Vintage Miss Dior by Christian Dior is a fragrance loved by men and women alike. I finally understood why when I went back in time to try a 1950s/60s eau de toilette version. It was extremely different than the Miss Dior eau de toilettes that I’d tried in passing during the 1980s and 1990s. What an absolute stunner! It was a highly sophisticated, unisex, floral, smoky cuir de russie leather on me as much as a floral chypre
Oddly, however, when doing a comparative review with the same era cologne concentration, I had a dramatically different experience.
I cannot explain why the 1950s/60s Miss Dior cologne was so different in scent and performance to the same-era eau de toilette. Counterfeit fragrances were uncommon in the 1950s/1960s, the era of the houndstooth black-and-white bottles that I own. Further, the vintage cologne had the definite DNA of the vintage Miss Dior eau de toilette: the aldehydes, citrus, vetiver, and oakmoss. But what stunned me so much about the latter was its gorgeous floral leather aspect, its lush gardenia over cuir de russie style leather, its castoreum style muskiness replete with ambered goodness.
Little to none of that was in the vintage cologne. I don’t think my bottle was off because nothing smelled rancid; it was simply that much of the middle and bottom tier notes were missing. Not the oakmoss, however, which remained in the cologne. It’s not a material that someone could easily counterfeit in the 2020 era, so my guess is that the cologne concentration simply does not fare well with my particular skin chemistry. In fact, my skin tends to eat through cologne concentrations from any age, including modern ones. It’s the only possible explanation I can come up with.
Let’s start with Miss Dior’s notes:
Aldehydes, Galbanum, Clary Sage, Gardenia, Bergamot, Narcissus, Iris, Carnation, Orris, Muguet, Jasmine, Rose, Neroli, Oakmoss, Leather, Vetiver, Patchouli, Labdanum, Sandalwood & Amber.
Men, don’t be misled by how many florals are on this list.
So, what does the glorious, gorgeous, fully unisex vintage Miss Dior EDT smell like? My detailed review:
(Review THREAD) 1. Vtg #MissDior, a legend loved by men & women alike.
Truly STUNNING #scent in its old/oldest form, 50s/60s, far more so than the 80s & 90s ones I tried.
Highly sophisticated, unisex, floral, smoky cuir de russie leather on me as much as a chypre – JOY!
— Kafkaesque (@Kafkaesque_Blog) January 2, 2022
Now, the hugely disappointing vintage Miss Dior cologne:
1. Wholly unimpressed by the vtg cologne version of Miss Dior during my first test. SO terribly different to the stunning EDT from the same era. So flat, two-dimensional, limited in range of notes. So I'm testing it a 2nd time on a diff. arm to double check but Meh so far. https://t.co/FMRy2epvSv
— Kafkaesque (@Kafkaesque_Blog) January 4, 2022
A few final points that I either mentioned in passing or elsewhere on Twitter. First, I purchased by 80% full 4 oz, 120 ml vintage Miss Dior eau de toilette for an incredible bargain price of $18.99, excluding shipping. The smaller 2 oz EDC was more expensive but not by much. If I recall correctly, it was somewhere around $22. However, many vintage Miss Dior EDT bottles go for more than I paid, especially when they’re a full 4 oz. Yet, even then, they are a bargain by modern pricing standards. One Twitter follower said he paid roughly $65 for his full 4oz vintage EDT.
Second, a few people had difficulty using my Twitter link within the thread to a site that helps you identify vintage Miss Dior bottles, so let me post to it here to avoid any trouble: Christian Dior Perfume Bottles. Per that site, the houndstooth-marked Miss Dior bottles were first released in the 1950s. Keep in mind that Miss Dior was launched in 1947, so the houndstooth bottles are what I would tell you to look for because they are most likely to have the original formulation. I’ve heard, however, that the bottles with the white caps from the 1970s aren’t bad, either.
Third, I want to emphasize again that the vintage Miss Dior eau de toilette is fully unisex. In fact, in terms of my personal acquaintances, I know more men who wear it than women. I believe that’s because it has a strong leather or floral cuir de russie aspect in addition to being a chypre with lots of pre-IFRA/EU oakmoss.
Lastly, I would recommend looking for an eau de toilette over the eau de cologne. It’s not related to my trouble, per se, but simply more of a general rule that eau de toilettes will always be richer, fuller, and last longer, not to mention perform better in sillage and potentially have a higher concentration of raw materials than a cologne concentration. The latter always has the thinnest, lightest, and shortest-lived formula. (Obviously, a vintage pure parfum would be the best of all, but those are expensive on eBay and I’m trying to recommend something that could work with more people’s budgets.)
Have a great day and, if my reviews interested you, happy hunting!