of 1991, it was the first time a celebrity had released a second feminine fragrance. Elizabeth Taylor Passion for Women (1987) and Passion for Men had already hit the market. Parfums International broke new ground when it introduced White Diamonds.

Cosmetics business analysts were skeptical. How would White Diamonds fare against its biggest contenders for the holiday season, Estée Lauder Spellbound and Calvin Klein Escape? Sure, it was more high-end than Passion, but could the market bear two fragrances from Elizabeth Taylor? Thomas Maloney, Vice President of marketing for Parfums International was confident. He said of White Diamonds, "It will entice another consumer, girls aged 16 and women aged 55."1 (Judging from the print ads, two of which featured Burt Reynolds and Kenny Rogers, they didn't bother to market to the 16-year old.)

Burt Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor White DiamondsKenny Rogers for Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds

White Diamonds was a blockbuster. It raked in $35 million that first fall, knocking out the competition in most markets.2 Some experts attributed White Diamond's success to Elizabeth Taylor's in-store visits, and others cited the multiple gift sets available, including the special set with a tennis bracelet and earrings for $250.3

Me, I think it was the universality of the fragrance itself that won the sweepstakes that year and that continues to earn White Diamonds strong sales twenty years later. Perfumer Carlos Benaïm developed White Diamonds. It has top notes of lily and verdi (Italian for "greens"); a heart of rose, narcissus, jasmine, and tuberose; and a base of oakmoss and sandalwood.

White Diamonds Eau de Toilette goes on with a burst of soft, round aldehydes giving lift to a sweet, white floral mix that I can't detangle. Clean musk shows up right away, too, smelling like a fancy guest soap. A hint of dirty vase water keeps the fragrance from smelling too much like laundry detergent. After fifteen minutes or so of warming on skin, White Diamonds settles into quiet to moderate sillage. I don't get much oakmoss or sandalwood at all. The clean musk and sweet flowers soldier on to the end of White Diamonds' wear several hours later.

Often when I'm wearing something to review I'll put it on for part of the day, then switch to something else I'd really rather be wearing. With White Diamonds, I found myself spraying it on in the morning, when I got home from work, then again before bed. It never overwhelmed, never insisted. When I proffered my scented forearm to people for sniffing, I almost invariably heard, "I like it," in return.

Like puppies or ice cream sundaes, White Diamonds is easy to love. It's clean, effortless, and innocent while still being just a little, comfortably old fashioned. No, it doesn't bust apart the perfume world with its one-of-a-kind take on fragrance. It's not daringly sexy or freakily fascinating. It's just plain easy. Sweet, fresh, and clean.

So what does all this have to do with Elizabeth Taylor? I think the one quality that unites the different Lizs through the years is a resilient hope, her ability to pick herself up after whatever calamity beset her and plunge forward, trusting things would be better the next time. White Diamonds reflects that durable innocence.

Each time Elizabeth Taylor married, she must have thought this would be it, this would be the man who was strong enough, right enough for her. She put her money and celebrity behind the fight against HIV and AIDS in the mid-1980s when many people still ignored what they considered the "gay" disease. It's hard to understand today what a brave stance that was. Over the years, she drowned her disappointment in alcohol and pills and food, but resurfaced to fight the good fight, whatever that meant to her at the time.

Whether it was the conscious design of the perfumers, Taylor's input, or a fluke of marketing, White Diamonds to me sums up the passionate, hopeful innocence Elizabeth Taylor embodied and that so many of us feel at some point in our lives. No, it's not an expensively produced perfume (although I'd love to smell it with high quality ingredients), but I've been loving it, and I've ordered a big bottle of the Eau de Toilette for spraying my sheets and myself when life gets me down.

Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds is widely available online and at drug stores and department stores. The Eau de Toilette can be found for less than $15 for 30 ml. If you've tried the Eau de Parfum or Parfum, please let us know how it compares to the Eau de Toilette.


1. Womens Wear Daily, 5/24/91.

2. WWD, 8/14/92.

3. WWD, 1/1/92.

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  1. Bulu says:

    Lovely. A fitting review for one of my favourite women and her perfume.

