Perfume Directory

Miss Dior Originale Eau de Toilette (previously Miss Dior) (1947)
by Christian Dior

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Miss Dior Originale Eau de Toilette (previously Miss Dior) information

Year of Launch1947
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 327 votes)

People and companies

HouseChristian Dior
PerfumerJean Carles
PerfumerSerge Heftler Louiche
PerfumerPaul Vacher
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About Miss Dior Originale Eau de Toilette (previously Miss Dior)

Miss Dior Originale Eau de Toilette (previously Miss Dior) is a feminine perfume by Christian Dior. The scent was launched in 1947 and the fragrance was created by perfumers Paul Vacher, Serge Heftler Louiche and Jean Carles

Miss Dior Originale Eau de Toilette (previously Miss Dior) fragrance notes

Reviews of Miss Dior Originale Eau de Toilette (previously Miss Dior)

Miss Dior (1947), or better known as "Miss Dior Originale Eau de Toilette" is the fragrance that launched Christian Dior's foray as a designer into perfume. To say anything about this fragrance is to say something someone else has already uttered, so there really aren't any observations I can make which haven't been, but in approaching a fragrance so storied and lauded by both fans of Dior perfumes and fans of classic fragrances, I at least try to give it a fair shake in comparison to its contemporaries. Otherwise, to compare this in its original form to what Dior now sells, or indeed the current state of feminine-market designer perfumes is pure folly, as it's like mixing oil and water without an emulsifier. Put another way, this is a perfume built under entirely different standards both of what defines perfumery and what defines femininity, so taken into perspective with standards of perfumery in the 21st century, this stuff seems more alien than some of the most-challenging niche offerings that get talk in enthusiast circles. At it's core, Miss Dior is a leather chypre, balancing castoreum and oakmoss over labdanum in the academic way, but builds up a green floral pyramid replete with aldehydes and sharp citrus notes. Therefore, what makes Miss Dior herself, is the blending and transitions between conflicting materials down to that aforementioned core. Also of note is the fact that Christian Dior had to replace the formula of Miss Dior with that of the now-renamed Miss Dior Chérie (2005) in 2011, in order to keep their flagship perfume relevant with their current customer base. Never had a flanker and pillar traded places in name until then, but since it went over so well, Dior would end up doing it again with the Dior Homme (2005) range, but I guess it beats making the original formula unavailable.

Paul Vacher, head of Le Galion and known for assisting Andre Fraysse with Lanvin Arpège (1927), was brought in with perfume master Jean Carles (whose works are too numerous to really list), to collaborate with a hitherto unheard of Serge Heftler Louiche on Miss Dior, with the results being one of the most-assertive chypres made for women at the time. Bergamot, aldehydes, galbanum, and clary sage make an extremely butch green introduction, softened only by the slightest hint of gardenia. The core of rose, jasmine, and neroli, usually virile in a feminine way on their own, are supplemented by masculine muguet, orris, and narcissus notes to sharpen up and remove the demur qualities of the traditionally "girly" florals. Carnation, a dandy favorite that usually can go in any direction gender-wise, also makes an appearance in the melange. Miss Dior keeps you from getting too comfortable beyond this, by saddling you with an animalic castoreum leather vibe mixed with a moist breathy ambergris, dry patchouli, arid sandalwood, and oakmoss a plenty to make it vavoom off skin. Miss Dior wears a smile on her face, but cracks the whip while doing it, so dainty little girls looking for sweet rose ambers or proper ladies in love with powdery violet and iris perfumes need nor apply here. Wear time is over 10 hours, and projection can be long thanks to those aldehydes and fierce base notes, but Miss DIor is not particularly thick or sweet, so there isn't anything that could cloy or make sillage feel bothersome. Best use for this is pretty much whenever because something like the original Miss Dior has outlived any sense of appropriate context, which leads me to my next point about this stuff: it's a scent out of time. Chypres in general are mostly dead thanks to IFRA restrictions on oakmoss, but niche houses willing to do the legwork to fill the gaps with composites sell their "nu-chypres" beyond the reach of us commoners, making the notion that a perfume like Miss Dior being once common feel unbelievable.

