Love­lier and love­lier

Christian Dior’s ode to love has en­dured for eight decades and now there’s a fresh in­car­na­tion

ELLE (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

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.”

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