    • Angela says:

      Elizabeth Taylor was truly one of a kind, and I really like White Diamonds, too!

  2. Tama says:

    Thank you so much for this. I haven’t smelled this since me and my nose have grown up a bit – I may like it more than I did then – I barely remember it. I bought one of the Liz fragrances (Passion maybe?) for my Grandma – I loved that it smelled so much like her already, but I don’t know if she ever wore it. Now that I’m more in the target age group I should try the line again.

    I will be interested in edt and edp comparisons, as well.

    • Angela says:

      I was a real snob about White Diamonds, sure it wouldn’t be good enough for me (snob! snob!), and then I tried it. It’s so clean and soft and pretty. Give it a try and see what you think!

      • sarahbeth says:

        I was the same way. In fact I never deigned to even try it. Last week I was visiting my mother in Orlando and went out to a wonderful lunch with two of her closest friends. Afterward I was giving one of them a hug goodbye. She smelled divine. I asked what perfume she was wearing. What do you know, it was White Diamonds! I was SHOCKED at how great it smelled.

        • Angela says:

          What a wonderful surprise!

  3. AnnS says:

    I remember very well when this came out. I was in my early 20s and thought – ugh – cheesy! I would never deign to be interested in this type of soap opera fragrance. But I confess I always did like that ad when she drops her big diamond on the table at a poker game. “These have always brought me luck”. It was soo James Bond, and Taylor is the only woman I can imagine to pull that off because we know in real life she could have very easily dropped a big diamond on a table with no second thoughts. She is the only person outside of royalty that most of us know of who has bling like that. Bling before it was bling. She lived big always, and I admire people who do as they please without regard for norms. I appreciate that more now that I am older and realize how hard it is to get through life with your head up. After your thoughtful review, I think I’ll have to go and finally try this out.

    • Angela says:

      I didn’t see that ad until Robin posted it on NST, but I loved it! Her voice, her nonchalant expression as she dumps the glittering earrings on the table–terrific.

      I love it that she did as she pleased, too. (Although I imagine Debbie Reynolds wasn’t so happy about it at one point.)

      • AnnS says:

        How could “Tammy” ever compete with “Cleopatra”?

        • Angela says:

          A problem a lot of us face. Signed, the more-like-Tammy-than-Cleopatra perfume reviewer.

          • AnnS says:


      • Daisy says:

        ooh! everything Ann said times 2 !!

        I always thought Liz was brave and resilient….and while I wouldn’t blame Debbie for sticking a few sharp pins in a Liz-doll, when it boils right down to it –Eddie was MARRIED, supposedly COMMITTED…if there was a skunk involved, it was him. …ok, done on that tangent…
        I admit to having my own set of snobbish attitudes about this and *most* celebrity connected scents. But , Angela, I trust your judgement….I’m going to go find some to try. …..I think I hear my $27 bottle of That Slut Tocade cackling in the cabinet….

        • Angela says:

          I get your point about Eddie for sure. Maybe in the end Debbie thanked Liz for showing her Eddie’s true colors!

          Do try White Diamonds! WD and Tocade can whoop it up in the cabinet together and make the Amouages mad.

          • Daisy says:

            You’re right ….on both counts—who needs a man who’ll so cavalierly turn his back on his wife and 2 small children? Seems to me Debbie did just fine without him.
            And yes, the Amouages are huffy and the Chanels have already turned a gimlet eye to Tocade….but they give her the cold shoulder even on a good day. ;-)

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            Daisy! You give me joy! : DDDD

          • Daisy says:


          • Joe says:

            Did anyone else notice, though, that Reynolds was a guest on a couple of talk shows, sort of eulogizing Taylor in the days after her death? I thought that was really odd — were they pals in recent years or something? I guess stranger things have been…

            One example (Reynolds on after 2:30 mark): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxN3NCe26z8

          • Angela says:

            I don’t know a lot about her personal life, but I can imagine them being friendly. (Either that, or Burt has a new movie he was publicizing?)

