Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Christian Dior New Look 1947 is one of my most disappointing and frustrating discoveries this year. I say it because I absolutely love the voluptuous idea of its tuberose and violet accord and the image of red lipstick glamor that it conveys. Yet on the skin, New Look 1947 feels far too soft spoken and sheer to fully deliver on its promise of bold elegance circa 1940s Paris.
New Look 1947 is composed around a nuanced floral accord of tuberose and violet. As with many other fragrances created by perfumer François Demachy, I find myself enchanted by the lovely harmony that marks his floral notes. The ylang-ylang and jasmine set the apricot jam tone of the composition, while the violet notes have an abstract gourmand quality reminiscent of hot raspberry sauce and sugared petals. The woody and peppery accents offset any overt sweetness. The fragrance never loses its polished and sophisticated aura as it slowly dries down to a caressing base of iris and vanilla.
The powder and lipstick sensation of New Look 1947 is reminiscent of a similar theme explored by recent fragrances like Love, Chloé and L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversée du Bosphore. While Dior’s red lipstick vision is painted in richer floral strokes, the idea is similar. The fragrance feels soft and tender, with a powdery sweetness embellishing the basenotes. Unfortunately as time goes on, New Look 1947 does not build up to any crescendo and simply fades into a vague powdery floral. My hope is that Dior might consider releasing it as the extrait de parfum. Such a beautiful idea certainly deserves to make a grander statement.
Christian Dior New Look 1947 (fragrance family: floral tuberose) is a part of Christian Dior La Collection Couturier Parfumeur. It includes notes of peony, ylang-ylang, pink pepper, jasmine sambac, rose, tuberose, iris, benzoin, and vanilla. Available from the Dior boutiques.
Sample: my own acquisition
Photograph: Richard Avedon, Balenciaga dress on Georgia Hamilton. Not Dior dress, I know, but it captures the spirit of the era that I wanted to find in New Look 1947.