Christian Dior’s Château De La Colle Noire, located on the hinterlands of the Côte d’Azur, not far from Grasse and considered the birthplace of the perfume industry, has been restored by the brand.
Provence and the land in and around Grasse are closely intertwined with the history of the House of Dior. Christian Dior acquired his last property, Château de La Colle Noire, here in the region that provided him with so much inspiration where he claimed to feel “as much a perfumer as a couturier”. He chose the countryside of Provence over the hustle and bustle of Paris and pursued his dream of becoming a perfumer there.
The House of Dior has now returned to the incomparable climate and unique environment offered by Grasse, which is ideally located between the mountains and the sea, to grow May roses and Grandiflorum jasmine, thus continuing the Dior heritage. Restored, refurbished the way he wanted, it is now elegantly reviving his dream of being a perfumer.
Christian Dior originally acquired Château de La Colle Noire in 1951. He often stayed at this property in Montauroux, near Grasse, and loved getting away from Paris to foster his love for the land: there he could indulge his passion for flowers, creating a magnificent garden where he planted thousands of fragrant flowers.
“I would like that house to be my true home. ” -Christian Dior
The May rose and Grasse jasmine have always been important for Dior. These exceptional flowers nurture an ideal: beautifully unique flowers with exceptional fragrances.
Parfums Dior has now been fostering exclusive partnerships with young fragrant flower producers in the Grasse region for 10 years. “Domaine du Manon” and “Clos de Callian” set aside their entire crop of May roses and jasmine for Dior fragrances.
François Demachy, Dior’s perfumer-creator, works hand-in-hand with producers of these estates to craft a tailor-made Centifolia rose and a Grandiflorum jasmine especially for Dior fragrances.
To cement Dior’s presence in the region, the brand has established a laboratory at the Fontaines Parfumées site for Dior perfumer François Demachy. La Colle Noir Fragrance, a new addition to the brand’s fragrance line La Collection Privée Christian Dior, will also be available this May in celebration of the Château De La Colle Noire’s restoration. Featuring Rose de Mai, a hybrid rose harvested from the Dior-exclusive gardens at the Domaine de Manon in Grasse, the fragrance will be accompanied by notes of Sri Lankan sandalwood and white musk.
These estates enjoy a unique position between the sea and the mountains. Geological and climatic conditions give their flowers exceptional qualities. But above all, gathering these flowers requires an intense human effort. The pickers collect these exceptional flowers with the utmost care and attention, to ensure all the essence is preserved: jasmine can only be harvested at dawn, before sunrise, after the flowers have blossomed during the night. A profusion of exceptional flowers is required to make Dior fragrances: 300,000 flowers are needed to produce 1 kilo of rose absolute and 600 to 700 kilos of Grasse jasmine make 1 kilo of absolute.
Do note this: The Château’s restoration can be accredited as the brand’s desire to return to its roots throughout a stage of upheaval both within the house and within the industry as a whole. This desire rings especially true as other houses including Louis Vuitton, who announced the reopening of its Asnières atelier and Galerie this May, have made tactical moves to maintain the integrity of their houses.