          • Joe says:

            LOL… sorry, Angela, I was referring to DEBBIE Reynolds. ;)

          • Angela says:

            Yikes! Big difference, and I’m not just talking facial hair!

        • fleurdelys says:

          Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor had buried the hatchet long before Taylor’s death. Debbie probably realized that it was Eddie’s responsibility to stay faithful to his wife and family, and not move in on a grieving and vulnerable widow.

          • Angela says:

            Good for her! That’s the best attitude, I think.

  4. odonata9 says:

    Love those ads with Kenny and Burt! I don’t know if I’ve ever sniffed White Diamonds, but I had a bottle of Diamonds and Sapphires back in the day. Thanks for the lovely and funny review!

    • Angela says:

      Kenny and Burt sure peg the era of the ads!

      I’m really curious about Black Pearls.

      • Yes, yes!

        • Angela says:

          Have you tried Black Pearls? What did you think?

          • Oh, sorry to get your hopes up, A. Those yeses were for the ads.

      • ggperfume says:

        I can’t hear the words “black pearls” without thinking of Jennifer Tilly’s character in Bullets over Broadway. Rent that one if you haven’t seen it lately (or haven’t seen it at all).

        • Angela says:

          Perfect timing! I was just thinking of what movie to rent tonight.

  5. Thank you for this sweet, evenhanded review, Angela. It makes me think again about all those older ladies I know who are passionate about White Diamonds–I’ve always thought it was Elizabeth they were after, but perhaps WD is also a reminder, olfactory-wise, of youth. It sounds youthful.

    Victoria over at Bois de Jasmin has said the parfum is quite good.

    • Angela says:

      I’m glad to know the parfum is good! It deserves to be.

      • nancyg says:

        Luca liked it, too

        • Angela says:

          Another recommendation! I’ll definitely watch for the parfum.

  6. RuthW says:

    I’ve had several co-workers over the years that wore this as their signature fragrance, from forklift drivers to office drones and they all smelled lovely.
    Every one of them loved the connection to Ms. Taylor and I believe that the glamour by association this perfume implied was just as important as the scent itself.
    Who can argue with that? We have all chased down perfumes merely because a certain brand or perfumer composed it . . . a little Liz Taylor glitz and panache is I need in my life too.

    • RuthW says:

      “a little Liz Taylor glitz and panache is WHAT I need in my life too”
      sorry – brain freeze while typing, too much ice tea!

      • Angela says:

        It’s too chilly here for iced tea! Bring on the iced tea weather!

    • Angela says:

      She definitely was glamorous, and, as you say, who couldn’t use a bit more of that?

      • RuthW says:

        Elizabeth Taylor just has a sparkle in her eye that says “yes, I am worth the effort it takes to look this good.”
        God I need some of that!

        • Marjorie Rose says:

          Love that!

        • Angela says:

          You’re so right! The attitude is half the effect. I could use some of it, too.

  7. AgentBetty says:

    At times she was easy to make fun of, but really, the woman was a champ.

    • Angela says:

      I’m with you 100%.

  8. mals86 says:

    I don’t remember what White Diamonds smells like. I feel quite sure that I *have* smelled it, but can’t call it up. I did really hate Passion but haven’t smelled that in yonks, either.

    I’m strongly tempted to go look for a small bottle of WD, though –

    • Angela says:

      Give it a sniff! You might be as surprised as I was and find a new favorite. Do report back if you try it–I’d love to know what you think.

      • mals86 says:

        Okay… watching a parfum mini on teh bay right now, will report back.

    • OperaFan says:

      I haven’t tried WD since it was initially released, but I recall it to be a big aldehydic white floral with a chypre drydown – very glamourous, and very much a descendant of VC&A’s First. It was gorgeous, and the main reason I didn’t want to buy it was the celebrity connection. Hated Passion as well – too sweet and powdery an oriental.

