Perfume Review: Dior La Collection Couturier Parfumeur New Look 1947

When Dior recently released its flotilla of “La Collection Couturier Parfumeur” scents, adding seven new fragrances to the existing Eau Noire, Bois d’Argent, and Ambre Nuit, I wasn’t interested. I’m not a big Dior fan anyway, and most of the descriptions of the new scents left me cold. A Leather, a Big Oriental, a Soft Floral, a Citrus Aromatic, more Colognes… um, no, thanks. I’m all stocked up. The only one that had any appeal at all for me was New Look 1947, and it didn’t seem all that exciting.

And then some commenters on a post at Now Smell This mentioned that New Look 1947 was a “big white floral,” and I was suddenly interested again. It seems that every year about this time, I reenter my All Tuberose, All the Time phase (Daisy wanted to know how that was any different from the rest of my year!), so “big white floral” suddenly yanked NL47 back onto my To-Test list.

In the interest of full disclosure, I declare to you that most of my year is Intermittently Tuberose, and I never seem to lose interest in that note, but cold weather just seems to call for it. (More tuberose-centric fragrance reviews to come over the months of January and February.)

Here’s the ad blurb from Dior: New Look 1947 ~ “February 12, 1947: A major event was held at 30, avenue Montaigne in Paris, where Christian Dior presented his first fashion show. With his flower women and bright colors, the Designer launched a fresh fashion trend. “It’s a New Look!” exclaimed Carmel Snow, Editor-in-Chief at Harper’s Bazaar, thus christening the Designer’s inimitable style. Today, the New Look has become an explosive, generous, ultra-feminine and floral fragrance.” The notes for the spicy floral include tuberose, benzoin, ylang ylang, rose, jasmine, vanilla and iris. The perfumer is listed as Francois Demachy, and New Look 1947 is intended for women.

A spicy floral with tuberose? An ultra-feminine floral? Count me in. And this review – Octavian at 1000 Fragrances (you may need to be patient and wait for the page to load, as I have to do) – incited me to jump in on a split of New Look ’47 when one popped onto my radar. Octavian calls this fragrance “parfum lingerie” and evokes greige/nude/pastel colors, “soft, powdery, creamy, very sensual.”  He also calls it “an infinite smoothness of flowers melting into an abstract note.”

So what I was expecting was a quiet white floral draped in yards of pastel tulle, moisturized and made-up and powdered and confectionized. Did I get that? Nope. Dior has a lot of nerve, calling it “explosive” and “generous,” not to mention “spicy floral.” It’s not very floral at all, nor spicy; in fact, my first impression was of cold cream.

I haven’t seen cold cream at the drugstore for yonks, but my mother used to use it to remove her eye makeup (when she bothered to wear it – most of the time she was a lipstick-and-mascara-only gal) when I was a child. I don’t even know what’s in cold cream, although at a guess I’d say there’s a hefty slug of lanolin in there. It’s a heavy, smooth, solid cream right on the verge of greasy, and if you have ever smelled it, you’ll likely recall its distinctive odor.

There I was testing New Look 1947, frantically sniffing my wrists every chance I got, looking for the tuberose, and getting “cold cream” and “face powder” instead. At first I thought it was just the dry weather we’ve been getting, because that can cause me to miss certain notes. (I spent at least two months thinking L’Arte di Gucci was just a nice gardeny rose, no kidding. I totally missed the cassis bud and costus until I wore it one humid afternoon. And when I smelled it entire, I fell really hard for it, in all its inconvenient, demanding glory.) So I cranked up the humidifier, which made my winter-dry nostrils feel better but did nothing for NL47. And then I wore it while doing some fairly energetic housecleaning, and that didn’t bring out the tuberose either.

I wore New Look several times, reapplying throughout the day – I get about three hours of wear out of it, about average for an EdT on my skin – and paying a lot of attention to it in repeated attempts to tease out the tuberose. Oh, it is there, all right, but it’s buried, as if the powdered-and-lotioned debutante in the tulle dress has one single tuberose petal tucked into her ballet-pink dancing slippers. Except that her dress isn’t tulle, it’s crepe de chine.

