From November 13th to the 26th, Dior’s most emblematic fragrance is being reworked upon contact with avant-garde contemporary artists. Fifteen of them were invited to rework, reinterpret, and break all the mythic perfume’s rules. So what’s special about this process? Christian Dior devoted himself to women, so it’s only natural that these artists are all women themselves, among them Joana Vasconcelos, Shirin Neshat, and Carole Benzaken. The brand asked each one of them to create a specific work about the effluvium of love. Alongside these works, the brand is putting manuscripts, original photos, and never-before-seen documents, all of them related to the history of the perfume, at the disposition of the public. On February 12, 1947, Christian Dior not only released his first scent, but also that same year, dislocated the entire universe through his New Look.
Miss Dior first reflected the curved and sensual lines of his silhouettes. The flask once had an ancient amphora look to it; made of Baccarat crystal, and designed by Fernand Guerycolas, it served as a container for the exquisite perfume. A perfume with elegant wooded notes combined with a fruity freshness and floral notes composed of jasmine, rose, citrus, patchouli, and green cyprus. Miss Dior resonates as the promise of love that brings Spring to each season. Ever since that fateful day, the nectar has never ceased to incarnate the olfaction of the Dior woman, full of life, sweet, delicate, strong, and fragile. But Miss Dior has also emancipated herself to evolve along with the times. Its composition may remain loyal to its DNA, but the bottle now sports the symbols of Dior. And so it’s in a bottle “cut like a suit”, as Christian put it, that the perfume now reveals itself. A new geometric line redresses the houndstooth motif, as well as a disarmingly romantic ribbon, the very symbol of the elegance and audacity of Dior couture. All in all, this Dior perfume is just like Proust’s madeleine: “Of the women in my childhood, I’ve especially retained the memory of their perfumes, tenacious perfumes, much more so than the ones today, that filled the elevator with fragrance long after their passing.”
“Esprit Dior, Miss Dior”, at the Galerie Courbe du Grand Palais, from November 13-26 2013. Free entrance.