      • Angela says:

        The EdT wasn’t sharply aldehydic, and the sillage wasn’t gigantic, but this was a little drugstore EdT and who knows what it used to be like or is like in other formulations. It’s funny–I bet as many people as White Diamonds attracted by being a Liz Taylor scent, it pushed away.

  9. I love White Diamonds! The Perfume Guide mentions it has a bit of a banana scent to it, which I normally wouldn’t like. But I like it here. It is so very pretty. Glad you reviewed it!

    • Angela says:

      I don’t get banana, but I wonder if that comes out more in the EdP? I’m glad to see another White Diamonds fan!

  10. FragrantWitch says:

    I confess to being snobbish about this too but I think I will have to give it a fair sniff! I do love the purple of the Passion bottle but can’t for the life of me call to mind the scent.

    • Angela says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever smelled Passion. The bottle kind of scares me off. Black Pearls is the one calling my name. Something about it intrigues me.

    • mals86 says:

      Passion was this huuuuuuge oriental. Does that help any?

      • Angela says:

        Hmm. I’m not sure whether it helps or hinders. The purple bottle makes me think “fruit” even though it might not have any, but I think that’s what scares me.

  11. Marie P.K. says:

    Thank you for such a fair review! I really enjoy reading perfume reviews that judge a fragrance on its merits and not based on whether it’s a niche or a mainstream scent.

    I agree: Part of the charm of scents is the story behind it and Elizabeth Taylor was an icon in her field.

    • Angela says:

      Nine times out of ten, a fragrance I fear will be awful I do find awful, but that extra time, the tenth, can serve up some nice perfumes like this one!

  12. annemarie says:

    Soap opera and chain smoking elderly ladies – yes, that is exactly how I had pegged White Diamonds too. I try not ti be a perfume snob, but it turns out that I am. Thanks fro the lesson! I too will seek this out. I must have walked past it in the shops about a zillion times.

    What prompted you to try it again, Angela?

    • Angela says:

      I’d walked by it a million times, too, in stores and Goodwill bins, and I never even bothered to sniff the cap. Since Liz died (R.I.P.) Robin asked if I would take a look at White Diamonds. If she hadn’t encouraged me to, I probably never would have.

  13. Olive says:

    A gorgeous, spiritual review. It takes a certain kind of looking (doesn’t it?) to actually see and/or smell Elizabeth Taylor as opposed to, say, “Elizabeth Taylor.”

    • Angela says:

      Nice distinction! Once I started thinking about her as a woman rather than as an icon with a long, thick trail of gossip in her wake, I realized how amazingly strong and hopeful a woman she must have been.

      I sure do love those jewels, too. I wouldn’t mind a dupe of the necklace in the top photo.

      • Daisy says:

        *imagining Angela swanning into the office in one of her vintage sundresses….and that necklace! *

        • Angela says:

          I’d also wear a special head-dress with spotlights mounted on it to illuminate the diamonds. Watch out, here I come!

          • Daisy says:

            how very Vegas of you ….spotlights and everything! Careful though…the men around the place might think you’re shining spotlights on “the girls” (…since men don’t always notice jewelry and they very often notice other things…..)

          • Angela says:

            Alas, often true. Maybe if I posted arrows pointing at the necklace?

          • Daisy says:

            well, let’s not get tacky. ;-)

          • Angela says:

            Me? Never!

  14. hardlyworking says:

    Thank you for reviewing this perfume and possibly creating a new fan base. You mention in your review that you’d love to experience the same perfume with more expensive ingredients- that would be a lovely tribute for a perfumer to do… Perhaps a limited edition.

    • Angela says:

      That really would be nice. Maybe the parfum version does have nicer ingredients? I plan to find out eventually!

  15. Joe says:

    Very informative review, Angela. I also have never smelled White Diamonds, though I’ve come to really look forward to the “these have always brought me luck” TV commercial every December holiday season! You make it sound worth sampling for sure, and, like you, I’d have expected it to smell quite differently than you’ve described. Soap opera–watching, chain-smoking elderly ladies, indeed!

    Now we need a review of Passion, if one hasn’t been done already! ;)

    • Angela says:

      Could lightening strike twice? Maybe. Passion kind of scares me, though. But Black Pearls, on the other hand….

