DIOR PRESTIGE has always been a popular choice for beauty connoisseurs, and recently it has made its way into the carefully constructed morning rituals of the so-called ladies who lunch, thanks to its quality ingredients, anti-ageing properties and sleek packaging. This autumn, the luxurious line has relaunched – think of it as a new and improved range with 40 times more concentrate of its star ingredient, Rose de Granville nectar, in its products. Highlights include a watery Le Nectar serum, which rebuilds skin cells, a La Crème de Teint liquid foundation and a Dior Institut Sculpting Petal designed to boost radiance and smooth unwanted lines on the face. In the lead-up to the official relaunch we sat down for a cosy chat with Edouard Mauvais-Jarvis, scientific communications director for Dior Skincare and Makeup, who worked with his team on the much-anticipated line.
Which are the hero products, and why?
We’re relaunching the same type of serum and crème as before, so I would say they are the ones, and a foundation formula too. In a classic cosmetics range, the hero products are always the serum and the crème, because they’re supposed to be really efficient in terms of how well they work. This time around, we have twice as much concentration of nectar in the serum and the crème is designed to be even more soothing and comforting.
Which part of the rose do you use?
For the first few years of Prestige, we were using the full rose – a part of the stalk and the full flower. What we’ve realised is that the molecules that were most important for us are located in the petals. So now we’re focusing on them and making final extractions.
We’ve seen the Dior Prestige commercials and sometimes the rose is white and sometimes it’s pink. Does the colour matter?
The Rose de Granville is a very pale colour, it’s more like the colour of lingerie. In the commercials, we often use the white rose for aesthetic reasons and because it connects more with the colour of the crème, but the real Rose de Granville is light pink and is extremely delicate. The shade is really important because some of the pigments that create the colour are related to how efficient the formula is. If it was white, we would not have the same potential.
The average Asian consumer generally has high demands when it comes to skincare. How do you deal with that?
We put a huge amount of concentration into the development of our products and we’re aware that Asian consumers are generally more demanding with skincare. We do have a high level of expectation for ourselves because as a luxury brand and maison, it’s part of our responsibility. We aim for perfection. Maybe you already know this, but we have innovation centres [in Tokyo and now Shanghai], so we have someone help us develop formulas and source raw materials to include them in our formulas. We test all our products on Asian skin before we put them on the market, so we’re sure that we can meet their expectations.
What sort of skin type is the line suited for?
Prestige has not been designed specifically for one skin type. It’s a crème that has a certain richness to it and it’s extremely comforting too. And now, thanks to this complete reinvention, it’s a weightless sensation. So you can have the best of both worlds. You can get the nutrition your skin needs without it being too heavy and you can have the moisturising effects also. Generally, our formulas adapt and bring benefits to almost every type of skin.
How would you integrate these products into your current skincare regime and would you always use the products together?
I would say that, ideally, you would combine the two products: Le Nectar serum and La Crème, but using all the other creams in your regimen would lead to interesting results too.Depending on the season and on the climate, sometimes you need something that’s richer and sometimes you need something that’s lighter. So you can integrate one or both products according to your skin’s needs and see what the climate or your environment is like. And yes, the products have been designed to be used together.
In the cosmetics industry, spending 15 years or so on a product isn’t very common. In this extremely long journey, what do you remember the most?
Actually, I was there for the last eight years only. The first year is spent on tasks like collecting data, and then suddenly things come together, and then you go from there to what you have to do next.The first few years were dedicated to transforming this rose, which was more like a wild bush with little flowers at first. We wanted to make a domestic rose that could be cultivated and used for cosmetic purposes and I think this was one of the most amazing challenges we’ve overcome for Prestige. We’ve been able to create a rose specifically for cosmetic purposes using traditional cross-breeding techniques. The genetic potential of the original rose has been enriched 100 times and this is really a key feature, because we’ve kept the key to its resistance and we’ve completely transformed it. Today, we have the ownership of this kind of rose, so we are the only ones who can use it and are extremely proud.