BEHIND THE Scent
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.