      • Joe says:

        Someone, somewhere in a comment thread raved about Black Pearls not too long ago. I’m sure of it. That one intrigues me as well. It could also certainly be because I think black pearls are really amazing and attractive gems.

        • mals86 says:

          That one interests me too… looks very, um, bosomy. (at least the notes list does.)

          • Joe says:

            Oh, well that sounds like me to a ‘T’, does it not? HA!

        • Angela says:

          Well that does it. I’m definitely ordering a bottle!

  16. teri says:

    Hmmm…try as I might, I can’t recall the scent of White Diamonds, although I do recall trying it when it came out and thinking it just wasn’t me.

    I recently got a mini of Diamonds and Emeralds, I think it’s called as a surprise gift with an ebay purchase. I surprised myself by liking it quite a bit. I didn’t feel compelled to follow up the mini with a full bottle purchase (do they still make the gemstone flankers?), but I quite enjoyed wearing it.

    Liz was truly a beautiful woman inside and out. Unconventional, often. Larger than life, absolutely. But her penchant for being a staunch and loyal friend to the most unlikely people really spoke of her inner quality.

    • Angela says:

      I haven’t tried any of the other Taylor fragrances, so thanks for the input on Diamonds and Emeralds!

      Yes, there will never be another Liz Taylor. I’m glad to hear she was a loyal friend, too. It doesn’t surprise me.

  17. Marjorie Rose says:

    My step-mother wore wore White Diamonds as her SF, so I very strongly associate it with her. I re-sniffed it not-so-long-ago and still couldn’t release it from my association with “mothers.” Maybe another decade is needed. . . :)

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Heh! She “wore wore” it! Makes it sound like serious sillage!

      • Angela says:

        Yes! Wore-squared!

    • Angela says:

      Or maybe this one you’ll have to consign to her memory, which hopefully is a sweet one. It’s so, so hard to separate a person from her fragrance, I think.

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        Yes, my step-mother was a wonderful, strong, independant woman–not so unlike ET in that regard. Although there was nothing elegant about her–hairy hippy that she was! Funny, to me the scent always seemed a bit like a poor fit for her, but your depiction of passionate innocence reconciles it for me a bit!

        • Angela says:

          That’s so funny–it’s hard to imagine White Diamonds on a hippie-ish woman! But, as you say, maybe it reflected her spirit.

  18. nozknoz says:

    I bought Liz Taylor Gardenia recently but it is not very strong. I’ll have to try it in summer heat and humidity to form an impression.

    • Angela says:

      I wonder if that’s related to Jungle Gardenia at all, or if Jungle Gardenia is still made?

      I can definitely imagine Liz as a gardenia wearer.

      • nozknoz says:

        It’s just called Gardenia. LT considers real gardenia particularly difficult to recreate, so I shouldn’t hold out any hopes for this, but the idea seems so Liz. And the light green bottle is nice.

        Jungle Gardenia was Tuvache, right? I see it on ebay but I’ve never tried it.

        • Angela says:

          It sounds like you’re much more informed about gardenia fragrance than I am. I do like gardenia, though. I hope the Liz Gardenia works out for you this summer.

  19. Marsha says:

    I meant to give this a try last time I was out shopping, and got distracted and forgot :( . White Diamonds is one fragrance that doesn’t need to blush when it’s called a celebrity perfume.

    • Angela says:

      It’s worth a try, I think. But I know how easy it is to get distracted, especially in the perfume department!

  20. I really wanted to like White Diamonds when I tried it after Elizabeth Taylor’s passing but I just don’t. I’m not sure who I knew that wore it but its probably the reason I didn’t wear perfume at all during the nineties.

    I’ll try it again in a few years. Maybe my tastes will mature?!?

    • Angela says:

      Or it could be you just plain don’t like it and probably never will! It definitely has its own character, and just like paintings or music or anything else, not everyone likes them all. But then again, I’m not sure I would have liked White Diamonds a few years ago, either. As much as I like it, I’m not sure it’s really “me”, either.

