“We were emerging from the period of war, of uniforms, of women-soldiers built like boxers. I drew women-flowers, soft shoulders, fine waists like liana and wide skirts like corolla." ---Christian Dior quoted in The New Look: The Dior Revolution, by Nigel Cawthorne. London: Hamlyn, 1996
When I first smelled New Look 1947 from Dior La Collection Privee shortly after it was released my first thought was that this 2010 fragrance is a natural descendant of the original line of classic Dior perfume. Not because this soft floral resembles any of the familiar masterpieces, but it has a marvelous elegance that really says: Dior!
Perfumer François Demachy was charged with creating an olfactory homage to Christian Dior's 1947 iconic fashion collection, The New Look. To do so he blended the ultra-feminine tuberose & co. in a wonderful abstract way that doesn't let any of the often heady components take over or create a noisy drama. Instead, we get a soft and powdery floral, a bit dreamy and languid, that walks in measured steps fully aware of its pedigree and lineage. New Look 1947 is a modern interpretation of a classic idea: a heart built around the iris-rose-jasmine trio is as French as they come, but the cheeky tuberose with its touch of green replaces the traditional aldehydes in elevating the core floral notes.
Similarly, one might expect to have a smooth and creamy vanilla-sandalwood base to hold everything together, but the sandalwood available to us these days is usually not of couture quality. Dior La Collection Privee aspires to represents the true character of this luxury house, thus inferior materials have no place there. Instead, we get a very similar effect through the use of ylang-ylang and benzoin. For a moment there I could almost smell a phantom Mysore sandalwood. The beautiful dry-down of Dior New Look 1947 is as abstract as the rest of it, and just as luxurious. It's a long-lasting, soft and intimate. The fragrance is incredibly lady-like and polite, it remains in one's personal space for most of the day, adding a chic finishing touch to whatever else you're wearing.
Notes: Tuberose, Ylang ylang, Iris, Damask rose, Sambac jasmine, Peony, Vanilla, Benzoin.
Dior- New Look 1947 ($155, 4.25oz) and the rest of La Collection Privee are available at Bergdorf Goodman, select Neiman Marcus locations, Dior boutiques and Dior.com (at least in the USA).
Top image: Christian Dior 1947 couture show via Dior.com.
Second image: Christian Dior The Bar look, Spring/Summer haute couture 1947, Corolle collection. Photo: Patrick Demarchelier via http://en.vogue.fr .