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April 20 2014

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Parfums Christian Dior, The Book

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Christian Dior’s perfume legacy began at the same time that he left an indelible mark on the fashion industry. On February 12, 1947, the day the style set gathered at the couturier’s newly erected salon to see the collection that will forever be remembered as the New Look, they were treated to eveningwear, day dresses, and coats with inventive silhouettes and an aromatic atmosphere spiked with the scent of gardenia and patchouli. Dior mandated that over a liter of his first ever fragrance be sprayed in the interior of 30 Avenue Montaigne every week in anticipation of the couture event of the year, yet as show time approached, he still had not settled on a suitable name for it. As the story goes, he was sitting in his studio with his leopard-print-loving muse Mitzah Bricard, pondering different words to describe the floral green chypre, when his younger sister Catherine walked into the room. “Ah, here’s Miss Dior!” Bricard exclaimed. The rest is history.

There are a number of similar anecdotes that color the inception of Parfums Christian Dior, which has given the world beloved flacons like the original Miss Dior, Diorissimo, Eau Sauvage, and Poison over the years. Now these stories, as well as a wealth of archival images and new campaigns, have been gathered into a three-book set that spotlights the house’s remarkable achievements in fashion, fine jewelry, and fragrance, thus immortalizing the impact Monsieur Dior had not just on clothing but on perfume as well—from the evolution of his hourglass-shaped bottles (above) to the ad visuals that would turn them into commercial successes (below).

Dior 3-Book Set, $75, www.assouline.com.

Photo: Courtesy of Assouline

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