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I am thrilled to write this Delina perfume review because it’s one of the most beautiful, complex scents I’ve ever tried–and I’ve tried a lot. I’m not a fruity-florals type of person, and though this one is considered a floral, there’s fruit there.
When I read the description, this one was iffy for me. I expected to find it pleasant and feminine, albeit boring and one-dimensional, but it floored me with its layers, complexities, and contradictions.
I’m basing this review on the overall experience of wearing the perfume: the feelings it evokes, longevity, originality, complexity, whether the scent shifts throughout the day as opposed to being fairly one-dimensional, sillage, and projection.
Key Features of Delina
Delina perfume is an experience. I can’t put it into words, and nothing quite matches its magic and depth (though some get close, so don’t despair if you’re looking for Delina dupes).
Delina perfume is the sweetness of youth, the sassiness of the know-it-all years, and the depth that comes from age and wisdom, somehow wrapped into one perfume that would suit any age (though it may appeal more to the under-40 crowd, as fruity-florals tend to do).
Here’s what you can expect:
- Top notes of bergamot, nutmeg, Rhubarb, and lychee
- Middle notes of Turkish rose, vetiver, incense, and cedarwood
- Base notes of vanilla, cashmeran, and musk
- An unabashedly feminine scent in pale pink, tasseled bottle with a silver cap, but not “girly” or bubblegum-like
- Brightness and tanginess from lychee, Rhubarb, and bergamot
- Warmth and sweetness from vanilla, musk, and cashmeran
- Hints of spice and woods from incense, vetiver, and cedarwood that add to the sensuality of Delina
- Ongoing balance, beauty, and exuberance from the Turkish rose, lily of the valley, and peony that coasts through the whole experience, from the first spray to dry-down (though it’s less pronounced at the end when the warmer notes get stronger).
- Excellent throw, sillage, and longevity (especially on clothing)
Pros of Delina Perfume
Delina is a delight to wear if you like bright, tart scents with a little bit of sweetness underneath. Here are some of the pros to the perfume:
- It’s available at some department stores, so if there’s a mall with high-end stores near you, you will be able to try it before you purchase it.
- It lasts all day (I’ve ever smelled it on my clothes the next day–it hangs around!).
- It blends florals, fruits, tartness, creaminess, and sweetness in a way that borders on magic. It’s balanced, and the notes are woven together beautifully.
- It’s unique. There are similar scents on the market, but nothing quite like it. You’ll likely stand out when you’re wearing it.
- Good sillage and throw, but I wouldn’t call it overwhelming (it has nothing on some of the 80s powerhouse scents, for example).
- It’s a little of everything–sweet, tart, feminine, smooth, sensual, cozy, and warm. I’m not sure how all those things are packed into a single fragrance, but they are, at least on my skin.
- You can buy a smaller (.34 oz) bottle for $50.00 if you don’t mind paying a lot per ounce but don’t want to splurge on the full 2.5 oz bottle yet.
- It’s good for any occasion, any time of year, for any age.
Cons of Delina Perfume
As gorgeous as this fragrance is, it’s not perfect. Here are some of the cons of Delina perfume:
- It was very expensive, even when it was in sale.
- There’s a sharpness to it that may trigger migraines in some people.
- The bottle seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it design.
- You can’t pop into Sephora or Ulta to sample it, and it’s only available in a handful of stores, so you’ll either need to blind buy it or seek out a sample from an online shop.
- Only available in the 2.5 oz. bottle size or the .34 oz size (also expensive and not available everywhere Delina perfume is sold), so there’s no middle ground price point.
- There are flankers in similar bottles, so you’ll need to be careful about which one you’re getting if you do decide to buy it.
Delina Dupes and Similar Scents to Try
If you’d rather not spring for Delina perfume, but you’d like something similar, there are a few options to try.
Carolina Herrera Very Good Girl
Notes: Lychee, red currant, rose, vetiver, and vanilla
I wore Very Good Girl on one arm and Delina on the other and was surprised by how close they were. Very Good Girl lacks the depth that Delina has, comes across as more lightheartedly fruity, and is smoother and creamier than Delina (Delina has an almost effervescence to my nose, a giddy bubbliness with something more serious underneath).
The vanilla seems slightly more pronounced, and I don’t detect incense or much wood in Very Good Girl. The bright, tart notes mirror one another, and the vanilla and musk are present as the scents dry down.
In the end, Very Good Girl dries down to a more generic vanilla-and-musk floral perfume scent than Delina (I’ve smelled it time and time again with florientals), which retains more of the rose, vetiver, woods, and sweetened version of the fruits.
Ralph Lauren Romance
This is more like a cousin of Delina perfume than a dupe. It creates a similar effect and has a sharp opening that settles into something pretty, feminine, and sensual.
This scent has rose, lily, musk, and woods like Delina, but instead of Delina’s other notes, we get a cheerful and spicy combination of ginger, lemon, freesia at the top. In the middle, there’s the grounding effect of lotus, white violet, and carnation. Base notes include oakmoss and patchouli in addition to the musk and woods.
There’s a depth here, too, but it’s not as intense as Delina’s. It also doesn’t last all day or projects the way Delina does, though it does last around six to eight hours on me, and I wouldn’t consider it a skin scent as far as projection goes, either.
