BE­HIND THE Scent

CLEO (Malaysia) - - THE BEAUTY BOX -

As she dis­cov­ered the dis­tinct lay­ers of the lat­est Miss Dior re­lease, Lina Esa learnt that ev­ery smell has its own story to tell.

In the world of beauty, it’s rel­a­tively easy to nav­i­gate the tech­nolo­gies of skin­care and make-up. Their use and ef­fects are re­search-based, which are quan­tifi­able. They’re tried and tested, and the claims are backed up by re­sults. Pretty sim­ple to grasp, right? When it comes to fra­grances, though, it didn’t seem as straight­for­ward, or a pre­cise science to me. I started at­tend­ing per­fumes launches and learn­ing about scents when I be­gan mag­a­zine work; I tried to delve into the re­search be­hind the ol­fac­tory com­po­si­tions and learn how they would come to­gether. Yet, the no­tion of per­fume notes al­ways seemed like an enigma. In my mind, it was so sub­jec­tive: One scent may seem sub­lime to one per­son, and not so to an­other. Throw into the mix the fact that per­fumes tend to re­act dif­fer­ently on each peo­ple’s skin, and it all seemed more and more like mov­ing tar­gets. MISS DIOR AB­SO­LUTELY BLOOM­ING 100ML, RM585. How­ever, at an in­ti­mate me­dia launch of the new Miss Dior Ab­so­lutely Bloom­ing fra­grance held in Tokyo, I wasn’t only schooled on the her­itage of Miss Dior but I was also taken up close to the very ar­chi­tec­ture of the fra­grance. In build­ing the scent by its notes one by one, ev­ery­thing sud­denly came to­gether. My light-bulb mo­ment fi­nally came — each dis­tinct scent sud­denly stood out, evok­ing dif­fer­ent mem­o­ries with it. Af­ter meet­ing Dior’s very own Per­fumer-Cre­ator who has been work­ing with scents his whole life, I dis­cov­ered that there’s al­ways a per­sonal story that’s in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to the tale of Miss Dior. The fra­grance opens with the crisp, de­li­cious sweet notes of red fruit, rasp­berry and black­cur­rant. The ac­cords are a burst of fresh­ness mak­ing the fra­grance — as François him­self put it — “joy­ful”. Bloom­ing comes from), he was sur­rounded by fields of jas­mine and roses. He said, “in the sum­mer, hav­ing stud­ied th­ese chem­i­cal re­ac­tions in class, I ap­plied them in the fac­tory ... That was the light-bulb mo­ment.” A decade with the House of Dior, and still his work is far from done. As I learnt in Tokyo, he’s con­stantly work­ing to rein­vent the brand’s sig­na­ture per­fumes, which in­clude the Miss Dior. And if any­thing were to be a young woman’s em­blem­atic scent, Miss Dior was also, as we were told, a fra­grance dear to Chris­tian Dior him­self.

Sim­ple yet dis­tinc­tive, it’s young and fresh but tem­pered by the brand’s po­etic se­ri­ous­ness. In this year’s in­car­na­tion, François in­tro­duced an ex­trav­a­gant sweet­ness to it, mak­ing it joy­ful and young. François him­self de­scribed it as “sweet, like you want to bite into it”. The House of Dior also re­vealed Natalie Port­man as the face of the fra­grance, in an ir­rev­er­ent cam­paign which sees her as a young ru­n­away bride, and a be­hind-the-scenes video which also stars François him­self.

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