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.
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.
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.
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.
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