As the house of Dior launches a new Miss Dior Eau de Parfum, that celebrates love and freedom, we discover more with Dior Perfumer-Creator François Demachy.
In 1947, just after the end of The First World War, Miss Dior came to life as a fragrance that would put the magic back into the lives of women and remind them of the feeling of love after difficult times. For Christian Dior, the scent was synonymous with happiness, poetry, harmony, and hope for a better future. Fast forward to 2021 and here we are once again craving the same values that were felt after that dark time in the forties. As the world slowly returns to normal after the global pandemic, women want to dream again, find hope, happiness, and love from the simple luxuries in life. So, at this crucial moment, Miss Dior returns to bring magic to the lives of women once again.
As a fragrance that has always celebrated the beauty of flowers, Miss Dior returns this year with a new Eau De Parfum that captures the beauty of the Sweet Love rose, a flower whose smell and look make it the perfect ingredient for such a fragrance. Composed by Dior Perfumer-Creator François Demachy, this scent honours the original ingredient of rose but now combines noble iris and Peony. Fresh yet velvety, sensual, and enveloping, this surprising scent perfectly captures today’s moment. “The Sweet Love is a very special flower, and it doesn’t just look beautiful, it also has a magnificent scent,” says Demachy.
“The name means it’s meant for Miss Dior” Explains the perfumer. This was a rose that had previously never been used in Dior’s fragrances and was discovered by Demachy on a visit to Grasse in April 2020 where he met with Carole Biancalana, a long-term producer of the Centifolia Rose for the House of Dior. “The minute I smelled it I fell in love.” He said. “So, this is where my main inspiration comes from.” Its velvety, sharp yet elegant smell is combined with strength and finesse – the only possible ingredient to be at the centre of a fragrance that celebrates love. “Comparing it to the previous scent, the sweet love is fruitier, a touch spicier and the base is muskier.” Explains Demachy.
The new Miss Dior Eau De Parfum celebrates the DNA of the original fragrance, something that was very important to Demachy when working on the composition as he took into consideration the challenges of upholding the legacy of the perfume; “it’s always a challenge because there is an existing fragrance” he says, “but I always use the original one out of respect and to pay tribute. Besides, it’s the same fragrance family, I have simply twisted it a bit. There is a little less Chypre, I’ve reduced the patchouli and there’s less Oakmoss. But there’s more rose. The frame remains the same, but I’ve fleshed it out with other scents.”
Producing the beautiful flowers used in this fragrance is Carol Biancalana who runs the “Domaine de Manon” in the terroir of Grasse, where her family has grown scented flowers for over three generations. She began working with the House of Dior in 2006 after meeting François Demachy, who offered her an exclusive partnership. The two struck a deal that would see Biancaluna reserve the entire Centifolia Rose and Jasminum Grandiflorum crops in the 3 hectares of her domain for Dior. The “Domaine de Manon” boasts a unique geographical location between land and sea and is these geological and climatic influences that give the flowers their totally unique qualities. Despite a challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Biancalana was able to continue producing the special Sweet Rose flower. “Fortunately for us, the harvest was not impacted by the pandemic, so we continued as we have in the past” She explains. “But the difference was the method of organisation, considering social distancing and so on. But what’s important is that we didn’t lose any of the raw materials or the quality or the freshness, so there were no changes as such in the harvest.” She continues; “in terms of social changes, however, we took a new look at life, at ourselves and our aspirations and I feel that this new fragrance represents what we need – freshness, freedom, doing good, and just getting away from the negativity: harvesting the happiness.”
Born and raised in Grasse, Biancaluna has been surrounded by flowers her whole life. “I love marvelling at nature every morning when I wake up and go down into the fields. The smells are amazing as are the colours are and listening to the birds singing is magical.” She explains “I also love living a natural rhythm in time with nature. Not rushing around at top speed like everyone else. I live a much slower, more natural pace of life that’s more related to the seasons. I just want to make sure that I produce the right flowers that are of the very best quality to provide happiness to people.”
The new fragrance is accompanied by a campaign starring Dior ambassador Natalie Portman. Portman finds herself in a beautiful landscape, a representation of freedom. she rushes forward, running, laughing, and above all, taking in the beautiful surroundings. With style and character, Miss Dior is a modern girl who is confident and strong-willed and this is represented by Portman who is a close friend and ambassador of the House.
The new Miss Dior Eau De Parfum is also given a new look with a new bow for its iconic bottle. To embrace the neck of the bottle, a new ribbon was created at the secret ateliers of one of the biggest ribbon makers in France. Developed over months on traditional wooden weaving looms, a jacquard ribbon woven from 396 threads was created. Every centimetre of it contains 12,000 thread crossings. This precise, exquisite creation sees a myriad of pastel flowers sewn onto every jacquard ribbon adding a delicate accent to the bottle. These few centimetres of ribbon required as much creativity, time, and attention as those that decorate the most beautiful runway dresses. This “Made in France” Couture signature is a gem of expertise and age-old techniques, appearing on every bottle.
This fragrance is designed to cater for the needs of women today. It’s “sweet, natural and sensual.” Explains Demachy. “I think that a perfume is a part of your personality therefore you must select it carefully.” He says. “You must take your time, try samples – but not just at the stores – take them home, try them in your own environment. It’s a very intimate thing that can either reveal or conceal who you are, so you must be very careful in your selection. After the global pandemic, there is a quest for nature, authenticity and for real value and these are the things that have become more important with this fragrance.” Carol Biancalana adds; “as a woman, what we are looking for today is better quality. It’s extremely important for us to have complete transparency as to what we are using on our skin. It must be something that represents our values, and its composition must also be the very best. That’s going to become increasingly important moving forward.”
As the new fragrance lands at the stores in the Middle East this month, on a final note, we asked François Demachy to share a message for the fans of the House of Dior and the Miss Dior fragrance in particular. He said: “My message would be to just be yourself. Make sure you select your fragrance very carefully because it’s something you are buying to indulge and spoil yourself. It should reveal something about you, and you have the right to change it whenever you want, much like how you change your clothes according to your mood and your inspirations. It’s very similar with perfume.”