Dior : Miss Dior

Created by : Jean Carles and Paul Vacher

Date : 1947

Genre : Green chypre

Concentration : eau de toilette

Christian Dior called his collection of 1947 “corolle” or the petals of a flower.  But it was Carmel Snow, editor-in-chief of  Harper’s Bazaar, who innocently baptized the look when she said to him, “It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian.  Your dresses have such a new look.”  Since then, Dior’s post-war fashion is referred to as the New Look and within months it was copied around the world.  Probably the most striking feature of the New Look was the amount of material that Dior used, so different from the tight suits and dresses of military influence made of rationed fabrics during World War II.

It was Christian Dior’s close friend, Mr. Heftler-Louiche, who convinced him to launch Parfums Christian Dior.  And because Mr. Heftler-Louiche always wore Chypre de Coty (1917) and absolutely loved Germaine Cellier’s galbanum-overdosed Vent Vert (also 1947), a green chypre was sure to please.  Heftler-Louiche approached French perfumer Paul Vacher who enlisted the help of fellow perfumer Jean Carles and… Miss Dior was born.

Now… alot has been said of what Miss Dior was before reformulation and what it isn’t today but I don’t want to talk about that.  I want to talk about the stunning green chypre masterpiece that it is today.  The Miss Dior I purchased only a couple of months ago is superb.  The freshly-cut grass note along with the slightly soapy chypre structure for me is the ultimate in sophistication.  It just smells fresh and clean and just beautifully put together.  I can find absolutely no fault with it even its slightly powdery facet which is perfectly in proportion.  My eau de toilette concentration easily lasts 6 hours, as it should.

Its only caveat?  Miss Dior smells like a high-end luxury scent making it difficult to wear unless you’ve got the whole package, ie. formal wear… or at a minimum, business wear.  Wearing it with jeans just seems wrong.  But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Just keep it for special occasions.  For instance,  if Miss Dior is what I just happen to be wearing on the day that an angel comes down to show me the way home… well… cool!

As for the whole gender thing, I continue to tell men and women to wear whatever pleases them but this one particularly would be spectacular on a man if only for the fact that it doesn’t smell like the ubiquitous hairy-knuckled fougère genre.

Just to see how much a departure Dior’s New Look was from its predecessor fashion, have a look at these lovely wartime frocks.   Now obviously these gals aren’t going to a very formal affair so the comparison isn’t fair but it still gives us a crude measuring stick for Dior’s luxury revolution.

Top image : 1950 white chiffon evening dress by Dior.  Photo by Louise Dahl-Wolfe

Bottom image : Early 40’s wartime fashion

Leave a comment


  1. You’ve made me want to run home and put this on.

    • After almost a week of wearing Miss Dior I had to talk myself out of wearing it… “Step away from the Miss Dior!” I always said that for men, Chanel’s Pour Monsieur was maybe the only suitable interview fragrance but this one… I’d probably wear it if I didn’t particularly want the job… 😉
      At least I would have had an enjoyable hour in its beauty.

  2. I was browsing the net searching for some detail on Miss Dior and reading another blog and hopping over and I was about to say something on the scent, but that exquisite photograph of that ultra-glamorous gown on the top left me literally speechless!
    Of course the flamboyance and hyperbole of so copious amounts of fabric is a prime necessity of the textile industry in economic terms: they needed to sell more product in order to come back on top of their game (undoubtedly hurt by the ravages of war).

  3. brian

     /  February 16, 2011

    I totally agree with you. I bought Miss Dior over a little over a year ago and couldn’t have loved it more. I have several tiny bottles of the older stuff, and it smells lovely too, but for me Miss Dior in its present incarnation is wonderful itself. I would love this on anyone.

  4. The real difference for me is the natural musk and, I’m guessing, civet. It gives it such a full bodied quality. The old version. I’m sure there are many other subtle distinctions between the two but for me that’s all the difference ultimately. The older version doesn’t feel as light. It immediately sinks right down to the bottom of something. The newer version has a lot more galbanum or something similar up front, and it just doesn’t have the bone structure. Still, I don’t feel it’s been gutted, just majorly leavened. The newer version has poor lasting power on me, which is the only reason I reach for it as rarely as I do.

    • Wow… natural musk and civet! You know… it doesn’t seem to last very much on me either… so it’s probably OK for an evening affair. But for the office, it gets quite thin in the afternoon. I’m wondering if an eau de parfum exists… it shouldn’t wilt so quickly. Still beautiful, though.

      Thanks for your comment!

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