“A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.” Christian Dior
In the late 1940s France was known for its wine, fashion and perfume that were the most important French exports. For a fashion house having its own perfume meant reaching a wider audience and increasing its profits by significant amounts. Even those who couldn’t afford a Dior dress, would buy a perfume. A little piece of luxury would made a woman feel like a Dior woman, elegant, beautiful and one-of-a-kind without costing a fortune.
Even before the house of Dior was opened, Christian Dior was approached by Serge Heftler-Louiche, his old friend who first worked for Coty and then started his own business.
In 1947 they created “Miss Dior”.
The new fragrance was designed by Paul Vacher with Dior’s personal involvement. “Create a fragrance that is like love,” he requested. The perfume, a delicate bouquet of Egyptian jasmine, Patchouli and tuberose, became an instant hit. It felt modern, but also feminine and romantic combining all the things women craved in those post-war times.
The luxury version was presented in a crystal flacon made by Baccarat, while the more affordable one included a modern looking bottle engraved in a hound’s-tooth motif that was frequently used by the house for their daywear designs. The name was inspired by Dior’s sister, Catherine, who walked in his boutique one day and was greeted by Mitzah Bricard “Look, there is Miss Dior!” And the “Miss Dior” was born.
More than a litre of perfume was sprinkled all over the Dior boutique daily and soon it was immediately associated with the spirit of Maison Dior and became its haute couture perfume.
The “Diorama”, an intoxicating, passionate and sensual perfume, created by Edmond Roudnitska in 1949, combined the notes of bergamot, peach, jasmine, tuberose and gardenia with the warming spicy and velvety clove, nutmeg, sandal wood and cedar, “to dress every woman with a trail of desire”.
It was in autumn to become the cold weather fragrance as most women used to wear different perfumes depending on the seasons’. The crystal bottle designed by Fernand Guerry-Colas, was a true object d’art with its lines inspired by the obelisk in Place de la Concorde.
By the mid 1950s Christian Dior sold 500000 bottles of “Miss Dior” and “Diorama” annually in 87 countries. They were later followed by “Diorissimo” that became the most expensive exported perfume ever sold and “Eau Fraiche” launched in 1956.
Photo source: Christian Dior Diorama vintage perfume ad by Rene Gruau, Christian Dior Miss Dior vintage perfume ad by Rene Gruau, Miss Dior by Christian Dior vintage Baccarat crystal perfume bottle c. 1947-1950s via Find Museum, Christian Dior Miss Dior & Diorissimo perfume ads by Rene Gruau, Christian Dior Diorama perfume ad by Rene Gruau, Diorissimo by Christian Dior vintage perfume ad, Christian Dior Dior Miss Dior, Diorama, Diorissimo & Diorling perfumes by Rene Gruau
Based on: Dior by Alexander Palmer