Every rose has its thorns. Unless, of course, we’re speaking of the mystical Rose de Granville. Capturing the heart and mind of Christian Dior himself from very early on, the extraordinary flower smothered the cliffs of Normandy, creating a sea of roses that extended to the horizon. It was here, close to the gardens of his family’s Villa Les Rhumbs, that Dior’s passion for roses was truly realised.
If you have followed Dior’s beauty journey closely, you will understand intricately the lasting mark the queen of flowers has had on the House. As the oldest flowering plant, its instantly recognisable essence has woven its way into the fabric of the House – across fragrance, skincare and cosmetics. But most certainly, it’s the Rose de Granville whose presence has had the most impact. For the uninitiated, the true and unique power of the rose was discovered by genius rose grower and breeder Jérôme Rateau, leading to the creation of the Rose de Granville. But what is it about this particular flower that sets it apart?
From a selection of 40,000 flowers, the Rose de Granville is graced with an extraordinary genetic heritage: boasting a phytochemical wealth of over 120 molecules and micronutrients from stem to petals. It also has the remarkable ability to self-repair and regenerate – derived from the flower’s magical sap – offering the same reparative benefits to the skin. In simple terms, the Rose de Granville has a proven natural potency against inflammation and ageing that can’t be found in any other varietal.
It’s what makes the Dior Prestige skincare line, which is infused with the rose’s extracts, so efficacious; resulting in a unique creation possessing an unexplainable life force and resilience that can be felt every step of the way. It might seem like a fairly large weight for a single rose to carry on its shoulders, but similarly to all Dior Prestige creations, the proof is in the science.
For Diandra Politano, Dior’s newly appointed local skincare expert for Australia, her journey with the House has always been rooted in Dior Science. Recounting her early experiences with Dior, she tells me it was during a facial experience that she first became familiar with the efficacy and science behind the range – a moment of learning that initiated her “slow, organic and considered” relationship with the House.
“The skin therapist was so excited and passionate as she shared her wealth of knowledge with me about Dior Science. From that day, I was extremely fascinated by the line. As I got to know more about the products and the brilliant science behind the brand, I began to appreciate the similarities in our philosophies.”
The philosophies she is referring to are her shared passion of classical techniques that are enhanced and advanced by new discoveries and technologies. A visit to Politano’s flagship residence in the Sydney suburb of Balmain only reaffirms this. “The heart of my treatments will always remain classical; I like to stick to the ingredients that I know will work and provide results. However, I love keeping up with new research. As science evolves and we discover new technologies, I make improvements to the classics,” she tells me. On the other side of the world, nestled in the Granville Basin just 20 kilometres from the original cliffside of roses Dior fell in love with, the Rose de Granville is thriving in its own home of innovation and regeneration: the Dior Rose Garden.
More than a garden, this temple of biodiversity nurtures 20 separate plots across seven hectares, housing more than 32,000 existing rose bushes with the goal of reaching over 50,000 by 2023. As with all of Dior’s projects, the garden was developed in stages; with an appreciation for the preservation of the natural land front of mind, and is maintained daily by a community of enthusiasts – rose growers, agroecologists and landscape gardeners – who are devoted to enhancing the sustainable and resilient nature of the Rose de Granville.
“Seeing the amount of research and clinical trials they perform, Dior Rose Garden is a place of innovation and transmission of knowledge. Luxury skincare can often be just about the fancy bottles not backed by any science or able to provide any real results, but Dior Science has managed to cultivate the best results-driven ingredients and formulate them in a way that is suitable and safe to use on all skin types and concerns,” shares Politano.
It’s this sentiment that has inspired the newest addition to the Dior Rose Garden – a newly built laboratory that has fostered the development of a new ingredient and is the secret behind the House’s latest addition to the Dior Prestige line, La Crème. Located at the heart of the garden and equipped with a mobile extraction unit, Dior has been able to take its extraction methods further by preserving the freshness and molecular richness of the Rose de Granville. This process – which first requires cold pressing the petals in the mobile unit right in the garden, before transferring the rose concentrate to the laboratory where it is subjected to electromagnetic waves and centrifuged – makes it possible to isolate an extract that contains 88 different molecules. An elixir obtained without solvents, using only the water naturally presented in the freshly picked petals, it’s the purest extract ever derived from the Rose de Granville.
“Dior Prestige is so efficacious, not just because of the Rose de Granville, but also because of the entire process the rose goes through. From the extracting of the ingredient, the separation of the bioactive and inactive molecules, then the delivery systems to ensure the actives are able to get to the skin at peak efficacy.”
“The new eco-extraction process created by Dior Science has managed to extract the incredible sap from the rose's stem. Remarkably, this extract, called Rosapeptide, is reportedly four times more effective on the skin than ingredients such as niacinamide, vitamin C and retinoic acid,” Politano explains.
This is where La Crème thrives. Charged with Rosapeptide, the new super ingredient is a concentrate of four ingredients – rose fraction, rose sap and two bio-peptides – working in synergy to help strengthen the skin barrier, hydrate and plump the skin. Honouring its commitment to service all skin types, the Dior Prestige La Crème has been created in two different formulations: a lighter and richer formula. The product is also composed of 94 per cent natural-origin ingredients, which Politano expresses is a significant point of note for consumers who can’t use synthetic active ingredients.
So, how do you incorporate La Crème into your existing beauty regime? Politano’s best advice is to take things slow.
“I would recommend everyone to start off by using La Crème as a stand-alone product in the evening to hydrate – this way you can really see the results and feel just how incredible it is, without the help of any other skincare. Then after a month slowly re-introduce your serums.”
“For me, the product feels like a nurturing cocoon for the face, especially in the cooler months. Due to its ability to provide hydration and repairing capabilities, it even completely minimises any downtime and flakiness I usually get after intensive salon treatments, like peels and skin needling.”
Though the rolling hills of Normandy might not be an option, Dior Prestige La Crème takes us there.