When Vol de Nuit was launched in 1933 it had a big success and for many years it was a bestseller for Guerlain. But Vol de Nuit was also an important moment in the history of the perfumery. It took the chypre accord to a next level with at least 3 important modifications - galbanum, orris (Iralia) and a sweet oriental base. While many see it as an Oriental I see it more as a chypre because it's more "corsé" than sweet vanillic.
In 1935 a new important perfume was launched - Shocking by Schiaparelli, a Parisian couturier known not only for its extravagant dresses with a surreal approach but also for her very tailored and elegant day suits. Shocking was done at Roure under the guidance of Jean Carles (but not by him). Shocking took Vol de Nuit idea in a new direction. It developed an important floral green heart (with rose-lily of the valley-gardenia) and added an animalic honey drydown with civet (and some notes already present in Tabu by Dana from 1931). Above all that stand a glorious aldehydic bouquet with a green gardenia note (acetate stiralyl) an idea that have already been used in a previous great success - Crêpe de Chine (Millot 1925). Then the war came and right after 2 other original creations appeared from the same Roure - the floral Vent Vert from Balmain (with galbanum overdose and a strong rose-muguet heart) and Ma Griffe from Carven (with a strong aldehydic and green gardenia note). It didn't take longer and a marvelous creation appeared - Miss Dior a green chypre but also an animalic chypre.
Inside we have:
the green gardenia note (stiralyl acetate)
an aldehydic note ( C11-C10)
an aromatic lavender-neroli note,
a floral heart rose-muguet-jasmine,
a chypre note (patchouli, iralia, animalic notes like in Vol de nuit)
a sweet coumarine-tonka-vanilla aspect
plus many other notes that made it so special and complex
Michael Edwards tells an interesting story about the paternity of Miss Dior and the help of Jean Carles.
The missing link between Vol de Nuit and Miss Dior is in my opinion Shocking.
While smelling Shocking it's impossible not to think Miss Dior without the aromatic top and with less patchouli.
I also have the feeling that the muguet note (+ the gardenia) is the same in both.
Shocking is a very good and interesting perfume but the history forgot it. When Dior was the king of fashion in Paris the star of Elsa Schiaparelli didn't shine anymore and very soon she will close her house. The history remembered only Miss Dior.
Miss Dior is descendant of Vol de Nuit with some very new ideas, all already experimented at Roure. In my opinion the spiritual father of Miss Dior is Jean Carles.
The perfume was relaunched for a short period in the end 70's. The ad is from 1979 Officiel.
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Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art