Miss Dior: no longer for maiden aunts

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WRITTEN BY LISA JONES

Once upon a time Christian Dior released a perfume that was a classic green chypre, full of oak moss, jasmine, patchouli and galbanum, and very chic and elegant. It was 1947 and things were far more prim and proper then. Young ladies wore neat tailored houndstooth suits, prim little hats with veils and carried white gloves.

To a young lady in 2013 those clothes would feel like a costume for a party, and perhaps Miss Dior felt similarly out of date. Because she has been completely replaced. The Miss Dior that I have a bottle of is now called Miss Dior Originale and has been put very politely but firmly on the back shelf of the Dior counter.

In her place is the pink-tinted Miss Dior incarnated by the delightful Natalie Portman. Previously known as Miss Dior Cherie, this has also ‘had a little work done’ to lose the strawberry top note, has been renamed Miss Dior and is now a flagship scent for the Dior line. It comes in all permutations – from parfum and eau de parfum to eau de toilette and eau fraiche, plus assorted body lotions, gels and all that stuff nobody buys unless it’s as presents. (Do you know anyone who buys or uses ‘official’ body lotion if it hasn’t come in a gift set or as part of a hotel toiletries haul?)(My daughter’s love of Hermes Eau d’Orange Vert can be traced to a very posh hotel suite and a generous friend of mine.)

However, dear, prim and proper original Miss Dior had a secret. Though she might have looked as prim and proper as Grace Kelly on the surface with her bitter oakmoss, give dear old MD a chance to warm up on the skin and that bitterness evaporates. Then the jasmine comes out to play and the oakmoss and woody old-school patchouli become rounder and warmer than JLo’s derriere in thermal undies.

I’ve been wondering how the new Miss Dior eau de toilette with her top notes of blood orange, heart of neroli and rose and base of patchouli will compare. So today I got out the little sample and spritzed. The top notes are sweet and very briefly citrus, though that is so fleeting as to be cheetah-like. The heart is fruity and floral with an element of something artificial but not in a bad way. Then there’s the base note of patchouli; this is the clean, radiant and persistent patchouli that is a staple in modern perfumery. It doesn’t remind me of JLo’s booty, I’m afraid; not in any kind of thermal clothing. Well OK, maybe in snowboarding pants.

You know how I have been whining about frootichoolis? This is one. I expected to want to chew my arm off and profoundly regret spraying my décolletage, but in fact, it’s OK. It’s not offensive in any way, it seems to be well-balanced, it wears reasonably close to the skin and doesn’t have enormous sillage and the longevity isn’t enormous – it was gone completely within 6 hours. That made me quite happy. I should repeat that this review is for the Eau de Toilette; I imagine the eau de parfum or parfum concentrations would last quite a bit longer and have a bit more projection. Be aware though that often fragrance compositions differ between the concentrations, so sniff the format before you buy it to avoid disappointment.

4 thoughts on “Miss Dior: no longer for maiden aunts”

  1. Dear WordBird
    I can’t begin to express the travesty that the treatment of Miss Dior by Dior has been.
    This transition must surely have been one of the most cack-handed in brand management history, with, at one point, three, possibly four different fragrances being available simultaneously from prime retailers (i,e, not discounters) all under the name of Miss Dior EdT.
    And what do we get in the end, a fair but slightly shrill interpretation of the classic perfume under the silly ‘originale’ label and this awful, yes truly awful muck posing as the real thing.
    I am old enough to remember the new Coke vs Classic Coke debacle in the US.
    Clearly no one at Dior is…
    Perhaps their time might have been better spent on a reformulation of Miss Dior that will survive the upcoming regulatory intervention and launching a new perfume as that is what “Miss Dior” clearly is.
    Uncommon rant over.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    1. The original Miss Dior is a perfume like no other. I have used it for years. The new ‘Miss Dior smells like dozens of other perfumes on the market. Sheila Walker

  2. It has indeed been beyond confusing. Though, given the new IFRA regulations and the consequent reformulation of all the old chypres, sadly, I doubt very much that Miss Dior Originale is anywhere near the original Originale. Perhaps it would have been kinder to put her out of her misery

    What’s even stranger is that the new perfume, Miss Dior Cherie has itself been reformulated to remove the strawberry top notes to make it so much more… everyday. But I agree; a whole new name would have been much more honest. Heck, why not simply call it ‘Cherie’?

    Best wishes,
    Wordird

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