|PARIS, June 21 - Trek across town on a silvery evening of summer 2004, and odds are you'll notice the new publicity campaign for Dior's classic men's fragrance Eau Sauvage. On bus stops and billboards, the black and white image of a youthful (though maturely styled) model named Roc catches the eye - a chiseled face imprinted with a look blending mischief with seduction.
The fragrance, originally launched in 1966, has been given a total facelift. "Eau Sauvage," explained Hedi Slimane, "its photography by Inez Van Lansweerde, but also its new white carton with bee's nest is part of the redefinition of the masculine fragrances at Dior Parfums."
And now, three new colognes are set to join the olfactive family. "I'm very attached to this cologne project," Hedi told Fashionlines. "It's very personal, and I'm very happy about it because it is part of the long, classical French tradition in the spirit of the 18th century." Eau Noire, Cologne Blanche, and Bois d'Argent, with their short, essential and atonal formulas, express a new masculinity based on mindset, line and allure and reflect the esprit of the Dior Homme atelier at 40, rue François 1er. Thus, they may be worn as much by women as by men.
Hedi's tenure at the helm of the Christian Dior men's division has been all about paradox - making youthfulness look mature, while infusing classic elegance with youth; highlighting the grace notes of masculinity, while bringing out a subtle theme that is quasi feminine. The heart and soul of Dior Homme's success is that the formula reaches out to Generations X, Y and I, as well as a diverse fashion set of both genders.
Like everything else, Hedi pays meticulous attention to the creation of new fragrances. "The colognes represent a very personal work, resting on conviction and intuition," Hedi said. "For three years, I have been thinking of this concept, and I've worked on them with my Dior parfums collaborators and with a few noses, just like I work on a collection. It's really about a sense and a spirit, very precisely that of Dior Homme."
Cologne Blanche is a sweet scent intended for day wear, infused with rosemary from Provence, sweet orange from Portugal, Calabrian bergamot, orange blossom from Tunisia and vanilla pods from the Bourbon Islands. It corresponds to the architectural concept that inspired the atelier: accord built on the alternating balance of resonant notes.
Eau Noire is an evening scent, developed to harmonize with the black tie world of Dior Homme. "L'Eau Noire was made to measure from the beginning," Hedi explained. "It allowed me to trade in what I'd personally been wearing since the age of 11. Of course I was very resistant to the idea of change, but we spontaneously discovered what suited me." The formula is derived from white thyme leaves, clary sage, lavender, Cedar oil from Virginia, violet stems plus a drop of vanilla.
Falling between the two is Bois d'Argent, which is a woody fragrance meant to be worn at any time, and distilled from the quintessence of incense from Yemen, Iris from Tuscany, Myrrh from Somalia, Patchouli from Indonesia, honey from Alicante, and leather from the Sahara.
The new fragrances will be available in three sizes exclusively in the Dior Homme boutiques in Paris, New York, Milan and Tokyo, as well as in Dior Homme corners of Paris and Tokyo department stores. In December of 2004, perfumed candles will also be added to the line.