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