"Visiting the [Dior] flower fields in Grasse during the bloom of the Rose de Mai, which have this very short and incredibly fragrant season, that was just a dream," says Natalie Portman, who is the face of the new Miss Dior Eau de Parfum. It is a soft and lovely reincarnation of Dior's first-ever fragrance, Miss Dior, which launched more than 70 years ago â€” the newest Miss Dior is a warm and welcoming rose, "a fairly complex fragrance," says perfumer FranÃ§ois Demachy, who was tasked with reinventing the iconic original (which, do not worry, is still available).
The rose that he used â€” which Portman visited in Grasse â€” is also known as the Centifolia Rose. "The name means one hundred petals in Latin. Of course, you don't have 100 petals, but it is known for exuding its perfume molecules," says Demachy. He mixed it with delicate florals (lily of the valley, peony) and warm notes (musks, vanilla, sandalwood) for a sweetly warm and inviting scent. I sniffed and spritzed and wore it and it hit me â€” the mix reminded me of laughing with good friends and, probably, there is a huge bouquet of gorgeous flowers on the table.
There are things that bring joy to our everyday lives, and memories associated with fragrances can be one of them. I spoke with Portman about blissful memories, happy-making yellow dresses, and her favorite scents.
On visiting the Dior rose fields in Grasse: "It was hundreds of roses. I'm not so eloquent with this right now (laughs). I'm like, the 'field of rose' was hundreds of roses. I mean, mainly the thing that's impressive is the scent, of course, because it's just kind of carried on the wind. You don't have to lean over and smell it. You just stand there when it's blooming and this delicate fragrance surrounds you."
On her favorite non- perfume smell: "Definitely orange blossoms. We have so many in California. When they're blossoming, it's just incredible. It's such a scent of home for me."
If she were to be reincarnated as a beauty product it would be... "Maybe eye cream. I feel like that's the top thing that helps a tired mom. So that's what I would do, come back and servethe mothers of the world."
On the best-smelling place she's visited: "Tunisia. When we were there filming Star Wars, there were children always with handfuls of jasmine in the markets, and that was such a beautiful scent of the desert."
On the power of color: "I've been wearing a lot of yellow. It's really surprising how much it affects you, to just dress a little more joyfully. There's been so much heaviness in the world â€” so much suffering, so much anxiety. I think that finding joy and beauty wherever you can is helpful. I want to wear what makes me happy."
If Miss Dior were a color, it would be... "I think lavender. It's got this very kind of delicate, sophisticated, floral scent. To me, thatâ€™s lavender."
On the most colorful place in the world: "Probably India, in Rajasthan. The city [of Jodhpur] is quite blueâ€”the buildings, landscape. You look out, and everything is these different shades of blue."
If the Natalie Portman were a beauty look, it would be... "Quite minimal, probably just a strong lip and almost no makeup otherwise. I have about a five- minute attention span for doing my own hair and makeup. Lipstick is the best. Like, you have style, but it takes five seconds."
On her favorite beauty icon of fiction: "Anna Karenina. They describe her with these dark lips and dark hair and very kind of lush dresses. I mean, obviously, in terms of life and emotion, I would never hope to be like her. But in terms of her look, it sounds really beautiful."
On the actual person she finds most beautiful: "I always think about people like Frances McDormand, who are just so extremely themselves."
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