Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"New" Dior fragrances? Les Creations de Monsieur Dior

Browsing the aisles of my local Sephora today I came across two new bottles of Christian Dior fragrances which made an impression. They're both decidely not new, but they were clearly presented as "new" with the matching light blue tags that Sephora puts on their just-arrived merchandise on the shelf. What's up? I decided to investigate.

One of them (and perhaps the most interesting) is the classic 1953 Eau Fraîche [click for review] of which Edmond Roudnistka himself had attributed as the ancestor of Diorella (Although popular notion wants Diorella to be the feminine version of the masculine Eau Sauvage)

It's intriguing to note that it never went away but it had become a scarce "secret" commodity to be shared among cognoscenti. Roudniska's agility in creating magnificent citrus scents (see also Rochas Moustache for its use of lime) is evidenced in the classic mandarin and rosewood accord of the original, and unfortunately the newest version is not quite it what it once was in its murky depths of chypre tonalities (The background of oakmoss has been cleaned up a bit). However it still radiates with a pitch that is both melodious and crystal-clear from both blotter and skin and is one of the best dry citruses on the market currently, so I cannot be but rather pleased for reasons I will elaborate on a bit.

The mania for Eaux Fraiches has taken the market literally by storm with Dior themselves (and therefore in essence ~no pun intended~ the giant LVMH) issuing an Eau (very nice) spin on Miss Dior Cherie, an Eau Cologne Florale version for their best-selling J'Adore and two classic Eaux, inspired by exotic locales: Escale à Portofino and Escale à Pondichéry. Several other brands, Hermès among them, also issue Eaux with increasing tempo, with Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte trying to inject a new classiness which ~surprisingly~ Dior just outbid! Clearly the market for eaux is thriving: My sunny Mediterranean soul cannot but applaud this rekindling of this centuries-old tradition of singing citruses from Sicily & Calabria which brings back to mind memories of my mother drenching my little hands with Eau de Cologne on just about any occassion, casual and formal alike.

The other bottle I noticed is the Forever and Ever, a limited edition sweet floral from a few years back re-introduced in 2006 in pink packaging. Its notes encompass ivy leaves, freesia, water jasmine, rose, almond blossom, geranium, vanilla, musk and ambrette seed.
This one remains as I recalled it.

So what's the deal?
The whole Dior line of classics is rejingled as Les Créations de Monsieur Dior with new packaging and apparently even newer rearrangements of the juice inside. I had predicted the reformulation hiding between such a move as far back as last spring (when there was ever so slightly a re-arrangement of the packaging) and here we are faced with it most decidedly. In the case of Diorissimo, Dioressence and Diorella (to a lesser degree, thank God) it bears rather ominous results, their complexity alightened. But at least not all is irrevocably lost!
Interestingly, François Demachy, head perfumer at Dior, has reorchestrated the classic Diorissimo into a new version of Eau de Parfum (to the original Eau de Toilette and parfum, latter of which is rarer and rarer) touted as "richer, deeper and intense, with a dominant jasmine floral heart note" (Without a doubt the IFRA restrictions on natural jasmine quota hint at the synergistic use of several synthetic alternatives.Both of the "new" fragrances are below a little 80 euros and come in big 100ml/3.4oz bottles, revamped in outer packaging, a uniform look which is the newest "dress" for all Les Créations de Monsieur Dior products (a niche "collection" idea): The box is all white with a big oval of gold circling the name in pink for Forever and Ever and in acid yellow for Eau fraiche. The bottles, coloured accordingly, are a slight twist on the classic bottle which houses the older fragrances of the house (Diorella, Diorissimo, Dioressence) and exhibits a faux threading in silver on the bottle neck which is quite elegant! This would be also quite handy when later on collectors will want to date their Dior bottles. Mark the year: Les Créations de Monsieur Dior came out in late 2009...

Addition: The line includes Diorama perfume in the same design, issued in 2011, and will include Diorling in late January 2012 as well.

Pics via Dior.com.


  1. I hate to think of glorious Dioressence defaced. Not that the others aren't lovely, but the butch beauty is particularly dear to me. I'll probably try the tweaked version, and make room for it next to the disfigured new Ma Griffe.

  2. Helg, while shopping with my daughter yesterday we came across the "diorella" one!
    I get a diorella every summer for its the scent for our very hot days. Now we sprayed this on us and both said "hey, this reminds me of Diorella!"
    But --- its not as strong as the divine Diorella, sort of 'watery'.
    I guess this means Diorella will not be made anymore and one must buy this new one????

  3. M,

    I'm afraid Dioressence had been doomed long ago...It pained me but...(had to stockpile a couple of old bottles, when they finish, they finish...).
    To be perfectly honest with you, when something becomes unrecognisable to me any longer, I prefer to cherish it for what it had been than settling for a ghost. But this is perhaps my impractical, romantic side of l'amour courtois, love from afar, and all that jazz... :/

  4. M,

    bingo!! You saw the third one. They didn't have the "new" Diorella at my local Sephora, they had one bottle of the reformulation before this one and one bottle of the one before that (sounds more complicated than it is!)
    It'd be a shame if it's more watered down still. Two reformulations ago it was still a "killah" fragrance for summertime!

  5. There has to be some sort of magic behind the Eau idea. Miss Dior Cherie L'Eau is a passable something on the blotter but changes into cat urine on my skin. J'Adore Cologne Florale (or what's its name, I hate flankers for these clustered names) is a bland floral cologne on the blotter, changes into double strength cat urine on my skin.

    I must say that there seems to be nothing from Dior for me anymore. Anything I liked is irreparably botched. The last one I quite enjoy is Chris 1947, despite its miserable staying power (improves with a touch of Une Fleur, though)...

  6. Thanks for this article E! I saw the 'new' bottles at Myer this week and was curious enough to have a spray of one of them but can't remember the name now and don't think it was that great either. I am surprised to Forever and Ever in the new bottle though as that was meant to be a limited edition ... and I always feel cheated when a limited edition turns out to be not so limited after all!

  7. Anonymous13:06

    So Diorella is finally changed to unwearable. What a terrible shame - I'll miss that one most of all the many reformulated and lost masterpieces. Any tips on how to tell the new bottles from the old?

  8. This is great news—at least insofar that I've been hankering after a bottle of Eau Fraîche—all your doing, I'm afraid. I guess I should hunt down an older bottle, before the stock depletes entirely, but alas for international shipping.

    Hm... Eau Frîche or Sous Le Vent?

  9. E: I love Eau Fraîche, and jealously guard the vintage bottle that I have. So I'm happy to see that it may become more widely available. Even if the new version is not quite as chypré as the old, it will be nice to have a bottle to spray with abandon.


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