To celebrate the 10th anniversary of J’Adore Christian Dior Perfumes has launched its first official retrospective exhibition, titled Christian Dior: Couturier Parfumer at Iguatemi, Sao Paulo. The exhibition, which is to travel around the world after its debut in Brazil, focuses on the story of Christian Dior and will showcase the cultural history behind each of his scents’ creation, as well as the social impact each fragrance had on the world – starting with Miss Dior in 1947 to today.

 “What I remember the most about the women who were part of my childhood was their perfume – perfume lasts much more than the moment.” said Christian Dior in his 1951 biography Je Suis Couturier. Dior went on to explain that “perfume is an indispensable accessory, a final touch in my dresses.”

The designer’s instructions to the perfumiers creating Miss Dior were simple: “Create a fragrance that is like love.” But, the fragrance went unnamed until the elegant Mitzah Bricard saw Christian’s sister Catherine enter the Dior Couture boutique and said: “Look, there is Miss Dior”. “Miss Dior! That is my perfume!” exclaimed Christian.

More than one liter of pure fragrance was sprinkled every week in Dior’s first boutique when it opened in February 1947, a lot of money, but very effective propaganda as not everyone could afford the scent. In the post war years it was not easy to find material for the fragrance. There was no coal to burn and thousands of workers were on strike, but the team behind Dior quickly realized that luxury was the secret of success, even if it meant having to, temporarily, neglect its French customers because many had no money to spend.

Miss Dior - 1947The first bottle, designed by Fernand Guerycolas, of Miss Dior was sold on 1 December 1947, nine months after the revolution of the ‘New Look’. Miss Dior captured the spirit of the Maison Dior and soon became a fragrance of haute couture.

The Christian Dior exhibition is now open at São Paulo’s Espaço Fashion, featuring original illustrations from early advertising campaigns and the details of the secret history behind classic scents like Poison, Miss Dior and Fahrenheit.