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Fashion know-how and designer scents

DESIGNER Christian Dior grew up surrounded by the scents of the garden at his family home in Granville, France, and scent remained a source of inspiration throughout his career.

For him, a couture dress was incomplete without the finishing touch of femininity: fragrance.

In 1947, his 'New Look' was unveiled alongside his first fragrance, Miss Dior, and, from this point on, he created fragrances that evoked the beauty of his couture dresses. A make-up collection soon followed with the first lipstick in 1955 and, in 1969, the first full make-up range was launched.

Dior wanted his perfumes to be made with the same perfectionist care and uncompromising standards as his couture gowns. After his death in 1957, his legacy lived on with the creation of famous fragrances such as Eau Sauvage in 1966, and Poison and Fahrenheit in the 1980s. In 1986, Dior launched its first Capture product, it was then the first available serum on the market and was a huge success. It laid the foundation for the Capture Totale range that still exists today. In 1999, J'adore eau de parfum was launched. The curvaceous bottle reflects the famous 'figure 8' shape of the New Look. The neck of the bottle was inspired by high, lace, fin-de-siècle collars and the neck adornments of Masai women. An instant classic, actress Charlize Theron has been the face of the fragrance since 2004 and fronts the campaign for the new eau de toilette.

Today, along with its fragrances, the Dior beauty brand is famed for its mascaras, foundations and lipsticks (with the Dior Addict campaign fronted by Kate Moss).

The fans: Sharon Stone, Jude Law, Natalie Portman (pictured), Charlize Theron and Dita Von Teese.

If you buy one product: The new J'adore Eau de Toilette (€63 for 50ml) is a great starting point. Created by Dior's Francois Demanchy, it's a lighter take on the classic scent but just as feminine. And in that iconic bottle!

Where to get it: For Dior stockists call +44 207 216 0216, www.dior.com