Super Scent : The best of Christian Dior
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19th October, 2015

In July, bloggers Persolaise and Candy Perfume Boy created ‘Super Scent’ - a semi-regular series on their blogs where they listed what they considered to be the best fragrances from a particular brand. Neither party knew which fragrances the other had picked before they published.

Now Basenotes are playing the game as well!

Instead of me personally picking which fragrances I consider to be the best from the brand, I’m going to be counting down the favourites of Basenotes members, based on a similar criteria to our recent Top 500 Perfumes list. (However, I did make one editorial decision, which I’ll explain when you get to that entry.)

The brand for this instalment is Christian Dior.

The launch of the House of Dior

Dior was born in Granville, in Normandy, France in 1905. Prior to opening his own fashion house, Dior designed at both Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong, where he worked alongside Pierre Balmain. In 1946 Dior launched his own fashion house, with the backing of businessman Marcel Boussac. The company very quickly made the leap into perfume, establishing new company Parfums Dior and launching Miss Dior (now Miss Dior ‘Originale’) in 1947.

Miss Dior was followed by Diorama in 1949, Eau Fraîche (1953) and Diorissimo (1956)

Christian Dior died in March 1957, just over ten years after establishing his fashion house. Creative direction at the house was initially over seen by a 21-year-old Yves Saint Laurent with Marc Bohan taking over in 1960. Bohan would be head designer at the house for nearly thirty years. The sixties saw Parfums Dior launch Diorling (1963) and their first fragrance for men, Eau Sauvage (1966).

The parting of the ways

In 1968, Parfums Dior was sold off to Moët-Hennessy, and along came Diorella (1972) and Dior Dior (1976).

1978 saw Dior’s owners, the Boussac Group, filing for bankruptcy. The assets were acquired by The Willot Group, who also went bankrupt in 1981. This led to the acquisition of the Dior fashion house by businessman, Bernard Arnault in 1984. Arnault slimmed down the company.

Parfum Dior continued separately throughout this time, with the creation of classics such as Jules (1980), Poison (1985) and Fahrenheit (1988).

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Reunited

In 1988 Arnualt took a 32% equity stake in LVMH, which was formed the previous year with the merger of Moët-Hennessy and Louis Vuitton. This meant that for the first time in twenty years, the fashion side of Dior was once again part of the same company as Parfums Dior.

The nineties saw Dior adding Dune (1991), Tendre Poison (1994), Dolce Vita (1995), Dune for Men (1997) and Hypnotic Poison (1998).

1998 saw the arrival of Berndt Beetz at Parfums Dior, who had previously been at Procter & Gamble. According to a trade news report at the time, consumers were more interested in the Poison ’brand’, than that of Dior. Beetz wanted to create a classic, which would bring back the name of Dior.

In 1999 Parfums Dior launched J’Adore, which did as as it was intended. Created by perfumer Calice Becker, the fragrance has lived at the top of the best-seller lists for many years, and is seen as Parfums Dior’s flagship fragrance and have produced countless flankers and additions to the line up.

The 2000s saw the introduction of Higher (2001), Dior Addict (2004), Dior Homme and Miss Dior Cherie (both 2005)

La Collection Privée

Since 2006, Parfums Dior has been headed by creator-perfumer François Demachy, who in 2010 oversaw the launch of La Collection Privée following the trend of brands having separate high-end lines. (see Chanel’s Les Exclusifs, Hermes’ Hermessence and Armani’s Privé)

The Collection launched with 11 fragrances, and the range incorporated earlier launches Bois d’Argent, Cologne Blanche and Eau Noire (all 2004), which had been launched under the creative direction of Hedi Slimane; and Ambre Nuit (2009) alongside new fragrances such as Granville (named after Dior’s childhood home, Leather Oud and Mitzah.

Dior have come under criticism in recent years for rewriting history somewhat. The Miss Dior, that is on sale today isn’t the Miss Dior that was launched in 1947 — that is now called Miss Dior Originale. The Miss Dior on sale today is a reformulated version of what was launched as Miss Dior Cherie in 2005.

Despite the confusions, the company still have some amazing fragrances, so on with…

The Super Scents of Dior

Out of nearly seventy years of Parfums Dior, which fragrances do Basenotes visitors like best? Let’s see… click Next to get started.

About the author: Grant Osborne

Grant Osborne is the founder and editor of Basenotes. Grant has two children, and a dependence on tea, haribo and bacon.

Website: http://www.grantosborne.com

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    Comments

      • Bavard | 19th October 2015 14:43

        Nice one, Grant. I need to sample vintage Eau Sauvage.

        For one scary second, I thought Sauvage was going to be number one.

      • Grant (article author) | 19th October 2015 15:45

        @bavard

        this may all look different if we did it in five years time. You never know!

      • badarun | 19th October 2015 16:29

        Nice article!!!

        Vtg Eau Sauvage is indeed a must try for lovers of classic colognes. It's my most used cologne by a few liters :)

        As for picking 1, it's obviously Eau Sauvage vtg for me, followed by Jules & Leather Oud.

      • cornishlee | 19th October 2015 16:51

        Well done Grant, another well put together article.

      • David Ruskin | 19th October 2015 16:58

        There wasn't a lot of Hedione in the original Eau Sauvage; maybe 0.5%. "Massive"for 1966, not so massive now. Just shows what a master can do with a little.

      • Grant (article author) | 19th October 2015 16:59

        DR -- true. I should have said massive for the time...

      • hednic | 19th October 2015 17:00

        Nicely executed and thanks!

      • Bavard | 19th October 2015 17:18

        Slightly different with the caveat of "currently available" versus Basenotes statistics over an averaging period - I'm trying to excuse their leaving out Fahrenheit.

      • Persolaise | 19th October 2015 20:45

        I'm glad people are bringing up the issue of vintage versus current. Vintage Eau Sauvage is the definition of a masterpiece, as far as I'm concerned. The current version is definitely NOT a masterpiece.

      • Persolaise | 19th October 2015 20:47

        Hi,

        Yes, I'm afraid Candy Perfume Boy and I had to choose from current formulations. I completely and utterly worshipped the original Fahrenheit. The current version pales in comparison, sadly.

      • Persolaise | 19th October 2015 20:49

        A fascinating list to read. I'm so pleased Diorissimo made it, even though the current formulation is nowhere near as glorious as the original. I was also really glad to see that Jules would have made it if we'd decided to turn the list into a Top 10 rather than a Top 7. It very nearly made it onto my list.

      • Cook.bot | 26th October 2015 18:17

        Finding it hard to believe that Dune didn't make the list; after Eau Sauvage, it's my second favorite Dior. Ah well... I guess it means that fewer people will smell like I do i the summertime.

      • Trauerkraut | 11th December 2015 12:21

        I was waiting for my personal 'Best of Dior', but it unfortunately never showed up...? ...good for me: I will keep Fahrenheit 32 for myself...!