First Kiss by Be Layered
You can get this Delina smell-alike in the 55ml or 10ml size for around $65.00 and $30.00, respectively. Notes listed for it are Rhubarb, litchi, nutmeg, Turkish rose, peony, petalia, vanilla, cedar, vetiver, cashmeran, musk, and incense.
I haven’t tried this one personally, but it pops up time and time again as a near-perfect Delina perfume dupe. It’s similar in scent, but its longevity may not be the same as Delina’s.
The only downside is the fact that you have to order it without trying it in person first, and Be Layered doesn’t accept returns or exchanges for fragrances you just don’t like (if it’s defective or damaged, they’ll work with you, however).
If you already know you like Delina and you’re just looking for something less expensive, this is probably a pretty safe bet, but it’s good to keep the return policy in mind.
Lady Diana from Alexandria Fragrances
Lady Diana was also inspired by Delina. You can get it in 30ml, 55ml, or 100ml, starting at just under $45.00. Notes here are litchi, Turkish rose, peony, petalia, musk, cashmeran, Rhubarb, vanilla, incense, Haitian vetiver, and nutmeg. Reviews for this one suggest it’s spot-on for Delina.
Again, you’ll have to order this one without smelling it in person, and you won’t be able to get a refund if you just don’t like the fragrance or don’t think it smells like Delina.
Bella Rosa by Oscar de la Renta
There’s not a ton of overlap in the notes between Delina perfume and Bella Rosa, but somehow, they still smell similar–at least to some noses. Bella Rosa has the rose (pink rose) in the middle, as well as a woody note (sandalwood, in this case) in the base notes. It gets its brightness at the first spray (top notes) from pink pepper, freesia, and mandarin orange.
Fragrance enthusiasts at Fragrantica say this one reminds them of Delina and Delina Exclusif. It’s likely to be creamier than the original Delina. Some Fragrantica members say that Bella Rosa absolutely does not smell like Delina, so it’s worth a read-through of the reviews and comments before you jump on a blind buy of Bella Rosa.
It sounds like Bella Rosa won’t have the tanginess of Rhubarb but will have a powdery note in the dry-down that you won’t find in Delina.
What to Consider Before Buying
Before you splurge on Delina perfume, pause and ask yourself:
- Do you tend to have a rotating collection of fragrances that you’d probably never use up, even if you lived ten lifetimes, and you find that you have to throw some perfumes out because they expire and don’t smell right after a while? (If you answered yes, you might want to consider a dupe to avoid wasting a lot of money.)
- Are you sensitive to fragrances? For example, do you have to be careful about what you wear because you tend to feel sick or get migraines from different scents? (If you answered yes, you might want to consider picking up a sample vial online first or trying it at the counter at least once if there’s a mall that sells Delina near you.)
- Are you searching for a signature scent that’s feminine but not just sweet and/or floral? In other words, you want a scent with depth, and you like the traditionally feminine notes. (If the answer is yes and your budget allows, buy Delina perfume.)
- Have you already fallen in love with Delina perfume, and you’re just looking for someone to talk you into–or out of–the purchase of a full bottle? If yes, I won’t be the one to tell you not to buy a bottle. It’ll probably bring you quite a bit of joy!
- Are you a perfume trend-chaser? If so, you might be able to get away with a similar scent that costs a lot less and feel just as good about the combination of tart and sweet notes as you would wearing Delina. (In that case, I recommend First Kiss or Lady Diana.)
Question: What does Delina perfume smell like?
Answer: It’s a tart but sweet Turkish rose scent with incense, nutmeg, cedarwood, lychee, Rhubarb, vanilla, cashmeran, and musk. It starts off tangy and sharp, then settles down to a sweet, spicy rose couched in vanilla and musk.
Question: What is the difference between Delina and Delina Exclusif?
Answer: Delina Exclusif is a smoother, creamier version of Delina designed to be more sensual than the original. It has pear and grapefruit in the top notes, oud in the middle notes, and amber in the base notes. Instead of being classified as a floral, like Delina, Nordstrom lists Delina Exclusif as an oriental fragrance.
Question: What perfume is similar to Delina?
Answer: Carolina Herrera’s Very Good Girl is remarkably close for a designer perfume you can pick up almost anywhere perfume is sold. There are some other excellent dupes, like Lady Diana from Alexandria Fragrances and First Kiss by Be Layered. To get into the same fragrance neighborhood without being close enough to be called a dupe, you could try Ralph Lauren Romance.
Question: How long does Delina last?
Answer: All day on skin and even beyond that, if it’s sprayed on clothing.
Question: What is the nicest smelling perfume?
Answer: This will depend on your preferences, mood, and intended effect in most cases, but I think Delina perfume is definitely in the top five.
Is Delina Perfume Right for You?
If you already know you love it and it’s in the budget, yes. Skip right past the dupes and just go for the real thing because there’s nothing else like it. However, if you’re just curious about Delina or want something with similar notes that gives a similar effect for less money, I would buy one of the perfumes created specifically as Delina dupes or–if you’d rather sniff before you buy– Carolina Herrera Very Good Girl.