Dior signed Natalie Portman to represent its cosmetics line, including the iconic fragrance, Miss Dior—the same year Portman starred in Black Swan (2010)—and I, a college senior at the time (and seven semesters deep in French), was absolutely smitten with Portman. And all of those impossibly chic Miss Dior ads. I wasn’t the only young woman taken with the aesthetic of the perfume, of course; I recall some of my friends adding Miss Dior to their Christmas wishlists. I did not, but I certainly taped Natalie to the cinderblock wall of my dorm!
Miss Dior has been around since well before my college years, however. Although it’s been reformulated over the decades, Miss Dior has symbolized luxury, youthfulness, and femininity since 1947. The fragrance and its original packaging captured the essence of Dior’s post-war New Look. For modern Misses, the notes of mandarin, rose, patchouli, amber, and vanilla comprise a singular and complex fragrance with an understandable cult following.
Unfortunately, Dior is not considered cruelty-free as they sell products in mainland China where animal testing is required by law, so us vegan Francophiles must seek our impossible chicness elsewhere. But such a challenge often leads to even better finds, n’est-ce pas?
Enter PHLUR. We’ve covered this indie perfume company before, but now there’s a new reason to celebrate this vegan, cruelty-free and sustainably sourced line: Améline. This Parisian-inspired fragrance is formulated with a contemporary take on rose and gets its feminine magic from sparkling Italian bergamot, pink pepper, patchouli, and sandalwood. Améline is far from an exact dupe for Miss Dior—it’s its own scent, after all—but it does capture a certain spirit that’s both polished and effervescent while sharing some of the same enchanting notes.
“It is a classic scent, but twisted in a modern way. She’s the woman of today—beautiful, sophisticated, open and confident,” Améline’s perfumer Nathalie Benareau explains.
To get a better sense of Améline, listen to this PHLUR-curated playlist.
In addition to being sustainably sourced, Améline is hypoallergenic and free of parabens, phthalates, BHT, phenoxyethanol, and nitro or alicyclic musks, making it a safer, more transparent perfume.
Based in Austin, TX, PHLUR attempts to bridge the gap between conventional perfumes and essential-oil based fragrances to create perfumes that complex and original—without the chemical headache. Founder Eric Korman explains:
“We started our brand and created our product line because we found using only essential oils can lack olfactive diversity (as like color, nature only created so many hues). We thought that there must be a way to have more inspiring scents, that are still free from the bad stuff, kind to the planet (as over-harvesting botanicals for fragrance is not great), and available at an honest price. And so that’s what we did and want to try to keep on doing more of every day.”
What to explore PHLUR’s line? Here’s how to sample their fragrances.
Améline’s fuss-free opaque bottle looks unlike those of conventional perfumes for a genius reason. Because perfumes of all varieties are vulnerable to light, the opaque bottle helps preserve the integrity of the fragrance without the use of chemical stabilizers. Plus, the streamlined packaging allows the scent be the true star—and a star it is.
The bouquet of citrus, rose, sandalwood, and patchouli is described as medium-bodied but has an airy, light quality with my body chemistry, making it a lovely fragrance for truly any occasion—from work to window shopping to weddings. One thing is for certain—this fresh floral feels as luxe and sophisticated as a French classic. Wherever you wear it, it’s bound to make you feel like it’s April in Paris.
Do you enjoy floral fragrances? Which one is your favorite?
Related: Finding Your Perfume Personality
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Photo: Dior, PHLUR, Brooke Lark on Unsplash