Friday, December 9, 2011

J'adore J'adore! J'adore Dior! J'adore mon grand-mère!

*Currently listening: C'etait Une Histoire D'amour by Edith Piaf
*Currently wearing: Orange Blossom (The LUSH one, not the Joe Malone one - though I do love that one as well.) Guess I should be wearing J'adore due to the nature of the post, but I did work tonight, and that just seamed weird....

"Perfume is the finishing touch of a dress." - Christian Dior

"Flowers are Dior and Dior is flowers." - Francois Demachy (Perfumer for Dior) 

Monsieur Dior w/ Model donning one of his "New Look" designs
If you know me well enough to have some knowledge of my seemingly shallow obsession with many things "pretty" and "labels", you'll also know that I have a thing for Dior. I feel as though I need to be specific; OLD SCHOOL DIOR. As in the New Look. New Look? In 1947 Monsieur Dior, claiming that women were fed-up with the uniforms and unadorned clothing of WWII; Vogue described The New Look as being "from the era of Madame Bovary…wasp-waisted Gibson Girl shirtwaists, pleated or tucked…slow-sloped, easy shoulders…wrapped and bound middles--barrel (almost hobble) skirts--longer, deeply shaped shadow-box décolleté-padded hip. . . ."

You must be asking, (unless I've you've sat through one of my gooey waxings of "Here's why I j'adore Dior!") "Kathleen, what's the big deal about Dior anyway? Plus, what the hell does it have to do with perfume!? I mean I thought this was a perfume blog anyway?" Let me explain. Enter my maternal Grandmother, Grace Wiltz Byrd.

mon grand-mère et mon grand-père

mon grand-mère et moi

If there is anyone on this planet that I have idolized, it's my Grandma Byrd. She was an INCREDIBLE woman! I could go on and on about her, but that's not the point for this completely, and I'd end up crying and inevitably listening to Strauss' Vier Letzte Lieder. OK, I'll throw in some Jessye Norman here just because it's f'gorgeous! My grandmother is the only other professionally trained musician in either side of my family, she was a fantastic seamstress, and while still being a lady...didn't take any crap from anyone...oh yeah, and the biggest thing, she LOVED...UNCONDITIONALLY! But back to the point.... The Grandma Dior link.

Some of my most special memories w/ her were of lazy Saturday afternoons in her sewing room sitting on her floor digging through her fabric cabinet as she sewed. At the back of her fabric cabinet were old issues of Vogue. Somehow flipping through those old issues...part of me think they went back all the way TO 1947, it was pretty evident that I liked the Dior and the New Look aesthetic. (I feel I should point out, for the dichotomy's sake, that when I visited my Granny LeBlanc, I was flipping through her copies of National Geographic. Come to think of it, I put subscriptions to those two magazines on my Christmas list.) My Grandma explained it to me and how it was how Dior invissioned women would want to dress after the unadorned and mostly unfeminine looks of the WWII era. I was hoooked! I thought the New Look and Christian Dior was the MOST GLAMOROUS THING EVER! I'm sure I made a vow quite like this to my six-year-old self, "When I'm a grown up lady, I'M going to own DIOR!"

Growing up and living my early adulthood in SETX (South East Texas - I won't type it again), it's not like I could just waltz into a Dior boutique. BUT....I could buy perfume at Dillard's...ooooohhhhh...faaaaancy! I can say with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that I bought my first bottle of J'adore in 2000, the year after it was introduced. I remember this because it was during my run for Student Government President during my Junior year of undergrad. I didn't run because I had any lofty political aspiratoins or anything. The guy was going to run unapposed, and well, that's just CRAP! So in one of my moments of "mighty proclamations" I went and filled out my application to run, so that was that. Oh...make no mistake about it, I lost...MISERABLALY, which deep down inside I knew I was going to...but that wasn't the point. The point was to run.

Anyhow - I'm sure I bought the J'adore because it was Dior, and it smelled very "adult" to me. At the time I was on a strict rotation of Bath and Body Works "Sun Ripened Raspberry" and Victoria's Secret "Strawberries and Champagne." Looking back now at the notes - I'm pretty sure the rose and the blackberry musk did it for me, as well as the clever clever advertising of something like, "J'adore is a fragrance that celebrates the renaissance of extreme femininity and the power of spontaneous emotion...." Yeah, that would have pretty much done it for me at the time.

So, now in my minds-nose (I've decided that's a term) I equate J'adore w/ a lady-like version of being "balls'y", I tend to wear red with it a good majority of the time. (So fair warning, if you happen to smell me wearing J'adore, I have a clear purpose in mind...which given the day...could vary, but will be carried out with steeled determination.) I don't think that it's the fragrance that I'd just pick up now in the store if I were going to buy something, but I still love it and it has special place in my hear, and there will always be bottle on my vanity. more thing - the bottle, I just did some reading about it on the Dior website, saying it was supposed to evoke the Haute-Couture silhouette - which I can see. To me, I can't help but think of the Padaung women of Burma; another cultural expression of what is beautiful.


Follow this link for a visually stunning video that the youtube posted describers as, "This movie clip is actually two promotional videos combined together. The first part is a commercial about the House of Dior and J'Adore, and the second part is about the "kitchen" of the mentioned fragrance. The second part starts with Christian Dior's residence at Granville/France, continues with flower fields of Grasse and essential oils , the lab, the production phase and finally the making of the bottle for the special edition of J'Adore."

Side note: The perfume was my gateway drug to Dior. Nine years and 1,800 miles later was the purchase of a Dior bag. Buying it gave me actual heart palpitations where "Dear Friend" (DF in the first post) can attest to! I had planned for YEARS to buy that bag, it's a total classic, and will have it into my handbag rotation until the day my shoulders can no longer support the weight a hand bag. It will be willed to someone because as I've said many times, "I'd cremate it with me, but it's WAY too beautiful to be burned!"

Hipstamatic "Portrait" of the Dior BagChild


 *Currently listening: Sous Le Ciel De Paris by Duo Gadjo

No comments:

Post a Comment