ose, nature’s symbol of love and beauty, has forever been a pillar of perfumery. While eternally reimagined – from a feminine floral to something earthy, sweet or spicy – rose fragrances are reliably romantic. This decade’s newest interpretation comes in the form of Miss Dior Rose n’Roses, which depicts dew-drenched centifolia roses, freshly picked from the heartland of fragrance in the south of France.
“I wanted to be as close to the flower as possible,” Dior perfumer-creator, François Demachy, told us in Grasse. Here, the centifolia flowers intensely in May, turning fields fuchsia pink – much like the vibrant Miss Dior Rose n’Roses juice, visible through its clear glass vessel.
As its name suggests, Miss Dior Rose n’Roses unfurls and multiplies, much like the image of the Rosa Centifolia, otherwise known as the ‘hundred-leafed rose’.
“If a woman were to be represented by one flower, I think the rose is the most fitting,” says Demachy. “It is the most universal flower. That is why it is used in a lot of perfume. Everyone knows the smell of a rose. Everyone, in every country, in every culture. It is basically the only flower that is automatically positive.”
Harvesting the May rose
For a production that takes year-round dedication, there’s a limited harvest time; the centifolia blooms for just two weeks a year. Each flower is lovingly hand-picked and immediately transported to be transformed into absolutes (the second step from essential oils) and then into concretes (the most concentrated form of fragrance). A labour-intensive process; it takes 300,000 Grasse roses to produce 1kg of rose absolute which you’ll smell in the new Miss Dior.
Grasse is generally considered to produce the highest quality rose absolute, and the fashion house’s sustainable sourcing and organic agriculture (using zero pesticides) is testament to that. Due to the avoidance of chemical input used to speed up the farming process, the exceptional scents produced are noticeably intense.
The natural environment in the hills north of Cannes means that “when the centifolia rose blooms in this region it is unique,” explains Carole Biancalana, a producer of fragrant flowers in the Domaine de Manon – a biodynamic farm that grows all of the roses used in Dior’s fragrances. In the video below she states that “no other rose in the world has the same honey notes, the multitude of facets; the citrus, pepper, spicy, artichoke and cardamom notes.”
Miss Dior, then and now
There was a romance between Christian Dior and Grasse-grown flowers, and his dream was for the house of Dior to be able to source all of its fragrant flowers from the region where he holidayed. (His former home, the Château de la Colle Noire, now serves as a private mini-museum of the designer’s life.) Within three years from now, his wish will be granted.
The original Miss Dior (named after Catherine Dior, his youngest sister) was the first perfume from Mr Dior, which he created at the same time as he created his couture house. As Demachy explains in this video, Mr Dior valued fragrance as a way to dress, “like the final touch”. The perfumer notes, “He considered perfumes with as much importance, as much love and as much passion as his couture house.”
Created in 1947 – and still available now – Miss Dior Eau de Toilette Originale was the response to the designer’s brief: “Make me a fragrance that smells love!”. Emblematic of Dior femininity, it is intended to capture the intensity of pure passion.
While very different in composition, 2020’s Miss Dior Rose n’Roses shares the characteristics of such an affair.
A love story between woman and nature as much as perfumer and flower, the sparkling fragrance transports you right to the heart of a field of roses – and keeps you there.
Sources from: Harper’s Bazaar