The only time I get much sillage from New Look is right at the beginning, when it’s all prim aldehydic sparkle. Very quickly it fades into a quiet skin scent, even if I do the “overspray” trick of spray-until-wet, let dry, and spritz one more time. That’s extravagant spritzage for me, but some fragrances just need that kind of presence to even register (notably, certain L’Artisans and Annick Goutals). This quiet skin scent has, I admit, the really lovely texture of crepe de chine, or that microfiber material called “peachskin”: soft, nearly sueded, smooth and drapey, and if you run your hand across the fabric as someone is wearing it, you can feel the warmth of the skin underneath. Try as I might, I cannot pick out any of the florals at all, they are so integrated into that creamy-powdery base. It stays in that vein for most of its existence on my skin, and reminds me of the basenotes of Mariella Burani, and even in a small way of Iris Poudre.

Patty’s review at Perfume Posse was more pithy (and a lot more fun, if not very close to my experience), something like, “J’Adore L’Absolu and Diorissimo had a hot two-week tropical affair and made New Look 1947 from their lusty floral loins.” Now that would have been worth it, in my opinion. I love lusty floral loins. Not to mention that J’Adore L’Absolu and Diorissimo (and Dolce Vita, come to think of it) are the only Dior fragrances I really enjoy.

New Look seems very much on the femme side of the aisle to me, with its accent on the tonalities of makeup – powder and cream – but I do know of at least two men who are enjoying it (and finding it much more of a white floral than I do). I like New Look 1947, but I do not love it, and I have to admit that it seems a little derivative to me. Not that that’s bad, mind you, but I already have a bottle of Mariella Burani, and a decant of Iris Poudre! I may keep trying to amp up the tuberose in it, because if that note registered to me, New Look 1947 might be more distinctive. I’ll wear it, of course, because it’s quiet and comfortable as silk underwear. It’s entirely polite and unlikely to annoy even your most rabidly anti-perfume neighbor.

It’s just a little sad that “quiet and comfortable” is the nicest thing I can say about it.

Top image is of the fragrance from Fragrantica. Second image is of several models in various New Look dresses from oldmagazinearticles.com. Third image is from a 1947 magazine, showing a travel makeup kit, from ggardenour at eBay.

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28 thoughts on “Perfume Review: Dior La Collection Couturier Parfumeur New Look 1947”

  1. I’m actually curious about some of these. Not so much this one. But I love to read you write about almost anything, like or dislike. Say, have you tried parfumerie generale tuberose couture? If so, what did you think?

    1. Thanks, Brian! Funny, I was not in the least tempted by any of the others in the collection… but then I’m not big on leather, and I have given up on trying to like cologne. (I mean the traditional formula, not the Stuff That Gets Put on the Men’s Aisle, wink.)

      I liked PGTC – oh, hey, that’s pretty close, abbreviation-wise, to EL PCTG, isn’t it? – and if a bottle fell from the sky I’d wear it. As it is, though, Carnal Flower wears the tuberose crown, leaving TC holding hands and crying with the other runners-up. Here’s my review: http://museinwoodenshoes.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/tuberose-series-12-tuberose-couture/

  2. I have not tried any of the new Diors yet, but this does sound disappointing. Of course it’s Dior, and their “return to classics” theme here obviously need to be post-Poison/Addict to signal a sea change, but if that’s all they could come up with, I would rather that they spent that budget on putting the life back into Diorissimo.

    1. Well, D – I’m apparently in the minority here, other people seem to really like NL, the way they were raving about it on the FB group the other day. (I Blame Carlos.)

      Poison I am still on the fence about, having gotten intrigued with it in the fall – that review’s still to come, because Poison eats my head and I can’t quite manage to write down how it goes. Sometime in the next few months it’ll show up, I suppose.

      It would be good if they renovated the classics. Alas, I fear Diorissimo is really dead, due to the restrictions on the muguet materials (hydroxycitronellal?). I have a bottle of ca. 2006 stuff, and it’s good, but not transcendent. I’m seriously thinking about ditching it and just getting some Carillon pour un Ange instead.

  3. Totally agree, not very floral nor spicy, has a “cosmetic”sort of undertone and comfortable is about the nicest thing to say about it. It’s sad. I am a huge Dior fan and loved the first 3 la Collection scents. And all of these new ones were totally underwhelming for me 🙁

    1. Hi, M – yes, cosmetics. And it’s Not Bad, it’s really not. I just don’t love it. I think, maybe, that it’s unobjectionable attitude bores me. And yet I have plenty of “unobjectionables.”

      I should send it to Tamara down there.

