Despite the now infamous 50 shades, there is only one grey to be seen in, according to Christian Dior. The fashion house has slipped the same elegant – call it pearl, call it dove – grey flannel into every haute-couture collection since 1947. To the man himself it was the colour of luxury, applied equally to fashion and façades at his Normandy home and Paris boutique at 30 Avenue Montaigne.
Gris Montaigne (£135 for 125ml), the latest addition to the inspired Christian Dior Collection Privée, is an olfactory celebration of all of the above. Style-wise, such a scent could be none other than a “chypre”, with its defining sillage of patchouli and oakmoss, redolent of the house’s first fragrance, Miss Dior, created in 1947 to accessorise the nipped-in waists and flared skirts of New Look tailoring. “Chypre is the grey of the perfume family,” says perfumer François Demachy. His succinct and elegant composition captures the timelessness of classic lines, then adds a clever, contemporary edge. Green-citrus bergamot, spicy, fruity Turkish rose and creamy, lucid jasmine recline voluptously on their classic bed of woody patchouli and very slightly moist oakmoss. The master stroke? Even the crystal juice has an elegant, smoky tinge.
Gris Montaigne will debut at Harrods, where, from Friday March 15 to Sunday April 14, something of a “Diorfest” is taking place, with myriad events in the Black, White and Colour Halls and Urban Retreat to indulge in – from a Dior Café to luxury facials, perfume bottle engravings and personalised skincare consultations.
As a lifelong Anglophile, Christian Dior admired British style, and this penchant is wittily reflected in a collection created exclusively for Harrods by Dior’s legendary make-up creation director Tyen. Grey offset by pink appears in the Claridges 48 Eye & Lip Palette (£52) – a tribute to the London launch of Miss Dior. The My Lady Face Palette (£48) encases a radiance powder impressed with the interlacing canework motif that embosses the Lady Dior handbag, made famous by the late Princess of Wales. The Duchess of Windsor, herself a Dior devotee, is also remembered with aristocratic pink Dior Addict Lipstick in Duchesse (£24) and Windsor Dior Vernis (£18) – a deep, steely grey with black highlights. Finally, soft pink Diorling Dior Vernis (£18) exploits the Franglais pun contrived for yet another of Dior’s signature chypre fragrances, this time from 1963. More than enough entente cordiale to brighten the greyest of British days.