When Christian Dior opened his first store on 30 Avenue Montaigne in 1947, his close friend Christian Bérard advised him to decorate the small boudoir-boutique almost entirely in toile de Jouy fabric.

Bérard – an artist best known for his whimsical fashion illustrations, including for for Chanel and Schiaparelli, and the set design of the 1946 film version of Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête – worked with the designer to create an aesthetic that would become immediately recognisable as the house’s own. 

Dior pink Oud Ispahan fragrance on marble tabletop with the limited edition red Toile de Jouy packaging
Oud Ispahan is one of three Dior fragrances distinctively packaged as part of the house’s limited-edition Toile de Jouy collection

Bérard understood that the pattern, typically associated with the rococo extravagance of the 18th century, could in the contemporary context of a Parisian boutique be used to create a modern, sumptuous aesthetic that was well-suited to the newly opened couturier. As Christian Dior later wrote of Bérard’s vision, ‘it was he who advised us to hang the boutique with toile de Jouy and to scatter hat boxes bearing the name of the house everywhere, on top of wardrobes and in every corner. Beneath this semblance of disorder, he had created life.’ 

Since that first appearance in at Avenue Montaigne, toile de Jouy has become a familiar motif in the Dior canon, revisited over the years in collections by the likes of John Galliano, Gianfranco Ferré, and more recently Maria Grazia Chiuri, to name just a few. 

Two women at the perfume table in Dior’s original Parisian boutique
An archive image of the perfume table at Dior’s 30 Avenue Montaigne boutique, where toile de Jouy was used for the décor 

Yet the pattern has a particularly strong association with the house’s perfumery, as it was used to decorate the fragrance section of the boutique well into the 1950s. As a celebration of that heritage, Dior has launched the limited-edition Toile de Jouy fragrance collection, in exquisitely illustrated packaging.

The fantastical rendering of a jungle landscape teeming with lions, tigers, and monkeys among bountiful trees adorns three of the brand’s classic fragrances – Gris Dior, an olfactory expression of classic Dior’s classic grey hue; Lucky, a delicate lily-of-the-valley fragrance; and Oud Ispahan, a piquant blend of smoky wood and unusually spicy rose. 

purple Gris Dior perfume in box with candle and body cream against blue Toile de Jolie background
The new collection’s toile de Jouy jungle landscape, seen here as a backdrop to its Gris Dior perfume 

The collection represents an original take on a classic design, much like Christian Dior’s approach to the historic fabric back in 1947, and is a fitting homage to the brand’s heritage. §