digging (into) vintage: Christian Dior Miss Dior, 1947

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Perfumer Jean Carles.

I know it’s the thing to kvetch about reformulations. Reformulation is a negative until proven otherwise.  It happens when materials become unavailable, anathema, or replaced for cost considerations. It has a recent history of leaving us with perfumes that would be better off discontinued rather than becoming the walking dead.

But here’s my guilty pleasure. I like the Miss Dior that I bought new in about 2005. It’s mossy, parched dry in a way that only a floral chypre can be, and sharp as a tack. Likely it’s been reformulated more times than you can shake a stick at. But I think that mine might also be one of the last iterations with a enough moss to make it an object of fetish among the chypre-conscious. This version seems to compensate for lost moss with so much patchouli that it smells a bit like chocolate.

On the other hand, I also have vintage bottles of EDT, EDC and extrait from the ’60s and ’70s. They are markedly better-composed perfumes. Powder and moss. Buttered florals. Leather. Say it again, leather. It’s hard for me to see the original Miss Dior in the the 2005 bottle, so I look at them as different scents. Given the renaming at Dior, I guess the vintage models would be be Mrs. Dior and Grande-Mère Dior.)

What does appeal to me about the more recent version is that from the florals to the aldehydes to the patchouli, the materials just shout at you. Sheer volume is much of its appeal. The vintage has a much more seductive tone, a cigarette-rasp and a sharp tongue.

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