SPIRIT OF DIOR VERY MUCH ALIVE IN GRASSE THIS SUMMER

L’expo à ne pas manquer cet été à Grasse. The not-to-be missed exhibition this summer in Grasse.

The International Perfume Museum in Grasse is celebrating the fashion designer’s love for the South of France with a summer exhibition entitled “Esprit de Parfums”.

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Just a year after the renovation of the Château de la Colle Noire, the provencal holiday residence of Christian Dior, “Esprit de Parfums” is an exhibition that highlights the artist’s life, but also his most famous olfactory creations.

Located near Grasse, the splendid property, set on several hundred hectares, is where the French couturier found the inspiration to craft some of his most famous fragrances.

Close to the land, a stone’s throw away from my vineyards and jasmine, I always feel comforted”. – Christian Dior

But Dior’s love affair with the French Riviera started well before his purchase of the 12,900 square foot château in 1950, his “haven of peace”. As early as 1934, his recently widowed father decided to leave Granville, in Normandy, and move with his daughter Catherine and governess to Callian, in the Var. The young Christian who was already living in Paris at the time, regularly went to stay with them, even taking refuge in the family home in the early 1940’s. After the war, he often visited his sister who had become a flower trader, working as an intermediary selling flowers grown in the South of France to the rest of the country.

It was thus natural that the designer chose to base his first fragrance, Miss Dior, on rose and jasmine. That was in 1947, and the perfume became an immediate success. But the fascination for the region did not stop there. Following in the footsteps of Paul Vacher, Dior worked with a string of Grasse’s perfumers to concoct some of his best fragrances. These included the self-styled ‘perfumer/composer’ Edmond Roudnitska, who created Diorama, Eau Fraîche, Diorissimo and Eau Sauvage, and Edouard Fléchier, the man behind Poison. The region has always been central to Christian Dior scents – even nowadays,  the official perfumer and fragrance designer for the Maison Dior is Grasse-born François Demachy, who has held the position since 2006.

The exhibition, which runs until the 1st of October 2017, serves as an opportunity to display the museum’s large collection of bottles and posters, as well as some masterpieces belonging to the Maison Dior, and pieces on loan from both public institutions and private establishments. Meanwhile, videos and interactive terminals provide an historical context which call on all the five senses.

The Musée International de la Parfumerie is open every day from 10 am to 7 pm, and the entrance fee is €6

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée International de la Parfumerie
2, boulevard du Jeu de Ballon
06130 Grasse

Tel: +33 4 97 05 58 00

 

LA COLLE NOIRE, THE BEAUTIFUL DIOR SUMMER ESTATE IN MONTAUROUX

Dernier article en date pour Riviera Buzz. Latest article to date for Riviera Buzz.

Château de la Colle Noire, the summer estate of the late French fashion designer Christian Dior, has been restored to its former glory.

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In September 2015, the House of Chanel proudly announced that it had re-acquired “La Pausa”, the beautiful villa overlooking Cap Martin that “mademoiselle” had specially designed, built and decorated for her. Now, less than a year later, it is the House of Dior’s turn to celebrate the purchase and restoration of the Château de la Colle Noire, the summer estate its creator owned in Montauroux.

Located near Grasse, the splendid property set on several hundred hectares, is where the French couturier found the inspiration to craft some of his most famous fragrances (miss Dior, Diorssimo, Eau Sauvage).

It is in 1951, while at the height of his career, that Christian Dior began restoring the 12,900 square foot château, creating his “haven of peace”. There, he wrote his autobiography, Dior by Dior, entertained famous friends such as March Chagall, and planted olive trees, vines and a large array of fragrant flowers, from roses and jasmine, to lily-of-the-valley and lavender in the grandiose garden he designed.

Sadly, the place was sold shortly after the fashion legend’s death in 1957 and changed hands many times in the following decades. It even hosted rock band Oasis as they recorded their album “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” in 1999, and was purchased back by Christian Dior Parfums in 2013.