Factor in too that this was made for a 1940's woman still used to working manufacturing jobs in the stead of men or being head of household in the wake of their spouse's demise in the World War 2, and it's easy to understand why something so low-key masculine in tone would be an appropriate statement of "strong" femininity in the postwar era. Perfumes like Estée Lauder Youth Dew (1953) would go in a more raunchy "come-hither" direction while stuff like Cabochard de Grès (1959) would go full-blown dominatrix with the leather, inadvertantly bringing the aldehydic style of leather chypre to men when it was redressed as Aramis by Estée Lauder (1965) some years later. Meanwhile, Miss Dior gradually became something of a "boss bitch" perfume into the 70's, especially as more youthfuls floral and delicate musky things came out under the Dior nameplate thanks to Edmond Roudnitska and his various inventive fragrances that all had "Dior" somewhere in the name. Unlike Arpège, Patou Joy (1930), or even Chanel No. 5 (1921), Miss Dior was just so serious and admant, which is why it inadvertantly wears well today as a stiff green leather option for men with enough confidence to handle a healthy dose of florals. Whether you seek out vintage or go with more-modern "Originale" batches, you'll receive the same message, but the oakmoss neutering and reduced castoreum note will make the experience a bit more powdery since the floral become louder. Still, this masterpiece is full of Rosie the Riveter can-do vigor and is worth checking out if only for the history it provides. This was originally available in parfum, eau de toilette, and eau de cologne as well before the rename, but like with older Chanel No.5 concentrations, they are all shades of the same color that compliment each other when layered or transitioned between. Thumbs up.
22nd August, 2020
Strictly speaking of the current (purchased 2019) version, this is one of my favourite scents.

No, it is not the grand old chypre and never will be, I feel a little defensive in the weight of the reviews hailing the vintage version but I have not the time or patience to chase rarities.

It is however a beautiful restrained floral with just a hint of powder in it. The opening is a burst of green that dries down to a skin-hugging cloud of jasmine and perfectly blended patchouli.

I think my real appreciation for this scent is its ability to convey a beautiful crafted feminine fragrance without a hint of sweetness. Yes, its sense of age and construction straddle ‘classic’ and ‘musty’ but I think this is where it is so beguiling.

Moderate projection, excellent longevity and frankly more class than I deserve. I honestly adore this, and think of it as a three season scent, though will touch it sometimes in the summer, but it’s most at home in a spring breeze or found lingering on a favourite scarf.
01st February, 2020
The woman I'm dating wears vintage Miss Dior edt and parfum, and it's wonderful. I'm wearing a couple dabs of the parfum at the moment. From her, it sometimes comes across as something in the vein of Chanel Pour Monsieur, sometimes it will smell a bit like Chanel No. 5, and often it will smell distinctly like Miss Dior with its rich, dark powdery note.

More recently, vintage Miss Dior has been coming across as a kind of women's version of vintage Givenchy Gentlemen. Not that they're smell-alikes, but there's something equally top-shelf-vintage smelling about them, animalic patchouli's.

Vintage Miss Dior always smells so impressive. We have around six or seven different versions of it at this point: several parfums (four bottles), a couple edts, and an edc. Each one is different. The old parfums aren't all the same, but each version (parfum, edt, and edc) is distinctly the same fragrance, and I like them all pretty much equally. My girlfriend's favorite is one of the 15-ml parfum splashes.
16th October, 2018 (last edited: 13th May, 2019)
60's Vintage

Big, big, Classical expanding Floral with a Mossy Leathery textured base. It's central bouquet balances perfectly to its contents. Each flower can be sensed singular in tone, however no 1 overpowers the other. Balance, is most perfect.
The beauty of the Bergamot Citric runs through to a Dry Patchouli and creates an elegance reminiscent to Luciano Pavarotti. Castoreum attaches to the skin and has me calling it mine.
A very, very light powder suggests it was meant for the girls, however it is....
Totally Genderless to me.
09th June, 2018
Stardate 20170901:

Vintage houndstooth EDT version - Miss Dior:

Moss, galbanum, flowers and powder. That sums it up and yet leaves out a lot.