  21. Rappleyea says:

    What a wonderful, and surprising, review! You said you didn’t get any sandalwood and oakmoss, but I think you would have back in the day. I’m sure this has been reformulated as have all others. Maybe the parfum still uses more of those ingredients.

    • OperaFan says:

      Agree about the reformulation speculation. I’ve read similar discussions elsewhere. The original White Diamonds was a big-sillage scent…. They probably toned it down to suit the modern taste (and to cut cost). ;-)

      • Angela says:

        Plus, I tested the EdT, which they might have purposefully kept lighter.

    • Angela says:

      True! I tried to test the EdP at Macy’s, but while they had it, they only had a tester for the EdT. I bet the parfum is something else again.

  22. dleep says:

    I have never smelled White Diamonds but I loved Passion. In fact, I sprayed on some of my 15 year old bottle a few weeks ago and it was wonderful. I would love to find another vintage bottle of that. Loved Liz – she was one of a kind.

    • Angela says:

      I still haven’t tried Passion–or any of the other Liz fragrances. It sounds like one that ages nicely over the years!

  23. helenviolette says:

    Thanks for the review Angela! A befitting tribute. I sniffed this maybe a year ago when I sniffing Tabu or something (after one of your reviews)- and I remember thinking it was pretty too- need to sniff again properly…(I think Tabu could be used to revive someone feeling faint)

    • Angela says:

      Tabu really can be a whopper!

  24. Dzingnut says:

    What I also love about this – I can test it the next time I’m in Walmart.
    Which will probably be Saturday morning. And I won’t have to worry about being far more sloppily dressed than the SA’s because THERE AREN’T ANY.

    • Angela says:

      Yep, nice and low key!

  25. Krizani says:

    I have a big bottle of Diamonds and Rubies that I recently really fell for. It’s by Sophia Grojsman whose work I love.

    It’s a soft oriental, but with the signature syrupy peach and a gorgeous red rose that stays right from top to bottom. I like to wear it to bed.

    I think I paid around $15 for it too!

    I would also really like to smell the White Diamonds parfum. I did see it for sale on the site that sells her perfumes – can’t remember the maker. White Diamonds feels like a warm hug to me, like a smile that warms your heart.

    • Angela says:

      Gosh, maybe I’ll have to break down and try the whole line! Thanks for the recommendation.

  26. Dzingnut says:

    Krizani – the whole White Diamonds line is on fragrancenet, including a mini of the parfum for peanuts! I am betting that this review will cause a run on supplies!! There is even a link to “read more about Elizabeth Taylor” which is nice.

    • Krizani says:

      Ooo, thanks! The mini is duly ordered – along with the original Salvador Dali which is also a steal.

      Thanks for the tip!

  27. Thalia says:

    I just got back from T.J. Maxx, and they had stacks of gift sets with 1/2 oz. sprays of White Diamonds and Violet Eyes, plus a mini of the White Diamonds parfum — all for $17.99! I came SOOOO close to getting one, I might go back …

    They also had bottles of Diamonds and Rubies, and Diamonds and Emeralds, didn’t note size and pricing.

    • Angela says:

      A steal! I’ll have to check my TJ Maxx.

  28. mals86 says:

    Okay, my mini of WD parfum arrived today. I pulled up the stopper to sniff and got a bit on my fingers, and lemme tell you, this sucker has got some sillage. I haven’t worn it all the way through its development yet, but so far, I’m seeing kinship to Ysatis and the old Oscar de la Renta, what with the white flowers – very well blended, nothing standing out, but fairly natural-smelling – and the faint whiff of cigarette smoke that I get from both of those other scents (as well as from Cristalle). Aldehydes are very light. Could be the narcissus, but it smells faintly dirty.

    I think it’s lovely; it also reminds me just a tad of the original Chloe, which I wore for a decade in high school: alllll those white flowers, plus a hint of… peach, maybe? or the ylang? a soft, sweet fruity note… and the wood and moss underneath.

