In 1947, Miss Dior the Couture perfume was born in a burst of life, with the audacity of a great green floral that astonished and stood out. Christian Dior created it to embody the revolutionary silhouette of his New Look, and to suggest the sensuality of his inspired curves with a scent. Fast forward to 2017 and François Demachy has created a new interpretation, while Natalie Portman, the face of the scent, begs the question, ‘what would you do for love?’
The new Miss Dior Eau de Parfum has evolved in unison with the Dior silhouette, for women who fear nothing. The reinvention has stayed true to its original signature, but is nuanced with new and livelier notes. For today, more than ever before, the Dior woman embodies a lively and confident mind.
It was at Christian Dior’s resplendent Chateau de la Colle Noire that we celebrated this revolutionised perfume of love, and spoke with Natalie Portman, the face of the campaign, who gushed-“Miss Dior is the fragrance of the heart, so it’s nice to be here to celebrate this perfume of love.”
Do you still recall your first scent?
My first scent would be citrus fields that I remember from childhood.
Do you layer fragrances in your routine?
I don’t actually layer scents, as by using Miss Dior there are many scents layered within it.
How would you describe the new Miss Dior fragrance?
Miss Dior is made up of a combination of two of my favourite scents, orange blossom and rose. I would describe it as couture in a scent, due to the elements of fine craftsmanship that go into creating it. The roses used only bloom for a few weeks in May, and are then picked by hand and in a delicate way to preserve the scent. It is a very artisan skill that families pass down through generations, and this brings out that passionate intensity of love and memories.
What is your most treasured memory of love?
I remember the time around meeting my husband, which was so magical. The process of falling in love is so special, you remember all of the little details, from what song was playing, and what the weather was like, to what smells there were.
In your opinion, what is the relationship between fragrance and women?
I think that fragrance is the first sense that we all experience in our childhood, making it a part of your core, not just for women but for everyone. But of course, it is also a part of how a woman wants to present herself to the world and define herself.
What has been your most memorable moment with Dior across the years?
I think visiting their rose fields here in Grasse with François Demachy. It was so magical as it really gave the perfume humanity, emotion, and art, which I didn’t appreciate as much before I visited. It was like something from another era, where people have this craft which takes time and has been passed through generations, especially because of the age we live in where everything is instantaneous. Suddenly it was like going back in time, growing flowers and waiting, which is a real beauty against our fast world.
Similar to the revolution of the fragrance, Dior fashion has also been through a revolution, and over the past years you have been dressed by the different artistic directors of the House. What are your thoughts on Maria Grazia Chiuri’s strong feminist message?
Incredibly I have been working with Dior for 7 years, and it has been wonderful to see and experience the different designers and the different ways each one works. But of course, seeing a woman leading the house of Dior is so exciting, and just the fact of her leadership is already a message. Obviously, we should get to a point where it is not remarkable, but currently we live in a world where it is remarkable to see female leadership, but the more we see it the more that it will become normal. Together with this, it is also a positive that she has been promoting her feminist message through her clothes, not only with slogan messages, but by creating items that she knows women want to wear, that are luxurious and beautiful, but also practical.
You lived in France and are now in LA, are there any beauty rituals that you picked up in France and things you learnt from being American that you combine?
I have become very specific with the products that I use, especially related to the scent of them, from shampoo to skincare. I also learnt from French women that a more natural look is better, from not washing and drying your hair every day, to accentuating what is different and special about yourself.
What did your mother teach you in the world of beauty, and what would you like your daughter to learn from you?
My mother is very beautiful, and I think she always showed me that you don’t need to be focused on the beauty of your hair and make-up. She didn’t make comments to me regarding this, leaving me alone on appearance. She is such a good person, and those values made her more beautiful, and meant that I wasn’t left with any appearance complexes. I hope to be the same with my daughter, as it’s not what you look like, but who you are.
How do you balance your professional and private life?
It is a struggle and sometimes I feel like I am drowning! A lot of women manage to do it all, but I just try to relax and realise that not everything is possible.
What is a life lesson you would like to share with your children?
Not to be too obedient. It always worries me when their teachers tell me that they are following all the rules, as I want them to take their own path, and to use their imagination more.
Do you have a life motto?
To have fun and be good. The combination may not always be possible, but it is something to aspire to.
By Lara Mansour Sawaya
Photographer: David Bellemere for Parfums Christian Dior
Makeup: Peter Philips
Hair: Bryce Scarlett
Manucurist: Nelly Ferreira
Stylist: Kate Young