Lovelier and lovelier
Christian Dior’s ode to love has endured for eight decades and now there’s a fresh incarnation
Christian Dior’s new ode to love
Christian Dior introduced Miss Dior on the first day of December, 1947. By then, he had become a worldwide sensation following his revolutionary “New Look” collection, which keenly articulated the couturier’s vision for women. A vision, as it turns out, that would transform within a perfume bottle as much as the garments in the years to come.
In his 1951 biography Je Suis Couturier, Dior wrote that fragrance was how he remembered the women of his childhood. “Perfume lasts much more than the moment,” he said. It may well have been these memories, along with his famed love for flowers, which moved Dior to summon perfumers Jean Carles and Paul Vacher to create a scent that smelled like love itself.
Miss Dior was an instant classic, its floral symphony contrasting green freshness with an animalic leather quality. And while many variations on this floral-chypre theme have launched since the first Baccarat-crafted amphoras, the new Miss Dior Eau de Parfum is special because it’s the most boldly contemporary, a direct response to the couture house’s renewed clarion call under the helm of artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri. With ease and style, the reworked scent – heavy on rose, with an updated blood orange note and mellowed patchouli – bridges Dior’s magnificent beginnings and the here and now, where, of course, we should all be feminists.
“As with any perfume, I have to get inspired, and in fact, the starting point was the collection of Maria Grazia,” says François Demachy, Dior Perfumer-Creator and the man responsible for this momentous undertaking. “When I saw the dresses, very feminine, very light, very easy to
“Between the perfume and your skin, it’s an exchange. You change the perfume a little bit.”
wear… it appeared to me that we have to change a bit, the Miss Dior Eau de Parfum. There is a Miss Dior framework,” he reassures, sensing the group of editors around him imagining anarchy in the labs. “But I think [the collection] was so different that we had to... even if I don’t like the word very much, modernise. We have to go further, yes.”
Miss Dior’s core remains, and flowers are its heart and soul. François chose to downplay the jasmine and orange blossoms from the previous blends, pushing roses into the spotlight with a blend of rosa damascena oil and rosa centifolia absolute from Grasse – his way of recreating the freshness and depth of a full bloom.
Memories and fragrance
According to François Demachy, a memorable perfume can be any scent at all, as long as it’s worn by someone you love. “Between the perfume and your skin, it’s an exchange. You change the perfume a little bit. And the people who are around you smell not only the perfume as it is, but the way you wear the perfume, the way you are. The complete design is in the memory, not only the perfume itself,” he says.
By that virtue, Aleph and Amalia PortmanMillepied are destined to remember the scent of Miss Dior for the rest of their lives. Their mother, Academy-award winning actor Natalie Portman, has been fronting the Miss Dior campaign since 2011. “I really stay with Miss Dior,” Natalie Portman confirmed at a press preview in Tokyo. “Sometimes I’ll switch between the Eau de Parfum for the day which is a little bit more subtle and go for the Blooming Bouquet for night because it’s a bit more intense.”