Pierre Dinand, an engineer's son, began his art studies in Paris in the early 1950's.
He was drafted and sent to fight in the paddyfields of Indochina, but Dinand was more interested in art than in fighting.
Fortunately, an obliging senior officer allowed him to attempt courses at the Royal Art School of Cambodia in the Silver pagoda of Phnom Penh. Shortly thereafter, he was detached to work with a group of archeologists in Angkor Wat. For over a year, he studied Asian temples and sculptures.
On his return to France, Dinand found a job in the automobile industry. "I was a test driver, but they discovered I didn't have a driver's license..." Pierre was fired on the spot and ended up working for a chemical company. The firm was about to launch a new product. "But the package was hideous. I decided to re-design it myself". The boss was delighted. Dinand was promoted to chief advertizing executive and his wages tripled. After a time, he was recruited by Contact advertising agency. One of the customers was the Rochas perfume company.
They were looking for a new bottle design. "Madame Rochas" was on the shelves in late 1958. For the first time ever, the stopper was not made of glass but rather, entirely of plastic and metal. The perfume was a success. Dinand was hired by Rochas, and designing perfume bottles became his profession. "And it just never stopped." In 1964, Dinand was introduced to an up-and-coming designer, Yves Saint-Laurent. " I also met Givenchy, Balenciaga, Guerlain, Dior... I was just rocketed to the very center of design and perfume."