Blooming Passion: Near Christian Dior’s Childhood Home, The Maison Grows 50,000 Rose Bushes For Beauty and Science - Lifestyle Asia

The Dior Rose Garden is a tribute to the House’s passionate love of flowers. 

In 1992, the Dior Gardens was built. It was the brand’s tribute to Christian Dior’s passionate love of flowers, the source of the maison’s skincare products. 

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Recently, Dior opened the gates of the first garden dedicated to its cosmetic rose and celebrating the couturier’s original commitment to nature, luxury and savoir-faire.

The history of Dior Prestige Skincare is rooted on the cliffsides, under the telluric power  of  normandy.  It  was  there,  in  the  land  of  Christian  Dior’s  childhood,  that  an  epic  journey  began  at  the  crossroads  of  nature,  science,  and  human  destiny. 

Battered by the raging elements, the rocky earth of the Granville Cliffs has . over time, been  witness  to  a  natural  miracle:  the  blossoming  of an exquisite, perennial wild rose. The Rose de Granville was born from this extraordinary rock-dwelling flower, chosen from among 40,000 hybrid roses for its exceptional molecular richness. 

The first rose ever created for cosmetic skincare, the rose de granville has the power to transcend time and infuse the exceptional Dior prestige skincare products with all its strength.

New Eden

This precious and exclusive rose, unique in the world, requires special cultivation to reach its full potential. 

Last May, the Rose de Granville returned to this legendary land to burrow its roots into its original soil, just 20 kilometers from the Villa Les Rhumbs, Christian Dior’s childhood home in the granville basin. 

The  air  is  scented here by  the  flowers  in  his  mother  Madeleine’s garden. This developed in  the couturier a love of roses, which inspired each of his creations and made its mark on the house. 

Today, for the first time, Dior owns its farmland: six  hectares  of  untreated  green  meadows,  entirely  dedicated  to  growing  a  cosmetic  rose  that  is  reserved  for  exclusive  use  by  its  Prestige  Skincare.  

This  natural setting comprises 20 plots to exalt the Rose de  Granville;  the  new  beginning  of  an  odyssey  that  goes  far  beyond  simple  agriculture. It is an adventure that reflects the full commitment of Dior Prestige in the name of the rose and will transform this land into an example of sustainable development.

Regenerative cultivation

Over 50,000 rose bushes will flourish in this paradise, under the constant care of  Nicolas  Sambet,  the  garden’s  rose  grower  trained  by Jérôme  Rateau. The latter is the head of Varietal Creations of André Eve Roses Anciennes and the creator of the Rose de Granville. 

Thus, the  Dior  Rose  garden  is  becoming  a  point  of  transmission.  It embodies the pioneering vision of a man who decided to cultivate ancestral roses in the early 1980s. He wanted to highlight their ruggedly wild beauty when the time called for ornamental, opulent but fragile flowers. 

A forefather of organic cultivation, Jérôme  Rateau  had  the  idea  of  growing  roses  and  perennials  together  to  strengthen the plants’ natural ecosystem and dispense with chemical additives. 

These  virtuous  principles  laid  the  groundwork  for  the  cultivation  of  the  Rose  de  Granville. The flower  thrives  in  a  dedicated  garden,  without  the  addition  of  chemical  fertilizers  or  pesticides,  to  deliver  pure  and  powerful  natural-origin  active ingredients. 

Its cultivation respects the plant, humans, and nature, and its heritage has been preserved through the support of the house of Dior.

Temple of biodiversity

Normandy’s bucolic landscape will be recreated to provide the ideal ecosystem for the flowers  to  flourish. The  optimization  will  be  done  in  slow  and  conscientious stages so as not to disturb the environment. 

This fundamental first  step  is  preparing  the  soil  to  restore  life  to  areas  that  have  been  depleted  by site’s former use. Several hundred trees and shrubs have already been planted  to  re-establish  the  hedgerows. The  existing  plants  have  been  pruned  to  restore  their  vitality.  

Native  species  will  be  introduced  and  will  encourage  pollination. Diversifying plants and islands of vegetation will intermingle with the rose bushes, and a pond will be created as a haven for local wildlife. 

In  addition  to  organic  cultivation  in  the  open  soil,  without  the  use  of  chemical fertilizers or pesticides, Dior is initiating a three-year research project to develop the first regenerative cultivation created for and around the rose. 

In collaboration with the Dior floral science experts, rose growers, botanists, agro-ecologists  and  landscapers,  the maison will  design  the  most  harmonious  plant  palette. This will be  optimized  and  completed  over  the  years  thanks  to  local suppliers. 

Each selected plant will fit into the rose bushes’ ecosystem so that they act in synergy with each other to attract insects. A project  of  homeric  proportions,  the garden  will  offer  an  escape  from time, where cultivation, far from impoverishing the living world, enhances and enriches it. 

Nature’s excellence

Since  its  beginnings, the  cultivation  of  the  Rose  de  Granville  resulting  from  sustainable  partnerships  has  given  rise  to  an  unprecedented  virtuous  circle: a  rose that is 100 percent traceable, 100 percent made in France, and 100 percent dior. 

The garden is  an  exceptional  and  innovative  terroir  for  extracting  the  active  cosmetic  ingredients from  plant  biodiversity  in  a  responsible  way. These, in turn, will be integrated into its Prestige Skincare formulas.

Dior Science maximizes the potential of various parts of the rose using specific extraction processes that respect the plant.

This includes thermo-extraction of the rosehips without chemical solvents to obtain a patented cosmetic active ingredient; patented enzymatic extraction of  the  stem  to  respect  the  integrity  of  the  sap’s  repairing  active  ingredients; patented dynamic enfleurage and cryo-extraction of the rose petals to obtain extracts that are more powerful than ever.

It will be a major achievement. Biodiversity will not only be protected but also regenerated, with the utmost respect for the local flora and fauna, the land and its communities.

Photos by Yossef Balti, courstey of Dior

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