There’s a popular saying in the offices of Maison Christian Dior that best captures the ethos of the fragrances the brand creates: A drop of perfume and you’re dressed in Dior. The idea finds its roots in how founder Christian Dior looked at perfumes – a world ruled by flowers (in particular rose), where he stayed true to his roots in Grasse, South of France, and recreated ‘the pure pleasure of perfume’.
We had the opportunity to go on a ‘tasting’ session, as they call it at the maison, to understand this world of Dior Parfums through their latest launch, the La Collection Privée. “Monsieur Christian Dior’s biggest inspiration was flowers. He was often heard saying, ‘Flowers are Dior and Dior is about flowers’, and that explains why the DNA and heart of all our fragrances are flowers – both an an emblem and as an ingredient,” says Nevine Thiermann, training manager at Parfums Christian Dior. “More than 50 of his haute couture dresses bear the name of flowers too.”
So, not surprisingly, the new line has flowers at its heart. What’s different about it though is that it addresses one’s lifestyle, and not just beauty. It spans personal and home scents, including soaps, candles, and scarves. The idea was for one to be able to create a slice of the laid-back South of France lifestyle in the comfort of one’s own home. This collection offers a tiny window to Grasse and the Château de La Colle Noire, where Christian Dior grew perfume flowers.
The personal fragrances line includes the floral liqueur-like Jasmin Des Anges, featuring jasmine flowers from Grasse. With a hint of apricots, this floral-fruity fragrance can rule your wardrobe. The Sakura is an enchanting premise – cherry blossoms that come with rosy nuances. The Cologne Royale sees the finest citrus fruits – mandarin, orange, and lemon – while Dior Amour is a personal favourite where iris and a hint of jasmine come together. The bestseller though seems to be Oud Ispahan, a smoky scent of burning wood blended with sweet floral water with hints of rose, frankincense, and resin linger; a veritable ‘Rose of the Orient’.
“Fragrances are emotions placed into a beautiful bottle. Fragrances are about who you are deep inside. My perfume changes according to how I feel. Let’s also understand that the shape of the bottle carries the personality of the wearer. Our boutique is a place where we like to share our love for fragrances – filled with flowers so you can choose the one that you feel most comfortable in,” says Thiermann.
The range has been created by Francois Demachy, Dior’s perfume creator and official nose, and the new fragrances are born out of his love for nature. The exclusive line features 26 signature scents, each telling a new and different story. Demachy says that growth has created a new path in the maison altogether. “I benefit from the finest raw materials, the rarest ingredients and Dior’s expertise. A painting, a piece of music, an aria from an opera, a chance encounter, a journey, a silhouette – everything inspires me. This collection is an anthology of emotions, an olfactory ‘sketch book’ that brings together free-form studies, with neither a beginning nor end. Every last detail has been carefully considered to transmit a love of perfume in an accessible way, in the spirit of sharing. Maison Christian Dior are places for “tasting” perfume,” says Demachy.
The collection also extends to candles, soaps, scarves, and other lifestyle products, great both for gifting and self-indulgences. The candles, crafted by famous French wax manufacturers Perron Rigot, are housed in Limoges porcelain with a Dior grey artisanal enamel interior. From among the eight available, we love Fève Délicieuse, Ambre Nuit, Bois d’Argent, and Eau Noire, continuations of eponymous perfumes. The soaps, crafted at the Savonnerie de Haute-Provence in France, include Rose Ispahan, Néroli Impérial, and Amande Délicieuse, which once again carry forward Dior’s floral signatures. But what we loved most are the Mitzahs, a collection of 20 silk scarves for perfuming that can be tied around the wrist, neck, or in the hair, to add something extra. Bridging the gap between perfume and couture, they are inspired by Mitzah Bricard, designer and Christian Dior’s muse, who wore a silk scarf tied at her wrist.
“You have to transpose notes onto different ‘media’, which means that you really have to understand perfume and master its structure so that you can then translate it into another language. Sometimes you have to compensate for a note, or exaggerate it, or even reinvent it completely,” says Demachy about the extension.
So two words that define Dior fragrances? Shared Emotions. And with a host of fragrances that soothe the senses, Maison Christian Dior is the perfect spot to find pleasure when burdened with the daily grind of life.
All images: Courtesy brand