“What I got from my mother was being comfortable with who I am, not having any taboos about nudity, and being able to move without feeling inhibited.” Camille Rowe, French-American model and actress, is the latest muse to the storied house of Christian Dior, behind the lens a second time for Parfums Christian Dior for the release of new fragrance Poison Girl.
Raised between Paris and California, Rowe brings an insouciant air to a scent that demands to be heard. It’s a sensuality all her own, a certain je ne sais quoi: where all-American confidence meets French nonchalance. Ask Rowe if she embodies the character of the Poison Girl and you get a resounding “yes, absolutely”.
“I really like sensual, assertive perfumes ... This girl is a lot like me, but a larger than life version ... She’s a lot more extreme and intense.” It’s a potency inherited from the original Poison – born in the 80s – the creation of perfumer Edouard Fléchier. “Poison did not, in any way, ask to be read between the lines,” writes scent critic Chandler Burr in Dior: The Perfumes. “It had not the slightest trace of coyness.”
The fifth incarnation of the iconic fragrance, ‘she’ is younger and fresher but no more inhibited. “You need to know how to strike a balance with this type of perfume,” says Rowe. “But I adore its instant personality.”
“It troubles and disturbs the senses,” François Demachy, the perfumer behind the latest reinterpretation, says of the scent. “Poison Girl is immediately identifiable, it’s an uncompromising signature.”
With notes of bitter orange, vanilla and a heart of damascena rose, it’s for the one who wants to take a risk, taking the part of your identity that existed in the shadows and pulling it into the open. Though too young to have experienced the phenomenon of the original, the legacy of the scent is not lost on Rowe. “Entering a house as legendary as Dior already means so much,” she says.
“You don’t get to make films for Dior with your friends every day. It was a different kind of energy.”
Electric, always, it’s the kind that leaves a mark.
Dior Poison Girl is on counters from tomorrow, February 29.