Like a surgeon, I delicately slice the woody flesh of a hearty rose stem to marry it with the more delicate centifolia rose. Over my shoulder, Carole Biancalana—master of Le Domaine de Manon, which exclusively provides flowers for Parfums Christian Dior—gently gives me advice only generations of tending this terroir could have taught her. I’ve traveled to the sun-kissed fields of Grasse in the south of France to learn how to graft roses with the experts and to discover the magical formula behind Dior’s latest launch, Miss Dior Rose N’ Roses.
Carole Biancalana, master of Le Domaine de Manon, harvesting the flower fields in Grasse, France.
“With Miss Dior Rose N’ Roses, I did not want to create a rose, but rather the incarnation of a floral profusion,” explains François Demachy, the Dior perfumer and creator of the scent. A child of Grasse, Demachy recalls fond memories growing up among its fabled flower fields. “I wanted to renew that powerful feeling of ‘nature,’ like when I was a child and saw the first fields of flowers blooming in May,” he says. “The rose, for me, is precisely that wonderment. I wanted to be as close to the flower as possible.”
Château de la Colle Noire, Christian Dior’s final home in Montauroux, France
Christian Dior, himself a resident of neighboring Provence, eventually made his final home at nearby Château de la Colle Noire, where he cultivated 90 hectares of May centifolia roses. Today, the maison continues the tradition with a renewed effort to support the local flower fields and young growers.
The roses of Demachy’s homeland are highly celebrated for their heady, honey-tinged scent. Harvested only during the month of May, the centifolia rose de Grasse is precisely plucked at peak fragrance. To create a profusion of floral freshness, Demachy amplifies the prized rose de Grasse with Turkish and Bulgarian roses. Bergamot, mandarin and geranium notes add a juicy freshness, while a musky base propels the vibrant florals even further. “The rose is a classic that goes with everything and, thus, offers endless possibilities to shape it,” says Demachy. “Imprinting one’s signature on this universal flower is an exciting exercise in style.”
Perfumer François Demachy, creator of Miss Dior Rose N’ Roses, in his lab
A truly abundant bouquet of roses, the pink juice and feminine bottle of the new scent capture the spirit of the modern, fresh Miss Dior. “The name of this new composition, Miss Dior Rose N’ Roses,” Demachy explains, “beautifully highlights its floral profusion with a reputation mirroring the olfactory echo I wanted to create in base notes that set the heart of roses ringing.”
Miss Dior Rose N’ Roses, 3.38 fl. oz. for $107, by Dior at Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills; dior.com