This is a bitter green leather.
This is a floral.
This is a soft SW powder.

It will cater your many needs. Give it time, you will like it.
01st September, 2017
The original 1947 Miss Dior in the black and white hound's tooth check was a brown leather chypre and this olfactory hue immediately sets it apart from its great congener and wartime rival Bandit. If Bandit (1944) is the scent of a black leather handbag filled with odds and ends - the scented accoutrements of a hard bitten madame in Occupied Montparnasse, Miss Dior can be the scent of the perfumed saddle of Epona - Celtic goddess of horses who, in Apuleius's bawdy and picaresque novel The Golden Ass, has a shrine in a stable adorned with roses.

I choose this archaic metaphor because it is - today, like Miss Dior - out of its time. There has been a slippage in our olfactory social conventions over the past seventy years and Miss Dior is a perfect example of how things have changed in a lifetime.

Leather chypre was once an odour that denoted femininity. Admittedly this was an embattled post WWII femininity struggling with destruction, shortage and widowhood, but at the time leather chypre was a very popular genre for women's scent. Because of changes that have happened in society since then, Miss Dior came to smell no longer feminine in the way it had; the effects of war ceased to touch people in the same way that they used to and women were no longer survivors who had to learn to appear (and smell) resilient in the face of catastrophe. Consequently, this tough but big hearted floral has, by today's olfactory standards, slipped much closer to the gender boundary - it smells to our noses much less feminine than it originally did. What it signifies today is much less clear cut, but still no less beautiful than it was back in the aftermath of World War Two. Let's take a look at what its saying.

Brown leather chypre, with a humid undertone of stable yard and horse. There's a liquid crystalline citrus accord with the tang removed, and a spicy pepper clove and coriander overtone, with a base of resins balms, vetiver moss and patchouli. As it unfolds the spicy leather softens to reveal a lovely rose-jasmin and lily heart, surrounded by iris, neroli, lavender, tuberose and a green accord.

It was robust and yet subtle, with the grace of a chestnut thoroughbred mare. But Miss Dior was no pushover; she was - despite the soft pink heart - a commanding floral chypre with presence.

In their excellent book Perfumery, Calkin & Jellinek declared Miss Dior to be 'an extraordinary balancing act between contrasting materials, [and] one of the most admired perfumes among perfumers [at the time].

By today's sensibilities, Miss Dior doesn't read like a feminine. But the prominent floral centrepiece means it doesn't smell masculine either. The closest comparison to extant perfumery would probably be Aramis - wearing his floral heart very much on his sleeve; and this illustrates the problem that the original formula of Miss Dior posed for the contemporary perfume market - it didn't meet the needs of women of today.

After the war ended in 1945, confidence returned and people's tastes rebounded towards something lighter and more optimistic. Perfume buyers no longer wanted olfactory leather armour to protect their vulnerable emotions, and perfumery was not slow to respond. Only a year after Miss Dior came out, a new perfume appeared that was to become one of the cornerstones of modern perfumery - L'Air du Temps, an abstract gardenia and carnation bouquet - not a chypre.

Miss Dior managed to cling on right up until the seventies, but gradually the chypre went out of style and was all but abandoned as a feminine trope, to be replaced by florals, orientals and more recently gourmands as the default signifiers of femininity.

Nowadays, women want (or are told they want) something less confrontational, more consumable. Because of what had become by the eighties the complete loss of its cultural relevance, Miss Dior had to be completely overhauled if it was to survive as a commercial product.

As a result, this one time market leader and critically acclaimed masterpiece was axed and completely reformulated; it had to fall in line with current demands or fall by the wayside. Consequently, what was once the reference brown leather chypre, and one of the greatest perfumes of all time is no more: what goes by that name today is nothing but a bunch of fruity florals.

*****
23rd January, 2017

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