VIVE LA REVOLUTION
Dior’s classic eau gets a thoroughly modern makeover
In a world where more than 1,000 new scents land on our shop shelves every year, the concept of a classic is getting harder to come by. There are only a select few fragrances that inspire the kind of passionate devotion of 1947’s Miss Dior. But even icons can benefit from a little tweak here and there.
This month, Dior has given its very first scent, in the famous houndstoothed, bow-clad bottle, a respectful makeover. “It’s a different way of working than if you’re creating something that is brand new,” explains Dior’s master perfumer François Demachy. “On one hand, you’re working on the legend. On the other, you have this framework that provides the orientation. We mostly changed the balance between the ingredients and the notes, removed some and added others. The rose is still there of course – it’s the flower of love, the best illustration of femininity and has been Miss Dior’s principal ingredient from the beginning.”
Since Miss Dior is a fragrance that’s always been inspired by a youthful, rebellious spirit (it was a fresh, green chypre when most eaus were powdery affairs, the kind you dabbed at your neck when you had a gentleman caller), it’s fitting that even at 70, she has the opportunity to re-energise.
It’s that same energy that’s currently pulsing through the fashion house. With a woman at the helm for the first time in the brand’s 70-year history, artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri has been championing a feminist revival, a call to arms and a celebration of the femininity and spirit of women. “The idea is to be closely in harmony with Maria Grazia’s fashion and way of being. It’s freshness with personality,” says Demachy. “In earlier versions of Miss Dior, there was a greedy or edible note that was very obvious. The floral notes lacked smoothness, which is something you have in Maria Grazia’s collections.”
In a practical sense, those tweaks mean that orange, mandarin and jasmine have been replaced with the spicy sweetness of bergamot, rosewood and pink peppercorn. “The Miss Dior woman is ethereal, transparent. She is genuine, forthright, frank and direct,” says Demachy. “It’s a very graceful femininity but, at the same time, she packs a punch.” Time to put up your dukes.
Miss Dior EDP, $240 for 100ml, Dior, (02) 9295 9059; out September 2
GARDEN PARTY Celebrating the launch of Miss Dior in Grasse, France