After nearly three years of works conducted with the aid of landscape designers, Dior’s cherished residence and garden have been given a new lease of life, and have even inspired the latest fragrance launched by the fashion house, “La Colle Noire”, last May.

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Bearing the name of the 19th century Provençal château and created by perfumer François Demachy, a Cannes native whose laboratory is located nearby at the Fontaines Parfumées, La Colle Noire scent is a contemporary rose perfume which, according to the “nez” himself  “conveys all the raw and sun-drenched beauty of this region in the south of France”.

Interestingly enough, La Colle Noire is the second fragrance inspired by the stunning estate, following on from Eau Noire which was created by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, and released in 2004.

CONTACT DETAILS
Château de la Colle Noire
220 Route de Draguignan
83440 Montauroux

Lead image of Château de la Colle Noire by DandineTravail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0; other image courtesy Dior

GRASSE, TRULY THE WORLDWIDE CAPITAL OF PERFUME

Une bonne raison de visiter Grasse cet été! A good reason to visit Grasse this summer!

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Here is your chance to rediscover the magic years that made the city of Grasse the worldwide capital of perfume.

No other city in France is more closely linked with perfume than the small town of Grasse. It has become famous over the years for its production of jasmine, one of the most important natural aromas used by the industry, as well as other fragrances, such as myrtle, lavender, rose and mimosa.

By the 17th century, a prosperous artisanal and agricultural economy had developed, and locals also gained the reputation as being perfumers of note. But it was really with the advent of the industrial revolution and the following decades that the worldwide reputation of Grasse was consolidated; an era that is now being celebrated all summer long by the International Perfume Museum together with the International Perfume Museum Gardens.

Entitled “De la Belle Époque aux années folles – La parfurmerie au tournant du XXè siècle”, this exciting exhibit starts with the Art Nouveau movement in the 1880’s, highlighting the works of French artists such as Hector Guimard in Paris or Louis Majorelle in Nancy, who developed a revolutionary art that was as new in the materials used as it was in pattern and style, and which spread to all sectors of the luxury goods industry, from furniture to perfume.

The exhibit then moves on to the roaring twenties, which saw Emile Galé, René Lalique and Jules Cheret adopt new industrial techniques, with department stores creating in-house design studios to make these new aesthetic codes their own. It was the period right after World War I, a time of reconstruction in Europe, and women were taking charge of their professional and social destinies, undertaking intellectual pursuits that so far had been reserved for men (medicine, engineering, journalism), practising sports, or smoking in public. The slim and toned silhouette of the flapper was then in fashion, the corset fell by the wayside, and several couturiers like Paul Poiret and Jean Patou were creating trousers and dresses to complement theses changes. They also started to make perfumes that would serve as the perfect accessory. In 1914, clothing and perfumery were shown together for the first time at the World’s Fair in Lyon, and in 1921, the great Gabrielle Chanel launched her own brand of perfume, the legendary Chanel No. 5. Created by Ernest Beaux, it was the first to use aldehydes in perfumery.

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All throughout this journey in the world of cosmetics, an outstanding collection of bottles, posters and powder boxes are on display, while videos and interactive terminals provide an historical context and call on the five senses.

Simultaneously, the International Perfume Museum Gardens are featuring plants that were in style in the decorative arts at the turn of the century for olfactory or visual reasons.

The exhibit “De la Belle Epoque aux années folles – La parfurmerie au tournant du XXè siècle” runs until the 30th of September. The International Perfume Museum is open every day from 10 am to 7 pm and tickets cost €6 for the duration of the temporary summer exhibit. The International Perfume Museum gardens are open daily from 10 am to 7 pm (10 am to 5:30 pm as of the 1st of September) and the entrance fee is €4.

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée International de la Parfumerie
Boulevard du Jeu de Ballon
06130 Grasse

Tel: + 33 4 97 05 58 00

All images courtesy and © Musée International de la Parfumerie