How do you approach an iconic fragrance?
There's the history: Year of creation (1947), cultural connotations (the first years after WWII) and fashion reference (Christian Dior's New Look). But it all vanishes the moment you apply the perfume to your skin. First there's a whirlwind of unspecified memories. After all, this scent has been around since the year my mother was born, so while I can't tell for sure where and on whom I've smelled it first (not on my mom, whose as an anti-chypre as IFRA), it's green, elegant opening feels like an old family heirloom. It's also sharp, uncompromising and not entirely friendly in this day and age of sweet, fruity top notes. While I deeply dislike the cloying pink strawberryness of the modern version, Miss Dior Cherie, based on the green top notes of the classic Miss Dior, I couldn't be sure I would want to wear it again. Not for fun, at least.
The scent changes as the notes develop. The jasmine-rose heart feels familiar as other classic, lady-like fragrances. It softens, warms up and gets easier to wear, if you're a fan of leather-oakmoss-patchouli drydowns, which I am, most of the time. The patch sweetens the deal significantly and makes the leather chyper base easier to wear than another classic from that era, Bandit. It feels like there's silk and lace under the leather, expensive ones.
The longer I wear it, the easier it becomes. It's plush and polished, has a velvety, feminine presence, pearls and high-heeled pumps. Some find it sexy, others might feel suffocated by girdles and gloves. It's worth trying and befriending, for the pretty and for the feeling of wearing a true classic. Who doesn't want to look like the lady in Dior above?
My bottle is a vintage from about 15 years ago, before oakmoss got its bad rap. There are rumours of reformulations, but the notes listed for the version currently sold still have oakmoss in them. While the EdT is widely available, the parfum is a Saks exclusive.
Original Miss Dior ads from 1949 and 1950: Okadi.com
Dior fashion photograph: Fashion Photography- A Historical Perspective.