    Certainly not a “modern and fresh” sort of thing. Which I don’t mind.

    • mals86 says:

      Oops, hit post too soon.

      Also meant to say, t would not be out of place to suggest that White Diamonds could use a 24-Hour Bra. AND a panty girdle. I mean, cleavage and junk in the trunk, y’all, all “jello on springs” femme, Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. I mean that in a good way. WD is no anorexic, undertalented starlet.

      More trivia: I stuck my scented fingers up to my 12-yo’s nose and said, “Whaddya think?” And he sniffed thoughtfully and said, “It’s nice. Tuberose?” Sniffed again. “And jasmine. And… fruit. Maybe peach. There’s a bunch of stuff in there. It’s not a teenage sort of perfume, I think.” (He’s really getting good at this.)

      • Angela says:

        That boy has a natural talent!

    • Angela says:

      You make the parfum sound wonderful! It also sounds like there’s a lot less clean musk going on, too. I need to order some for myself.

      I wonder if the cigarette smoke smell has to do with that it’s a chypre?

  29. RoseRed says:

    Just tried White Diamonds for the first time and was shocked to discover I LOVE it! I was scared away from all of Liz’s scents by her first release Passion which I passionately hated as I remember it as a big, overpowering, sweet smell that reminded me, at the time, of the original Poison (a scrubber for me) . My hatred was amplified as in the Big 80’s Passion had a BIG sillage and the ladies that wore it sprayed it on with a passion causing headaches and sneezing fits whereever they went. Happily, White Diamonds is nothing like Passion. It is easy to see why it is an all time best seller, the next time I’m at the drugstore I plan to purchase a mini and spray it on from time to time and think of Ms Taylor and feel a little melancholy. Liz you will be missed.

    • Angela says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! Like you, I was pleasantly surprised, too. It’s nice to find something so lovely for such a bargain.

  30. Vivienne says:

    I bought this for a friend since she liked it and ended up keeping it and giving her something else. I loved it and gave my friend something else she liked too.

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like a win-win all around!

  31. annemarie says:

    I can’t resist a late comment to say thanks for such a thoughtful review. It’s a great fragrance and she was a great woman. I’m inspired to read a bit more about her now.

    I’ve just picked up a 25 ml EDT and a body lotion on eBay ($9 including postage). Before that I had a rollerball but had trouble getting any sillage out of it. You are so right – White Diamonds is not overwhelming or insistent at all. It is really beautiful – literally in the same family as Estee Lauder’s Beautiful, which I also love, but WD is a rather more easy-going proposition than Beautiful.

    I can see why people find it so addictive and adopt it as a signature fragrance. No doubt a lot of women who have worn it for years tend to over-apply, and this may be one reason for its reputation for killer sillage. But it is so odd to think that it was selling like hot cakes at exactly the same time as CKOne was doing likewise. Just aimed at completely different markets I guess. The women who bought WD would have been brought up on old school chypres and orientals, after all.

    • Angela says:

      I think poor White Diamonds has suffered from its location on drugstore shelves and its bottle design. If it were packaged in something fancy and given a different name, I bet it would considered a classic.

  32. JacquieDS says:

    I love it!!!

    • Angela says:

      I’m glad!

      • JacquieDS says:

        Thank you, Angela, you inspired me to get it, I LOVE your writings….it has a soul…

        • Angela says:

          You are so kind! I hope you like White Diamonds. It’s old-fashioned and definitely sings soprano, but I like it for that.

  33. DanaASullivan says:

    Thanks for the lovely review! When I was growing up, my mother had a big bottle of White Diamonds sitting around in the basement. She said she didn’t like it, so I could use as much as I wanted. I, on the other hand, loved it. To me, White Diamonds is still “what perfume smells like”… it’s my Platonic ideal for the concept of “Perfume”. I haven’t had it in years (normally I just wear single essential oils), but I just got a small bottle to wear and spray on my sheets!

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like White Diamonds has so many memories for you! I admit that I haven’t sprayed it on my sheets for years now, but you’ve inspired me to try it again.

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