  4. Mals you know I’m with Carlos and Claudia and love this one!
    Always disheartening when one of my scent sistahs doesn’t love what I go gahgah for 🙁 I’m sorry you don’t care for it.

    I can go crazy like mad and spritz this wildly (as you know I’m fond of doing 😉 and it just is lovely, lovely.
    Soft, creamy , powdery..MMMMM. No cold cream here.
    But then I wore Noxema.

    It’s hard to stack it up against Carnal Flower , two totally different scents but I can see how you got excited for it, your homies gettin’ y’all worked up and all. Aha.

    Speaking of , damn it, I fell for CF last night…I sprayed the rest of my chintzy 2.5 sprayer all over my neck and décolletage and lo and behold, it started to unfurl it’s gorgeousness all over me and I was smitten and ………
    I WANT THIS. Damn it. 😀

    xoxo~ T

    1. Oh, well, sweetie, we can’t ALL love the same stuff. Because that would be, you know, dull. Clonelike.

      I think I’d like it somewhat better if I hadn’t expected white floral. I.e., It’s Really Carlos’ Fault.

      Carnal Flower is the Queeeeeeeeen. (“Unfurl its gorgeousness, huh?” I must steal that phrase.)

  5. You know, I’m going to have to go back to materials and notes and think again–pretty funny, considering neither are my bailiwick, unless we’re gardening.

    But still…I was put off by what I considered a mid-level screech, and not until I read Marina’s comment did I have an “aha!” Your review, however, Mals…your review had me nodding along throughout. Maybe it was that I was incorrectly primed by the initial cries of “ooh” and “aah” I heard…maybe it was the stampede of feet toward getting some of their own…but what I ended up finding in the bottle was certainly NOT what I anticipated, and definitely not something that struck me as my cup of tea.

    I’m giving it a go one more time before moving on to Round Two: The Scents Themselves. Because I’m a glutton for punishment? Naw. Because I’m trying to give it a fair shake.

    Naw. I’m askeered I’m missing something. And maybe a *wee* bit of said glutton.

    1. (Wow, S, that was weird: your comment was in my pending file. New email addy? WordPress hiccups?)

      Anyway, yeah – what was in the decant was pretty far from what I’d expected, and even farther from what I’d wanted. That list of notes – tuberose, benzoin, ylang ylang, rose, jasmine, vanilla and iris – still appeals, though. Ooh, idea: I’m going to Fragrantica and search for that combo and see if the database comes up with anything. Back in a minute.

      1. Well, that was unproductive: Slava Zaitsev Maroussia (which went all shaving-cream on me), Guy Laroche Clandestine, Christian Lacroix C’est la Vie (yeah, the one LT dissed), Nicole Miller, Balenciaga Michelle (we’ve discussed this one), Leonard Fashion.

        I’m all for giving things a fair shake, but eventually you find that Enough is Enough.

        I would not have thought this one up your alley, either.

      2. (Hiccup…hmm…we’ve had on both sides of the aisle, now…I am working from a different/new computer pretty regularly now, but that shouldn’t do it…my son borrowing it to Skype might be more to the point…anyway…)

        You know what’s got me clenching my teeth now? IT BEHAVE NICELY TODAY. I don’t know whether to pat myself on the back for trying my spinach yet another time, and finding something to love about it, or just fling it against the wall, because there’s plenty else to occupy my time. Productively, even.

        I should just buy some Kiss Me Tender and be done with it.

  6. Hi Mals, enjoyed your take on New Look and I see your point. I didn’t get so much cold cream though. On me, it went on quite lovely and I begged it to stay, but it just floated off and left me wanting more. I only dabbed, so maybe I should try a hefty spray, but I’m not holding out much hope. I do want to try the original trio however.
    Oh, and do slide over in the pew to make room for me in the church of the “big white floral” (waves to new fellow convert Tamara above). I’m officially in awe of the masterpiece that is Carnal Flower. It sort of happened overnight and suddenly I “got” it. Consider me smitten.

    1. Ann, it does have to be sprayed liberally on my skin for me to get those 3-4 hours, so that might make a difference in the staying power for you.

      Carnal Flower is Da Bomb, and there is plenty of room in the pew! I do know people who prefer Fracas (heretics!), but I don’t think I’ve heard a single person slam CF on the boards. I suppose it’s possible for people to hate CF, but if that’s happening they’re staying very quiet about it. Hmm.

