Scented Advent, December 16

Today’s Advent SOTD is Dior’s Gris Dior, created by François Demachy and originally launched in 2013 as Gris Montaigne. It is a very beautiful, modern, rose chypre, with the classic bergamot opening, floral heart of rose and jasmine, and base notes that include oakmoss and patchouli. The latter are used with a light hand, though, and are joined in the base by cedar, amber, and sandalwood.

The name Gris Dior refers to Maison Dior’s signature shade of pearl grey, which is one of my favorite colors. It is so much more than a combination of white and black; it has a soupçon of lavender and even pink. It is one of the softest, most elegant colors I can imagine; and this fragrance evokes it to perfection. The photo below, borrowed from a favorite blog, Bois de Jasmin, is of the earlier version, Gris Montaigne, but it captures the idea of the colors so perfectly (as well as the pink rose and the grey oakmoss) I wanted to share it:

Bottle of Christian Dior fragrance Gris Montaigne with pink rose, grey background
Dior’s Gris Montaigne; image from boisdejasmin.com.

Interestingly, the paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore (whose colors are exceptional, imho) sells a paint color called “Dior Grey”, but it is darker than what I think of as Dior grey, although it does align more closely with the darker accent colors on Dior’s flagship store on the Avenue Montaigne:

Facade of Dior flagship store in Paris
Dior’s flagship store, Avenue Montaigne, Paris; image from kafkaesqueblog.com.

Another favorite blog, Kafkaesque, had this review of the original Gris Montaigne, with some charming reminiscences of the actual store, which is painted in the house’s signature pearl grey. (I had a more positive view of the fragrance than Kafkaesque did; she loved the opening stages but was disappointed in the drydown). In couture, the combination of that pearl grey and pale pink was a favorite of M. Dior, dating back apparently to his childhood home, a rose-colored villa set above grey rocks. I have that combination in a favorite set of scarf and matching gloves in soft pink and grey cashmere (not Dior!); it’s such a pretty, feminine color scheme, and I’m now reminded to pull those out now that the weather is cooler. I can spray them with Gris Dior!

My experience with Gris Dior has been very satisfactory so far; I’m enjoying the drydown, as it gets warmer and cozier after the bright bergamot opening and soft floral heart. The use of oakmoss here is very clever; it evokes one of the most legendary chypre fragrances of all time, the original Miss Dior, named for M. Dior’s sister Catherine, a heroine of the French Resistance. It also lends the grey tones to the pale pink of the rose and jasmine floral accords in Gris Dior, because it is so lightly blended in that one doesn’t get the full force of what many perceive as the dark, inky influence of oakmoss in fragrance. Nevertheless, it is definitely there. Kafkaesque was troubled by the purple patchouli she smelled as dominating the base, but my nose doesn’t really pick that up. The amber and sandalwood accords in the base, undergirded by cedar, add to its warmth and soften the oakmoss.

Really, Gris Dior is a disarming and elegant fragrance that I could see wearing more often. Perfect for wearing to an office, and also lovely for a quiet, candlelit dinner out with a loved one. It is part of Dior’s “Collection Privèe”, and priced accordingly. Have you tried it, or any others from that collection?

12 thoughts on “Scented Advent, December 16

  1. I had a sample of Gris Dior and enjoyed it. Could see it being an excellent office friendly perfume. (Since I don’t work in an office, and the price point 😳) I didn’t pursue it but would participate in a split for a decant if one fell in my lap. My advent calendar yielded a mini of Queen Latifah Queen of Hearts – the other end of the price spectrum. Spicy, balmy, resins. Quite good for a celebrity perfume. I think I got the spray mini for $10. Unlike her first perfume, this one can still be obtained for reasonable prices – I saw 100mls of Queen listed for $180 on eBay!

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    • Isn’t it crazy when a scent like that goes stratospheric? I’m glad to say I really haven’t fallen down that particular rabbit-hole of chasing discontinued, originally drugstore scents. There are so many other lovely options available, especially for $180! And most for much less. Have you and your family recovered from all the championship excitement?

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  2. Glad you’re enjoying Gris Dior. I liked it but didn’t love it when I tried it. Oak moss and I are not always friends. My scent today is Ormonde Jayne’s Champaca, a lovely soft yellow
    floral. Champaca flowers grow in India and the Philippines. I think they are the national flower of the Philippines, but I may be mistaken about that. I love this fragrance and I want a full bottle so I can spray with wild abandon 😂❤️

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  3. I tried and liked Gris Montaigne (and planned to get some eventually – never happened), but I’m not sure if I tried on skin any of the Dior’s prive collection after the re-launch. I remember being overwhelmed by the new line-up when I saw them for the first time. So, I went through several trying them on the paper strip – and that was it. I know that I would have tested them all over time if I had a better access to that store. Short of that… I’ll be fine for now with my New Look, Mitzah and a mini of Mille … something – can’t remember the name.

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  4. Pingback: Perfume Chat Room, January 21 – Serenity Now Scents and Sensibilities

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