      1. Am I correct in thinking you don’t like Fracas? I can’t remember – seriously. You know of my Deep and Abiding Adoration for Mme. Cellier’s genius baby….love Carnal Flower, too…but she sits at Fracas’ right hand, in my opinion.

        xo

        btw – I am loving NL1947, even with that pesky musk-slap at the end. But I would be hard-pressed to say it has any tuberose in it. Cold cream? Yes.

        But I love cold cream.

        love you, too! Happy New Year!!!

      2. Hey there, Miss A – I’m behind on replies!

        I *like* Fracas. The OB in it, though, is a little like a mosquito in the tent… it keeps singing NEEEEEEE in my ear, and I slap at it and it goes away. Until it comes back. Repeat. Repeat. So I don’t *love* Fracas, no. 🙂

        I think I would have liked NL47 better if I hadn’t been expecting tuberose.

  7. After a long long feast of big orientals, I found myself digging tubeys again… Must be the after-Christmas effect.
    I’m getting my satisfaction from carnal flower, and, surprisingly, Kai (Beyond love, I usually turn to when temperatures get higher).

    I am curious to try NL. Musing on the list of notes, which do seem right up my alley, I have a name: Bizance (not sure about the spelling), by Rochas.
    A fragrance-suggestion software always pulls this up, when I tell my favorites, but I have never stumbled upon a bottle. Have you? I am very curious, the notes should be the ones of NL + incense… A big floral, with a big tuberose, I read somewhere; but notes can be so deceiving!

    1. Z, I have a mini bottle of Byzance but have not gotten around to trying it. Just from sniffing the bottle, it did not seem very tuberosey to me, but of course that’s not a proper test.

      Besides tuberoses, I’m lusting after Dark Roses again. It’s the turn of season into COLD, I think – we’re supposed to get more snow today.

      1. Hi Mals and Zazie,
        I remember Byzance from the ’80s, a soapy, creamy “floriental” that might have been a kissing cousin to Ysatis, which I loved at the time. I had a bottle, but don’t remember tuberose in particular, but it was so long ago. Plus I’m certain it’s been reformulated and I have not smelled the modern juice.
        But now you ladies have piqued my curiosity …

      2. P.S. I’m glad to see someone else is loving Kai (and of course, the queen, Carnal Flower). My son was in the hospital this summer for over a month and Kai was my go-to comfort scent during that time. I nearly finished up a whole roll-on of the oil.

      3. Ann, I think you’re right – Byzance seems rather close to Ysatis, without that big lemony slap Ysatis has up top. My mini is from ebay, and it’s purportedly “vintage,” so I don’t know about the refo.

        Kai is *nice*. It’s perfectly nice and green and pretty… I think I was annoyed at how expensive it is, when I felt I could have slapped it together with very little effort, using tuberose and jasmine sambac absolutes and a “green note” fragrance oil. Tuberose absolute on its own is super cheap and really gorgeous…

  8. Very Forgettable. Starts out pleasant, but fades quickly, and on the way has a screech that reminds me of the mid-development of Chanel’s Allure: Intimations of Toothache. If I want lingerie and face powder, I’ll go for Love, Chloe, which is more interesting and long-lasting. I’m annoyed now that I spent even a small amount on a 1.5 ml decant from TPC. But like you, I guess I’ll wear it.

    However, in the same package I got the same of Granville. That’s the sharp green one, which Octavian also liked. I do too. Its opening reminds me of Eau Sauvage, and the dry down (bizarrely) of L’Heure Bleue, which I adore. Something medicinal seems to creep in, perhaps more herbal than L’HB. Lovely. A large decant from TPC would not kill my credit card, but seeing as I already have L’HB in several concentrations, do I really need … ?

    Anyway, thanks for your review. Wish now I’d seen it before I bought the NL.

    1. Anne, you’re right. It’s distinctive only in that I’ve never run across a cold cream fragrance before (and hope not to again, honestly), otherwise totally forgettable. I don’t have any access to test the Chloe fragrances for free, so I doubt I’ll try Love, Chloe.

      Granville is the top of Eau Sauvage and the bottom of L’Heure Bleue?? Innnnnteresting. ES is probably one of the very few masculines I wear, and I do like L’HB in parfum. (No. No, if you already have L’HB, you don’t need something else like it…)

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